Travel Photography: Desert Road Trip
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Travel Photography: Desert Road Trip

with Ben Long

Video: Planning out the third day

(SOUND). This is the bad news about landscape photography. If you really are serious about it, you have to get up very, very early. Some people may not think of this as very, very early, but, they're weird. You gotta get up before sunrise, whoa, and we're about to miss our turn here. You gotta get up very early to get the good light, so, it's about 6:30 right now. Now, I know I'm a wimp and we are heading off to Panamint dry lake bed.

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Watch the Online Video Course Travel Photography: Desert Road Trip
1h 55m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013

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Every type of location presents its own photographic challenges. For the stark wilderness of Death Valley National Park, these can include harsh desert light, stark landscapes, and a vastness that can be daunting to capture in a single frame. In this course, travel along with author, teacher, and photographer Ben Long to Death Valley to learn about the challenges and techniques behind capturing the exotic beauty and surprising details of the desert.

Topics include:
  • Looking at the light
  • Composing a shot to show rock texture
  • Taking a shot with haze and working it in post
  • Shooting sand dunes in changing light
  • Exploring the vistas for a more dramatic shot
  • Understanding the pace of a place
Subject:
Photography
Author:
Ben Long

Planning out the third day

(SOUND). This is the bad news about landscape photography. If you really are serious about it, you have to get up very, very early. Some people may not think of this as very, very early, but, they're weird. You gotta get up before sunrise, whoa, and we're about to miss our turn here. You gotta get up very early to get the good light, so, it's about 6:30 right now. Now, I know I'm a wimp and we are heading off to Panamint dry lake bed.

You can see that the sun is already rising, it's hit the other side of the valley. And so we're going to watch that line come forward and eventually swallow us up in what should be very, very pretty light. there's not much preparation other than I grabbed my camera, and now, we've gotta drive this pretty rutted-out road for about 20 minutes to get to the spot that I want to go to. This is a case where I've been to this spot before, so I know where we're going. If I hadn't been here before, what I would want to do is try to, I probably would have noticed the lake bed and gone, wow, I really want to get out there and do some shooting early.

And then, it's just about trying to figure out where the sun is going to be. The sun rises in the east, sets in the west, this is the east side of the valley, so I know I've got time to get over here. I watched the sunset yesterday morning. I've also been watching the moon rise. And so, from the moon rise, I can tell that, from the time that the moon allegedly rose till the time I saw it come over the mountains was about 20 minutes. So I checked that sunrise and basically added 20 minutes to it and kind of gauged my departure time that way so I could leave as early as possible.

Nevertheless, it's still earlier than I'd like it to be. But once the sun comes up, it's going to be very exciting and that really energizes everything.

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