The Racetrack in Death Valley is such a cool place. The rocks that end up on the playa from the surrounding mountains are thought to move through a combination of water, ice, and wind – wind pushes the rocks across the slick surface, leaving a trail behind. On this morning, we woke up under a sky full of stars. Clouds seem to regularly materialize out of nowhere in Death Valley and that pattern continued on this particular morning as storm clouds started forming about 45 minutes before sunrise. Since I have a few Racetrack images that I already like quite a bit, I spent this morning experimenting with my ND filters to increase the motion in the clouds. I lucked out with one decent result. This is a 30 second exposure using a 4-stop ND filter for the clouds.
A thin layer of water covers the Badwater salt flats in Death Valley National Park. #2011.38
February, 2011: The Racetrack Playa is an eerie place at night. That is pretty much all I have to say about this image.
I did not get lucky with clouds on my short overnight trip to the Racetrack this year. The snow on the peaks, however, made me feel like it was worth processing this image. Standing on a dry desert playa in freezing cold weather, surrounded by snow covered peaks, is an unexpected experience. #2011-117