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Daybreak Over the Badlands - Death Valley

Posted by
Barbara Lee (Oakland, United States) on 15 February 2010 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

The series continues. I keep finding amazing raw files on the hard drive to bring into Photoshop for final processing. For the four days of my time in Death Valley, I was, indeed, blessed with amazing light. After photographing the moonset and sunrise at Zabriski Point, I turned my attention to the Badlands, which are just to the left of the location of yesterday's photo.

I am always attracted by texture and pattern in nature, and this is what really drew me initially to this scene. I also love the transition of the various warm tones throughout the image. Then, I noticed how the rising sun sent shafts of light which played across the textured surfaces of the rock.

A friend of mine said that she once went on a ranger-led bus tour through Death Valley - the main thing she remembers from this experience was the guide telling his group "something very bad must have happened here eons ago". In the instance of the Badlands, I think it must have taken eons and eons of small amounts of rain to get this erosion.

NIKON D90 1/10 second F/16.0 ISO 200 112 mm (35mm equiv.)

To view more of my images, visit my portfolio at Barbara Lee Photography. Also, visit my Facebook fan page at!/pages/Barbara-Lee-Photography/244133283497[/url

Spotlight photo at

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria


15 Feb 2010 7:49am

Sylvie from entre Angers et Saumur, France

ces reliefs et ces couleurs sont fantastiques.

15 Feb 2010 12:28pm

clodagh smith from Sacramento, United States

Great play of form and light. Would be interesting to see as BW also

15 Feb 2010 3:29pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Marvelous capture!

15 Feb 2010 7:01pm

Self-Indulgence from Chicagoland, United States

I'm a texture fiend so to see these rocky rivulets is just incredible to me. You had awesome lighting and as Jack says it could probably work in black and white because of all the focal interest but the color is.. a real stunner!

15 Feb 2010 9:29pm

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Outstanding shot Barbara, you were well positioned to take advantage of the lead in lines on offer.

15 Feb 2010 9:34pm

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

brilliant light and amazing sharpness and detail! good composition too - the lines take the eyes right into the shot - superb work!

16 Feb 2010 2:40am

Jim Mahan-Soto from Glendale, CA, United States

I know where I'll be at sunrise the next time I travel to Death Valley! Beautiful images!!

16 Feb 2010 8:12pm

Stu from Scotland | Residing in Kyoto, Japan

I'm usually a b&w freak but in this case the colour one takes it. You've rendered the colour range beautifully. I'd like to add though that your b&w version is also magnificent and I'd be interested to know what conversion technique you used.

18 Feb 2010 3:57pm

@Stu: HI Stu, I jsut added a BW layer in CS4 and tweaked the color sliders until I liked what I saw. The BW conversion in Photoshop is pretty slick, in my book! I hear that Nik Silver Effects if a great plug in, but since I am not really a BW person, doubt if I will spring for it just yet.

Marie-France from Sceaux d, France

very beautiful picture...Amazing landscape !

19 Feb 2010 9:05am

1/10 second
ISO 200
112 mm (35mm equiv.)