Pursuing a career in adventure photography is far more involved than simply taking stunning images. The process of creating imagery that tells a story has many stories within itself. Check in often and follow my pursuit and evolution as an adventure photographer.
My last day in Zion was marked by more rainy weather and low clouds. In flat, cloudy light, I tend to recalibrate my focus on the smaller things: rivers, pools, plants and rocks. The lack of contrast that flat light provides, allows colors to pop evenly without harsh shadows.
This shot from the shores of the Virgin River in Zion National Park is a great example. The lack of shadows allowed me to photograph the river, its pool and canyon walls and capture their color. And the low light of the scene allowed me to slow my shutter significantly so I could blur the motion of the water—rarely possible without filters at midday.
Yesterday I concluded my road trip through the desert southwest by driving from Death Valley, back to San Francisco. I slept in my car at the Mesquite Flat Dunes and woke up before dawn to shoot a winter sunrise over the dunes. The light never quite came and the dunes were tracked out with footprints, so I packed up after a few hours and pointed my car westward.
After a few hours on the road, I began descending into familiar territory, the Owens Valley. Highway 190 connects Death Valley to the Eastern Sierra and as it descends into the Owens Valley, it passes the, now dry, Owens Lake. Since LA diverted the Sierra runoff to the Owens River in the 1920’s, the lake dried up and the resulting sandy lake bed has been a source of poor air quality, especially when winds kick up the loose sand and alkali.
As I traveled along highway 190, I noticed a large plume of dust crossing the road. When I slowed down and looked toward to the lake, these large dunes, their perfect, virgin lines and the airborne sand furiously whipping about around them captured my gaze. Over the past century, the dessication of the Owens Lake has created these beautiful dunes, a tiny silver lining to the permanent impacts of LA’s unquenchable thirst.