Death Valley

Discussion in 'Landscape & Cityscape' started by abraxas, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Getting ready for spring;

    What I love about Death Valley is that the weather and lighting can change within seconds. Every view can be so dramatic and beautiful.

    What I hate about Death Valley is that the weather and lighting can change within seconds. Every view can be so dramatic and beautiful.

    The reason I hate the same thing that I love is that it is so beautiful I've been decieved into thinking that no matter where I look I think it is the most beautiful and wonderful scene I've ever scene. I waste so much time stopping every mile or so and shooting unplanned scenes I totally put aside any plans and neglect working on composition, focal point, subject, lines, shadows, and the zillion other what-nots that make up an interesting photo.

    From Black Mountains, Death Valley, February 2005:

    North of Copper Canyon
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    Copper Canyon
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    Lava hills
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    This will learn me- This year I refuse to screw up.
     
  2. TylerSB

    TylerSB TPF Noob!

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    Those are some nice shots. I was there two weeks ago, and got some fairly neat shots. Most of them are from the Harmony mine, and Mushroom Rock. I'm going to see if I can find em. : )
     
  3. TylerSB

    TylerSB TPF Noob!

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    Here are the only 3 I could find. : (

    Harmony Mine
    [​IMG]

    Zebreski Point
    [​IMG]

    Mushroom Rock
    [​IMG]
     
  4. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You sure that's the Harmony mine?- I was pretty sure that Harmony was a borax works.

    The wheelbarrow don''t look familiar but the closest rails I know of, and the rocks and slope looks like the Keane Wonder mine. That's about five miles north maybe, and 1 mile east (on a dirt road) of the Harmony Borax Works. From there, there's a mill and about a half mile nearly straight up is the tram house and up from that are the mine(s) proper. Looks like this at the top:

    [​IMG]

    All while I was hiking up I was thinking, "Sucks to be me." But when I got up there all that went away. It's supposed to be a trail, but if it were any steeper it'd have to be called a ladder.

    Up at the top above the Keane Wonder, which is easier to get to from a 4x4 road around the backside of the mountains is Chloride City and the Chloride Cliff mine. A guy named August Franklin killed a snake and thought he found silver. Ol' August and his buddies dug a hole one hundred and fifty feet deep and pulled 100 tons of nearly worthless rock out of the hole they dug at the top of the mountain.

    Zabrieski (you're looking east in that shot?) was a railroad foreman for the T&T (Tonopah & Tidewater) railroad. There was a town named after him just north of where Shoshone is today. Ralph Jacobus "Dad" Fairbanks moved some of the buildings from Zabrieski to Shoshone. I think a few of them are still in use today. Last year, no, two years ago I walked down from Zabrieski Point to the entrance at Golden Canyon. Nothing to do but hear your nose whistle (if you have a sinus thing going). Awesome scenery, an example of a "barren habitat." Last February I hiked back up to the Red Cathedral from the mouth of Golden Canyon. Took some of the best photos I ever got up there.

    Mushroom Rock used to be called the "Devil's Throne." The super-ultra-extra-rightwing-double-conservative-religious right took offense though, or maybe it was the UCLU sued for a separation of church and state- but anyhow, the rock is an example of an extruded lava formation (I think, it's extruded something though) or a lava bomb (flew up into the air maybe a mile or so). Anyhow, if you look close you can see where it got fixed. A boy scout troop was carvan-tripping through the valley 5-6 years ago and when they pulled into the now-unmarked parking area one of they troop leader/drivers thought it'd be funny to bump the rock. Well, he broke it and (hopefully) screwed up his car. The park service fixed the rock and I'm not sure what happened to the troop. If there were any justice in the world they would have buried them all up to their necks in the sand dunes and let the ants eat their heads. I'm pretty certain that didn't happen though. The rock, if you've seen pictures of it from years ago was considerably bigger on the top back then. Its been chipped away at by a myriad of happenstance and ill-fated incidents and just plain bad luck for a rock.

    Nice shots. Got more?

    PS- Jack Keane got kinda rich from his discovery, but ended up killing someone and went home to Ireland. After a couple years there he got drunk one night and was stabbed to death in a bar fight.

    Whoops. Here's what I got on Jack Keane:

    Jack Keane was an Irish Miner out of Ballarat. He'd been prospecting for over 8 years finding pretty much nothing. One day in 1903 he discovered a ledge containing rich ore in the Funeral Mountains. Jack and his partner sold the claim immediately for $150,000 -- but they got the mine back after a year. Jack stayed associated with the mine until he shot and wounded a constable in Ballarat. He sold out and returned to Ireland. One night in a tavern, Jack was in a fight and killed a man -- He died in an Irish prison.

    Shoot, I thought I had his story right from memory. Guess not. Hope I'm wrong about the boy scouts and the sand dunes :)
     
  5. just x joey

    just x joey TPF Noob!

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    the second shot in the original post looks so tight, like u used a jumbo flash or sumthing to scatter light on all the grass up to the mountains.
     
  6. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I like the Lava Hills shot. The rest are cool too, but that one looks the best of the first three to me.
     
  7. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I hope that's good. What was happening was that sunlight was breaking through the scattered cloud cover. On the left the break fades some up the mountain. It was much more defined on the right. It was pretty windy. Ten seconds later the lighting conditions were entirely different.

    Thanks. Today they look a little better to me than last night when I was going through them. I guess I'm still kicking myself for missing the rainbow that was here, my destination:
    [​IMG]
    Ashford Mill, Death Valley.
     
  8. Trenton Romulox

    Trenton Romulox TPF Noob!

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    That last one is my favorite. They are all good, as usual. Good stuff, Abraxas.
     
  9. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks Trenton. I'm amped up about going again in a few weeks. Making plans for locations now. This trip I'll stick to them! Hope the weather's lousy like this again- but not freezing like it has been.
     
  10. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    Really nice!
     
  11. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you Robbie
     

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