Death Valley Dunes, California, USA by Branden Ponschke

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I decided to wake up at 2 AM and travel to one of the hottest places in the world to catch a sunrise. Plot twist, it was below freezing. We arrived at roughly 5:30 AM and traveled through pure darkness to find a very specific spot where I could shoot in any direction and capture a beautiful photo. It is truly the most interesting thing being surrounded by complete darkness and waiting for the sun to bathe the valley in light exposing surrounding mountains that you couldn't see roughly an hour prior to the first light peaking. An absolutely beautiful and tough experience, and one that I would do all over just to replicate the feeling I was consumed by in that moment. It is challenges like this that allow me to realize just how amazing it is being a photographer. My absolute favorite part of this trip was as soon as the sun peaked and I starting taking photos like a mad man, I realized I need to be doing this for the rest of my life.

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