Death Valley National Park, California, USA by Betsy Botsford

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Picture Story

I went out to Death Valley National Park as we all do to capture tremendous light on the Mesquite Sand Dunes. I went with my friend Jackie Cavanagh who is one of those rare breeds of people who is a morning person. She and I were up early, her ready to go and feeling good, me dragging quite a bit but eager to get in front of some amazing leading lines prior to the sunrise. I was not disappointed. We did not get any amazing, colorful sunrise light but the shadows and lines that were created were just what I was hoping for.

I originally wanted an epic, vast scene with lines and curves everywhere, so I shot at 50 mm. As I have developed as a photographer and an artist I find the more minimal, abstract aspect of this shot more appealing than my original vision. I revisited my raw images from Death Valley earlier this month and found this line deep in a broader image. I thought it was beautiful and spent some time with the image. I've had to crop this shot to achieve this look, but am very pleased with the final result. There are more sand dunes expeditions in my future I hope. I will bring a longer lens next time and continue to look for these abstracts when I compose.

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