Artists Drive, Death Valley NP, California, USA by Howard Brown

Picture Story

While Death Valley has been recorded as experienceing the hottest temperature on earth, it is not generally associated with much if any measurable precipitation. However, that was not the case on our two day visit in December of 2014. In a full-on drizzle, angry skies and a 45 degree chill, we photographed this moody scene off Artists Drive which few humans ever experience , and even less, when it actually contains elements that are very normal –– rainwater moving to lower ground. Here, coffee-colored streams of silt laden precipitation pour over blackend volcanic landscape, creating a creamy froth running in delta-like branches toward Death Valley's depths.

The contrasts were unique to say the least. We considered ourselves very fortunate to have been able to photograph much of Death Valley National Park during two days of rainy conditions and absolute wonderfully difused and contrasting light, under a thick and broken cloud cover. Our images expressed a whole different aspect of the circle of life in the desert. From the depths of Badwater, to the arroyos of Artists Drive, the sand dunes at Stovepipe Wells, and on into the slots of Mosaic Canyon of Tucki Mountain, the light and life of Death Valley stood before our tripod and wide-angle glass, ready to share itself. We were in awe of it's majesty. December may be a wet month for the Valley, but her guest list is short. We've never photographed a National Park with more open views undisturbed by fewer tourists. Death Valley National Park needs to be on every serious landscape photographers bucket list.

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