Zabriske Point, Death Valley, California, USA by Ben McMillan

Picture Story

Zabriske Point sunrises are popular with photographers & tourists alike. Located in Death Valley, this photo was taken in early May. Temperatures rise as quickly as the sun, light winds kick up the dust into what seems to be a perpetual haze, decreasing the time available to capture a sharp image. Once the sun is fully up, the morning glow is quickly replaced with a hard light, a reflection of the tough landscape. The golden hour seems more like golden minutes, and timing a preparation is key.

I'd recommend carrying the same gear as you would for any night photography, at least 2 litres of water and if visiting in the winter months, warm outer layers.

The viewpoint is an easy walk from the carpark, no more than 5 minutes. Zabriske Point is the obvious focal point, however, the hills and alluvial pans offer scope for abstract work.

Closest large city is Las Vegas, and main roads are paved throughout the national park. Fuel is expensive, there are general stores within the park for basic supplies. Keep plenty of water handy.

It is my goal to go back and spend more time exploring Death Valley, as I have barely scratched the surface.

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