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Editor’s Choice Winner: Michael Perea

Death Valley, USA
Nikon D850, Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8, f/5.6, 1/3sec, ISO 64

I scouted this location during the day, which was nearly 100 degree Fahrenheit, at the end of March. I had marked various GPS points for several locations of these famous Death Valley mud cracks. This particular composition was actually my fourth on this sunset.

I set up around an hour before sunset, shooting my first composition directly into the sun. Just as the sun set over the mountains, I knew that there was potential for some serious aftermath.

As the colors started to explode all around me, I moved to my second and third composition. I went into a complete frenzy because there was literally fiery color all around me, 360 degrees of fire in the sky. One of the craziest and most colorful sunsets I had ever seen in my life. Finally, I found some cracks that had shapes that mimicked the mountains in the background. I am so thankful I scouted the area because I barely had my wits about me as I ran around capturing images in every direction.

It probably looked quite comical, but the result was extremely unique. The amazing color in the sky, the color reflecting onto the alien-like mountains of Death Valley, the mud cracks, the full moon – all of these elements coming together at the right time, priceless.

Lee Filters
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