Before The Dawn At Zabriskie Point

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Tech Info:

  • Camera: NIKON D3X
  • Lens: Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35 ZF.2
  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Shutter: 1/2 sec
  • ISO: 100
  • Aperture: F/9.5

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This Photo's ID: 4541

Field Notes Print Info

“I almost hate taking this shot,” I remember telling my 10 year old son as I set up my tripod. See, Zabriskie Point is a bit of an icon spot and I really like to try to attempt to get shots that, you know, the rest of the world hasn’t shot the heck out of just yet.

Although we’d hiked a bit off to the right of the main viewing area, I still wasn’t convinced I was going to like the result. However, it was our first day at Death Valley (for this trip) and I just wasn’t sure what the conditions were elsewhere in the park. I figured, better to try this then nothing at all, right?

We went to the spot I wanted to photograph, but we were so early there wasn’t enough light to actually see anything in the viewfinder. We stood in the dark and could hear the hushed whispers of the photographers setup on the overlook. As our eyes adjusted and the sun made its way towards the horizon, the sky really started to look interesting.

I “roughed out” a composition in the viewfinder and found myself getting more and more excited – the clouds were looking pretty cool in the pre dawn light. I continued to fine tune the scene in the viewfinder until the clouds had the perfect amount of light on them. I quickly popped off the shots and was thrilled with what I saw on the screen.

The sun finally made it over the horizon and while I did snap off a few images, it was obvious that the real show had happend about 15 minutes before sunrise.

Hmm, maybe those “icon” shots aren’t so bad after all :)

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