Death Valley and Eastern Sierra Photography Trip Report of Desert Scenes

New Fine Art Pictures of Sand Dunes, Winter Trees and the Owens River

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California Landscape Photography
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The eastern side of the Sierra Mountains near Bishop, California provides many opportunities for great landscape photographs. I have been there before, but I had some unfinished business there. It had been a slow year for snow in the mountains, but to my delight, there were some pretty good snowstorms in the mountains for several weeks before we arrived in mid-March. The photographs of the mountains just aren’t the same without it.

A primary target was the view of the mountains with the Owens River in the foreground. Yes, it’s been shot a million times, but it was still on my to-do list. There were no clouds in the morning, so the usual image at sunrise just wasn’t working, so I waited a few hours for them to appear. The rising sun also provided light, and color, for the vegetation surrounding the river. Sunrise is not always the only option.

The snow-covered Eastern Sierra mountains behind the winding Owens river in winter
"River Reflection" - Click Photo To Purchase

During the day, I’m always out looking for something different to come back to at the right time. I was north of Bishop heading north on a small ridge road looking for mountain views not realizing a snowstorm was crossing the valley behind me. Luckily, I turned around and saw the storm. I quickly headed back to where there was a small canyon, ran out to a good view and captured this wonderful image of the storm crossing the valley.

Dramatic storm clouds over the eastern sierra desert in California
"Sierra Storm" - Click Photo To Purchase

After shooting the storm from the north, I headed immediately to a spot to the south of the storm I had picked out where the late sun would light up a group of trees. Knowing they would have the dark clouds behind them, I knew I had to get there.

bare tree above red and orange foliage in front of dark storm clouds in the Eastern Sierra of California
"Storm Colors" - Click Photo To Purchase

Next up was Death Valley. Having been there before, I had a good idea of what I wanted to accomplish. The last time I was there, I was not able to get up to Aguereberry Point due to road conditions. The roads were better this time and I wasn’t going to be denied. One afternoon trip to scout the shot followed by two sunrise trips to get a decent sky. Check this one off the list!

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A stunning sunrise at Aguereberry Point in Death Valley, California
"Desert Burst" - Click Photo To Purchase

The Mesquite Sand Dunes were a place I definitely wanted to return to and capture some better images. Last time I wasn’t prepared to shoot during high winds and sandstorms, but this time I was, equipped with ski goggles to cover my eyes. The winds clean the dunes of all previous footprints and provide wind streaks in the sand. There is also a softer look as a result of the blowing sand.

Shadows in sand dunes in Death Valley with dark clouds in the background
"Sand Shadows" - Click Photo To Purchase

layers of sand dunes in a sand storm in Death Valley, California
"Layers" - Click Photo To Purchase

A panoramic view of a sandstorm at mesquite dunes in Death Valley National Park
"Sandplosion" - Click Photo To Purchase

soft sand dunes in Death Valley National Park
"Soft Desert" - Click Photo To Purchase

sand blowing on sand dunes in Death Valley contrasting with a dark background
"Wind Streaks" - Click Photo To Purchase

It was a very successful expedition. Next up is an April trip to some unusual places in Arizona and Utah red rock country.

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