Death Valley and My D800

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John Strock
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Death Valley and My D800
7 months ago

I just returned from a trip to Death Valley.  What an amazing place.  I can't believe I have never gone there before...  I live in California and have driven to many areas around Death Valley and said "I need to go there", but never did til last week.

I had always wanted to go to the "racetrack" there and see the moving rocks.  I had heard about other places there, but was most interested in going to the racetrack.  Turns out that most of the rocks are under water right now from some recent rain in the areas that drain into the playa.  I was still able to find some rocks in the dry areas.

Once I had convinced my family that is where we should go for our little driving vacation after Christmas, I started researching other places to see inside the park.  I made a list:

- racetrack

- zabriskie point

- badwater

- devil's golf course

- golden canyon

- marble canyon

- mesquite sand dunes

I was like a kid in a candy store.  Everywhere I went was better than I thought it would be.

My D800 was getting exposed to a lot of dust and sand and I wasn't very good about cleaning it out each day after use.  Yes, I did change lenses out in the field and found out that my sensor had collected some dust particles at different times during the trip.  I definitely had more trouble with dust in Death Valley than I did a few months back at North Coyote Buttes when I went to "the wave".

One of my goals for the trip was to take a startrail image with the D800 since I had not tried that with this camera.  I took one 75 minute exposure in the sand dunes.  I actually think that my D300 was a little cleaner for the long exposures.

Here are a few shots from the trip:

Shot from Golden Canyon up towards Zabriskie Point

Badwater at Sunset

75 minute exposure at the Mesquite Sand Dunes

I had some great luck with some clouds and a couple wonderful sunsets.  I am itching to get back before it heats up...

You can see more images from my Death Valley trip here if you are interested:

Death Valley Gallery

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John
www.strockphotography.com

Nikon D300 Nikon D800
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