Death Valley: Follow the Leader

131125_Mesquite Dunes by Karl G. Graf. Canon 7D, EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS with 1.4X extender @ 110mm, f/11, 1/60 sec, ISO 200

On one of our workshop “sleep-in days”,  a few of us went out to capture the early morning sunrise at Mesquite Dunes with Chuck Kimmerle.  Chuck got us set up to catch the first light then took off on his own to explore.  You can see Chuck in the upper left of this image.

When working with the “Pros”, I like to just watch and see what catches their eye as they explore an area.  So I took this opportunity to follow Chuck’s foot steps across the sand and see where he stopped and milled around or set up his tripod.  It was a good learning experience.  At some of his stops, I saw nothing that caught my eye.  At other stops, I looked around and saw a WOW image that I would have easily overlooked.  Also, I stopped at many places where he did not stop to capture what I thought was a great image.  It was a great learning exercise and a lot of fun too!

This is one of my few photos where I captured an overall image of the surrounding area.  For most of my images, I tried to capture the details of the light and shadows as they passed over the dunes.  To do this I added a 1.4X extender to my 70-200mm lens and used my Canon 7D cropped sensor camera.  Because we were in a harsh environment in the sand, I did not dare change lenses.  Next time I will make the hike with a normal lens to capture the overall beauty of the dunes against the purple mountains.


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2 thoughts on “Death Valley: Follow the Leader

  1. Chuck Kimmerle

    Karl, the great thing about photography is that we all react and interact with our surroundings differently, even when standing side-by-side. I would be totally disappointed if you agreed with me every time I stopped, because that would mean you were trying too hard to be Chuck, when you need to be nothing other than Karl.

    Now…stop following me as it’s getting kinda creepy 🙂

    1. kgrafphoto Post author

      Thanks for the comment Chuck. Part of learning is learning to see. That is what made this little jaunt fun. I am sure you saw things that I didn’t and I saw things that you passed by. If we did see the same interesting detail, I am sure that we captured it completely different. I will continue this little episode a few entries further. I expect that you will see “Karl”, not Chuck in my images. It was a great workshop. I would appreciate your critique. Thanks again.


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