Monday, October 31, 2011

Back from Death Valley

Crescent Moon Setting Over Badwater

I'm just home from co-hosting a photo tour in Death Valley National Park.  It was a fabulous few days despite the fact I was recovering from a cold.  I went through a bottle and a half of Purell in an attempt to keep my cold to myself - fingers crossed I was successful.

While most of my time was spent setting camp, driving guests to locations, preparing meals and offering advice on what/how to capture the scenes unfolding in front of us, I did find time to capture a few images of my own.

I photographed the crescent moon setting while I waited for guests to return from the middle of the salt flats with Jim Goldstein.  One of the guests, Tom suggested we shoot this as a timelapse so in a few days I'll get that sequence together to share!  Thanks Tom!

Another of our guests was none other than Russell Brown.  Russell is the Senior Creative Director at Adobe and boy does he know the products inside and out!  One of our main desires in visiting the remote Racetrack Playa in Death Valley was the opportunity to photograph the stars with minimal light pollution.  Russell offered up one of his amazing scripts to help us composite our star trails.  It worked like a charm (even though my intervalometer stopped working one hour into a three hour shoot).  The script creates layers from multiple exposures, sets the blending mode and even gives you masks which make it super easy to get rid of pesky air planes from the night sky.  As someone who manually performed all of those tasks for her first star trail image... it took HOURS... I can tell you this script is worth it's weight in gold!! Visit http://www.russellbrown.com/ to get your copy of Dr. Brown’s Stack-A-Matic 2.2.3.

A warm thank you to the rest of the gang: Maurice, Dave and Glenn - you made it a wonderful trip despite the frigid desert night.  I hope you've all thawed out by now!!

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