Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 184 - Badwater Basin

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

Badwater Me
Sunrise in Badwater Basin
282 feet below sea level is where I did my walk today.  Badwater Basin is the lowest point in the 48 contiguous states.  Ironically, 84 miles away is Mount Whitney, the highest point.  Death Valley has both the highest and the lowest points in the lower 48.  That's fitting, because the entire park is full of amazing contrasts.

We arrived after sunrise, but the sun itself was behind the mountains, so the entire floor, the salt flats, was in shade.  We parked and agreed that each person could choose to walk as far as we wanted.  I saw this as a great opportunity to walk as much and as long as I felt like it, which was wonderful.

See the photographer off to the right?
The salt bed was crusty and hard, and it creates these amazing hexagonal shapes, outlined by the edges of each flat.  In some places, the outlines are fairly flat.  In others, they have shifted together and caused big rifts and tears and ridges in the crust, looking like little mountain ranges.

Before the sun flooded the basin.
At the morning progressed, the light progressed, too, shining more and more on the mountains opposite where I was standing in the middle of the basin.  When the sun finally peaked over the mountain behind me, it washed over the basin floor like a flood.  Even though the other photographers in my group were far apart, sound carries well, and I could hear the "aaaahs!" as the light flooded over them, too.  It was an amazing experience.

Crusty, salty ridges.  I tasted it.
Geometric Shapes
I spent a lot of time on my walk using my little camera down low, in macro mode, to capture salt crystals and formations and to provide the feeling of the vastness of this place.  After the sun flooded the basin, I left my camera backpack and tripod and took off for a more vigorous walk, unhampered by gear.  That's when Terry Abrams, the amazing photographer who is leading this trip (he asked for this shameless plug), used my camera to snap my photo.  If you ever want to go on an amazing trip to Death Valley, check Terry's web site for his trip next year.  You won't be disappointed.


Visit my photography show, "My Maryland," at the public library in Urbana, Maryland, on the lower level of the building.  It is there until the end of April.

Hurricane Sandy Relief: Donate to the Red Cross, and I will mail you a 5 x 7 print from any of the photos I have posted on my blog OR any photo on my website.

Forward to me via email a receipt for donating to the Red Cross. Tell me whether the photo is from the blog or the website, and Include its title along with a mailing address. The name on the receipt to the Red Cross must match the name of the mailing recipient. Send the receipt and the photo request to camscamerashots@gmail.com.

Click on any photo to enlarge it.
Visit my web site: camscamerashots.zenfolio.com
Follow me on Twitter: @camscamerashots
Email:  cam.miller@comcast.net

Cam's rules for the Daily Photo Walk:
  1. walk every day
  2. the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day
  3. post a photo every day
  4. use my Nikon P7100 (it is a very convenient size and weight)
  5. no weather excuses
  6. walk only where it is safe to do so

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