Venus and Night Sky over Mud Cracks
Death Valley National Park, California
There’s a couple scenes that Death Valley is known for: beautiful salt flats, rolling Sand Dunes, and plays filled with mud-cracks. On this particular trip in November 2016, Willie and I managed to photograph all 3 of these, and perhaps a little bit more.
On this particular evening we hiked out to a playa filled with mud-cracks and ran around like giddy school-boys as we found amazing pattern after amazing pattern. We left clothing in various locations to mark our favorite spots and then watched as clouds rolled in just at sunset to give us an amazing sunset. I had to force myself to stop and let it soak in, before frantically getting back to my camera to try to take as many photos as I could, with a number of different compositions.
After the sun went down we decided to wait for blue hour to kick in so we could take some star photos with the playa. As we waited I noticed that the color in the sky never really faded ... it just kept lingering. So of course I kept taking photos! Saturn even popped into view, as you can see the bright spot in the middle of the sky.
I named this photo “Our Playa” because the shape of the mud cracks, at the bottom, forms both an “A” for Aaron and a “W” for Willie. Special thanks to David Thompson for giving us some amazing tips!
Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
15mm, f/4.5, 10 sec, ISO 2000
From Central California