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Badwater on Fire - Death Valley National Park, California | by Jim Patterson Photography
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Badwater on Fire - Death Valley National Park, California

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First off, I want to thank all of you who take the time to visit my stream. 2009 was a memorable year and my first doing serious landscape photography. Thank you for all the support, comments, suggestions, and critiques.


Over the holidays, Kendra and I visited family down south. I escaped a time or two to the San Diego Zoo as well as a couple sunsets along the coast. Much food was consumed, and we even made it to an IMAX for Avatar in 3-D. Civilization had its time, but photography awaited.


We had a plan. And by "we" I mean me. I wanted to shoot, shoot, shoot. And then shoot some more. So we headed to Joshua Tree National Park for a day and froze our butts off camping that night. I would drift in and out of sleep, watching the nearly full moon dance with the passing clouds. I almost got up at 4am to try and capture the night sky, but the bone chilling cold kept me in bed.


At one point I awoke to a glorious sky filled with color. My heart sank. I checked the watch we were using for an alarm clock. It read 6:45am. Sunrise was happening. I woke Kendra and emphatically shouted, "The sunrise is exploding in our face!" Of course, at that moment, I was in a state of mixed panic and dread. We missed our first sunrise, a glorious one at that. I ran in vain across the land only to watch the color disappear from the sky.


This was not part of the plan.


A quick pit stop at Walgreens to get a real clock was in order, and then our adventure to Death Valley began.


This image is from sunrise on New Year's Day at the famous Badwater Basin in Death Valley, a warm welcome to the new year. And this time when the sunrise was exploding in my face, I had my camera ready.


Nikon D300

Nikkor 12-24mm @ 12mm

3 sec @ f16, ISO 100

Singh-Ray 3-stop reverse GND filter

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Taken on January 1, 2010