This Desert Life

The Southwest of USA had a tendency to take my breath away every day. No I was not crossing the continent in Forrest Gump style. I am not so much a running fool more a walk in the desert fool. Rather, I was short on breath from the incredible landscapes leaving me speechless and awestruck in the presence of ancient dramatic masterpieces by Mother Nature. One such masterpiece named Death Valley is a complete otherworldly experience where the expression "wide open space" falls short and new words are needed.

I have posted a few images from the Valley of Death previously and today I present a vast view of the valley. Well, it is only part of the valley actually as it is some incredible 150 kilometers long. It is a hazy view during a sand storm just before sunset. Tell me if this view makes me feel as I do, that you are visiting something else than Earth as we know it.

vast valley of death - blog 

Whilst I love this view and the memories of Death Valley that it triggers I must admit to not being quite sure what to do with it. Is it an image or more a memorabilia? Is it a fine art image I want in my collection? Is it something anyone would wish to purchase? What do you think? It is awfully wide, more than 5 to 1 in width height ratio making it rather unpractical. This is of course a stitched panorama, around 19-20 vertical images from my 100-400mm Canon L lens set at 300mm. The final file is 27,000 pixels wide, quite detailed although fine details suffer from the dust storm. It will support prints almost as big as the real thing. Actually; with a few cheesy titles this is the intro to some 70s sci-fi show!

Even if it is just a memory, I may print this one at many meters wide and stick it on the wall of whatever future home I settle in. It will be my window to my home planet. Vast Valley of Death for some, home for me and I can escape here. In the words of Guilliaume Nery, into "one pure instant of eternity" where the vastness and emptiness draws and humbles me. This Desert Life and we shall take it Further and Further.

18 Comments on “This Desert Life”

  1. Impressive image Bo and I am sure that someone will want to have such an image on their wall!!

    Great story as well mate!

    1. Thank you kind sir! Always appreciate the support mate, I am trying to get back to telling stories on the blog because that's what I really like about doing my blog – storytelling.

  2. I won't even begin to guess what category that image would fall in but it's beautiful. Earth when Man hadn't learn to make tools yet. The edit you've given it makes me think of scenes from old movies involving astronauts looking down on earth.

    Listened to some music today that would make a good soundtrack for that imaginary story going on up there 😀

    1. Thanks Charlene. It's not exactly untouched unfortunately, there's a bitumen road running through it, there's a tourist village (and a bloody golf course) and they used to mine here. But the valley is so huge fortunately that it a view like this Mother Nature dwarves it all.

      The edit is mostly the dust storm as I did little except add a lot of localised contrast as the original was much more hazy than this.

      Sounds good you're getting the soundtrack together for our doco 🙂

  3. This deserves a home in some great American
    institution, like the Smithsonian in Washington DC. It should be able to be printed 20 feet across. It's a matter of finding the name of the right person, which I don't have. Maybe you might start be showing a smaller version of this to the US Ambssador located in København. It should find an imposing home and earn you a tidy sum. A very great image that deserves an oversize print! Best wishes! from Frank in Wien

    1. I follow you on the Mars vision, indeed Mars would be one amazing place to shoot. Olympus Mons, a volcano 27km high. Valles Marineris, at 4000km long, 200km wide and 7km deep makes Grand Canyon look like a tiny hole. First photographer on Mars, they better pick me, no one is more suited !

      If you're into scifi you must read Red-Green-Blue Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.

  4. Creates a certain mystique this image, congers up all sorts of thoughts, It's the sand storm that makes you wonder what's out behind it that actually gives it that out of world feel I think. Very cool. Love to visit this place one day.

  5. reminds me of the start of the Planet of the Apes, that is what the landscape sort of looked like where the spaceship crashed into the sea. I like it but think there is something missing, chuck a moon in it and see what happens!! haha

  6. This image draws me in, as though I'm sitting on a motor bike planning my route, ready to hit the throttle and head down into the valley. It would be very captivating printed large.

    1. Cheers Muzz, I must print this large someday soon…perhaps I'll sneak in a print at Fletcher's place, distract him with stories from Denmark aka Phase One HQ and run a 5 meter print on the Epson!

  7. That's a funny scenario, you distracting x in order to get a 5 m print run off. When/if you do it, please consider setting up a secret tripod/videocam to record the whole thing a la Andy Warhol.

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