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richardman
23-Feb-2016, 17:18
Apparently, it's quite amazing. May take a trip down this Sat and coming back Tuesday. Any recommendations besides: lots of water, do not drive off-road, and keep the film cool?

Probably will be doing it with my daughter.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/science/death-valley-is-experiencing-a-colorful-superbloom.html

Jim Becia
23-Feb-2016, 19:17
Richard,

I was in DV a couple of weeks ago and the flowers were nice then. I think I left DV on Feb. 6th or 7th. At the time, temps were very mild, maybe 60's during the day. Nights were cool and wonderful. Not sure you would necessarily need anything special to keep the film cool. I tried a few different times to photograph the flowers with my 8x10. Managed to take a couple of shots, but the wind will drive you nuts. Here was a quick grab shot with my iPad. It was certainly wonderful to see and I wish you luck trying to photograph them.

richardman
23-Feb-2016, 19:51
Strong wind?! So is a Hasselblad medium format better since I can use larger aperture and faster shutter?

Thanks!

Nodda Duma
23-Feb-2016, 19:52
I lived near Death Valley for 10 years before moving here to NH. The desert flower blooms were a sight to behold...If you have the opportunity to see them please take it. But I do not miss the swarms of insects which would come soon after to feast!

MikeH
23-Feb-2016, 20:34
Richard: I don't know where you are located. I was there 2 weeks ago and the best (and maybe only) blooms were in the south, past Badwater, near Ashford Mills. If you're coming from the north, it's a trek, but you're not "doubling back. The road into the park, west from Shoshone, is closed. From Southern California, this is much easier access to the Ashford Mill area...

The bloom should move south to north, so there might be some nice stuff this weekend.

The NPS daily report that lists all this is here:
http://www.nps.gov/deva/upload/Morning-Report.pdf

and the NPS wildflower report, updated sporadically, is here:
http://www.nps.gov/deva/learn/nature/wildflower-update-2016.htm

richardman
23-Feb-2016, 21:53
Mike, I am from the San Jose area, so driving down to Bakersfield and go from there. Have never been to DV, so definitely staying on paved roads etc. Appreciate any recommendations on best routes. Also would like to make it to Race Track if possible. On the way out, may be up to Big Pine just for a brief detour before heading back down to Bakersfield and home. I don't think I want to go all the way up to Tahoe and cross that way to go home.

lab black
24-Feb-2016, 01:45
The road out to the Race Track is a difficult one in that there is quite a bit of shale which can and will puncture even the sturdiest of off road tires. In addition, the forbidding washboard road creates tremendous vibration which is hard on equipment.

Jim Becia
24-Feb-2016, 06:19
Strong wind?! So is a Hasselblad medium format better since I can use larger aperture and faster shutter?

Thanks!

Richard,

Oh, I think it can be done with large format, it just might take time and patience. As was mentioned, when I was there, the flowers were about 50 miles south of the Furnace Creek area. If the flowers move north, it would make it easier to access them if you are staying in the campgrounds. Also, the road had been closed at Badwater due to rain and slides when I was there around Feb. 6.

As to the Racetrack, it is one bone jarring ride as mentioned. It is certainly interesting to experience.

Drew Wiley
24-Feb-2016, 09:26
There are sites dedicated to SoCal wildflower enthusiasts with regular updates on Death Valley among other places, along with road conditions. March is always
a challenge there due to wind, which whips up quite a bit of fine clay dust too, requiring extra precaution to keep your film and gear clean.

MikeH
25-Feb-2016, 11:06
Mike, I am from the San Jose area, so driving down to Bakersfield and go from there. Have never been to DV, so definitely staying on paved roads etc. Appreciate any recommendations on best routes. Also would like to make it to Race Track if possible. On the way out, may be up to Big Pine just for a brief detour before heading back down to Bakersfield and home. I don't think I want to go all the way up to Tahoe and cross that way to go home.

I've only been into DV twice, once through Ridgecrest, the other through the (now) closed road through Shoshone. I have, however, made numerous trips throughout the Owens Valley and Mojave Desert areas. I'm planning on heading to DV again this Sunday.

Once you get to Mojave and head north on SR 14, you can head northeast through Ridgecrest, or go up SR 14 to US 395, then continue north to Olancha, where you pick up SR 190. If you go through Ridgecrest, you want to stay on SR14 until you get to SR178 EAST... SR 178 west is a mile or 2 before the 178 east turnoff... The road through Ridgecrest might be a little shorter, but there's a 2 or 3 mile stretch beyond Trona that was washed out and is now a very-well-maintained gravel road (35 MPH easy...).

The road through Ridgecrest is "all desert:" not much to see or photograph, except for a very large soda-ash plant that's probably better B&W than color. US 395 up through Lone Pine has more potential, but I rarely shoot anything south of Lone Pine. I'm thinking right now, that the snow levels in the southern Sierra are high, and sparse. However, I'm not nearly as creative as others on this forum...

As far as heading back up to Big Pine, I have no experience with the road inside DV that heads there. Gas inside the Park is scarce and expensive. You want to completely top off in either Ridgecrest or Lone Pine. If you top off in Lone Pine, there's only 2 or 3 stations and the prices aren't good. In Ridgecrest there's a Fastrip at 345 South China Lake Blvd. with great prices. If you are headed up through Lone Pine, the Loves, at the "furthest east" Tehachapi exit, is good. Also the Loves at the Lost Hills exit off I5, and, if you come over SR58 from I5 into Bakersfield, there's a Costco on the north side just before you get to SR99. Bakersfield is usually the cheapest gas south of the Sacramento/Modesto area.

I'm assuming you are headed down I5? Rather than take SR 58 east into Bakersfield, you might want to continue another 20 minutes or so south on I5 to the SR 223 exit and head east... This will take you across SR99, past Arvin, into some foothills where there can be numerous wildflowers. I was through there last week, and it looked like it might have a lot of potential right about now. SR 223 will take you to SR 58, where you can head east into Mojave.

Drew Wiley
25-Feb-2016, 12:05
The easiest way is simply to drive to Lone Pine, then straight across past Owens Lake and Panamint Valley, and drop into DV at Stovepipe Wells. It's scenic all the
way and the road in great condition. But yes, if you can veer into the foothills of the west slope of the Sierra first, the bloom might be beginning in earnest, at least lower down by the Valley floor.

Sirius Glass
25-Feb-2016, 17:03
I am planning on going the second week of April and hope that the rain continues late enough to have good flowers. I planned the trip late so that I would have a week and a half to recover from Easter Jeep Safari. Retirement is rough because there are still so many things to do and photograph.

Drew Wiley
25-Feb-2016, 17:14
I'd just reiterate that the road to the Racetrack is definitely NOT paved and is quite a long drive. Not a bad idea to have two spare tires along that route, since
recent storms might have made things distinctly worse than normal. That road will rattle your teeth out. But it gets way worse beyond the Racetrack. Ubehebe
Crater along the way is also fascinating. But there are so, so many places you can explore between Badwater and the west entrance that wasting an entire long
day going to the Racetrack and back can be counterproductive. And sometimes when you get there, there are SUV tracks all over the playa anyway, rules or not.
A wonderful alternative would be going uphill on the Wildrose road and a much easier dirt road to Augebery Point, for a stunning overlook of the Valley, opposite Dante's View. You can camp up there too, if you have warm gear.

richardman
25-Feb-2016, 20:48
Thank you for all the advice! We will skip Racetrack this trip. The plan is to get to Ridgecrest, then to Stovepipe, and then down Badwater road. We plan to camp there a couple nights. May try the Augebery Point, Thanks Drew!

richardman
25-Feb-2016, 21:52
BTW, taking my Chamonix 4x5, the SenHao 617, and the Hasselblads in case the wind picks up. Wish me good light :-)

Sirius Glass
25-Feb-2016, 22:14
The biggest problem that vehicles with street tires have on the road to the Race Track is the speed driving on chert [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chert]. Chert is sharp and speeding on chert may, at the right speed, reducing the washboarding but can greatly increase the chert cutting slices in the tread and side wall. If one keeps the speed down then the drive round trip to the Race Track is not hazardous. It just takes a long time. For me it was worth it.

John Berry
25-Feb-2016, 22:19
I was just getting ready to head out to the Grand Canyon. Now I'm adding DV to the loop. Thanks for all the good intel. I'll be printing this thread. I just have to find that selfie stick for the V-8.

MikeH
26-Feb-2016, 08:22
Here's a map of the bloom from the NPS, probably a day or two old. Yellow is bloom, red is closed areas or roads (?). If you enlarge it, you'll see SR190 runs through the middle of the yellow. Furnace Creek is at the bottom of the southern end of the northern of the 2 strings of yellow.

http://www.nps.gov/maps/full.html?mapId=e1cac445-af1e-4719-98b3-4e3998ba8e06

Sirius Glass
26-Feb-2016, 14:49
Here's a map of the bloom from the NPS, probably a day or two old. Yellow is bloom, red is closed areas or roads (?). If you enlarge it, you'll see SR190 runs through the middle of the yellow. Furnace Creek is at the bottom of the southern end of the northern of the 2 strings of yellow.

http://www.nps.gov/maps/full.html?mapId=e1cac445-af1e-4719-98b3-4e3998ba8e06

How do you find this webpage?

Drew Wiley
26-Feb-2016, 16:53
Also try desertusa.com

Sirius Glass
26-Feb-2016, 21:25
Thanx

MikeH
26-Feb-2016, 22:04
How do you find this webpage?

I'm on several listserves, as well as using the search feature where you restrict the search to several sites; i.e.:

wildflowers site:nps.gov,http://goblossomtrail.com/,www.sacbee.com,http://www.theodorepayne.org

In some search engines, the "comma" is replaced by a semi-colon...

I'll post the Yahoo group address next time I get an e-mail from them. Note I do NOT post locations to these groups, I only read. They have been the bane of wildflower spots: I have personally seen 1/8 acre size parcels of poppies destroyed in a DAY once they are announced on several of these sites. One site shut down under the threat of legal action because so many people were entering private land and disrupting the cattle... I have other stories also since the internet started broadcasting these things.

Sirius Glass
27-Feb-2016, 10:39
wildflowers site:nps.gov,http://goblossomtrail.com/,www.sacbee.com,http://www.theodorepayne.org

This got a 410 Not Found result.

richardman
27-Feb-2016, 14:18
On our way!!!

MikeH
27-Feb-2016, 16:05
This got a 410 Not Found result. This isn't a link. You need to type, or cut and paste, the entire line into a search engine. The Forum software isn't handling this correctly, and it's abbreviated some of what I type. Apparently if I put quotation marks around the phrase, the Forum software won't display it as a link. Let's try this again:

What I'm getting at here, is the ability to restrict searches to specific websites. For example, if I'm doing tax research on photography, and I type the phrase: [without the quotes]
"photography site:1040.com,irs.gov,drakesoftware.com,taxingsubjects.com,taxprotalk.com"
into a search engine, the search engine will only search the sites I've listed. I'll get all sorts of info on photography from only the IRS site, and the others that I've listed.

So... if you, over time, accumulate a number of websites that occasionally have wildflower data, you can search only those sites... If you type the entire phrase below, without the quotes, into a search engine, it will only search the site you listed. The "GoBlossomTrail" draws a blank because it's for the almond and orchard blooms in the Fresno area, and not wildflowers.

"wildflowers www.goblossomtrail.com,www.sacbee.com,www.theodorepayne.org"

MikeH
27-Feb-2016, 22:51
Oh, and ... probably too late ... the only place where I found cell coverage was around Furnace Creek...

Drew Wiley
29-Feb-2016, 09:30
Don't count on cell phones in much of the West, at least when you're surrounded by mountains.

richardman
1-Mar-2016, 23:25
1266 miles,9 rolls of medium format film, and 38 sheets of 4x5 film later, we are back from the Death Valley National Park. The most amazing Hell on Earth place. We did a lot of activities, but also know our limits. Now catch up with some work before going *thud*

Willie
2-Mar-2016, 06:56
I'd just reiterate that the road to the Racetrack is definitely NOT paved and is quite a long drive. Not a bad idea to have two spare tires along that route, since
recent storms might have made things distinctly worse than normal. That road will rattle your teeth out. But it gets way worse beyond the Racetrack. Ubehebe
Crater along the way is also fascinating. But there are so, so many places you can explore between Badwater and the west entrance that wasting an entire long
day going to the Racetrack and back can be counterproductive. And sometimes when you get there, there are SUV tracks all over the playa anyway, rules or not.
A wonderful alternative would be going uphill on the Wildrose road and a much easier dirt road to Augebery Point, for a stunning overlook of the Valley, opposite Dante's View. You can camp up there too, if you have warm gear.

With a decent pickup you can take the road over Hunter Mountain into the Racetrack. Some pretty good views along the way and wildflowers in Panamint Vally and the nearby Star dunes are worth a visit.

If you have time try the drive to the Trona Pinnacles. Not visited nearly as much as Death Valley and you get the great experience of driving through downtown Trona - a not to be forgotten vacation spot.

Pieter K
2-Mar-2016, 08:32
1266 miles,9 rolls of medium format film, and 38 sheets of 4x5 film later, we are back from the Death Valley National Park. The most amazing Hell on Earth place. We did a lot of activities, but also know our limits. Now catch up with some work before going *thud*

I'm going to try to go this weekend.

Which areas did you get in to, and what seemed to be showing the thickest? Also, if you don't mind, which MF and LF cameras were you shooting?

Pieter K
2-Mar-2016, 08:34
With a decent pickup you can take the road over Hunter Mountain into the Racetrack.

As long as snow isn't an issue up near the top of South Pass. It's a common problem for people to get stuck there or get in to trouble with vehicles/skills not up to the task, although that tends to be worst north of the Hunter Mtn. Road cutoff.



...downtown Trona - a not to be forgotten vacation spot.

Haha!

Drew Wiley
2-Mar-2016, 10:13
I'd never try going in from the north without two weeks of water and supplies. Applies to all the roads north into Saline Valley. You can get stuck in there. It's a
wonderful place and I hope to go back, but learned about its moods the hard way a long time ago. Things can snow shut at the top, roads can wash out completely
in flashflood season. Recommend two spare tires. And don't go in the summer!

Pieter K
2-Mar-2016, 14:13
I'd never try going in from the north without two weeks of water and supplies. Applies to all the roads north into Saline Valley. You can get stuck in there. It's a
wonderful place and I hope to go back, but learned about its moods the hard way a long time ago. Things can snow shut at the top, roads can wash out completely
in flashflood season. Recommend two spare tires. And don't go in the summer!

Two weeks of supplies! Wow!

I am continually amazed at the regular frequency of seeing people driving their front wheel drive Honda Accords, or low clearance sedans, or modest Subarus, campers, or school buses (yes, saw one last Thanksgiving) in and out. It must take FOREVER. I have a Jeep Rubicon, so for me the area is a breeze, including Steel Pass. But that's why I bought that vehicle. I bring 7-10 gallons of water with me, food for a couple days over what I plan to stay, full recovery gear, compressed co2 tank, a single spare, repair kit, all the warm clothes and sleeping gear required, and I and whomever I'm with are good.

Looks like we're headed through Badwater via Harry Wade Exit Road, stay on the west side dirt road, then cut up to Echo Canyon and Hole in the Wall; I have a favorite camp spot at the end of the Hole in the Wall trail. We'll return south via Greenwater Valley.

Pieter K
2-Mar-2016, 14:17
Oh, I'll add that there are only two ways in and out of the north--the main road, and Steel Pass.

Unlike Saline Valley Road, Steel Pass is truly not possible without proper 4WD/high clearance...unless perhaps you're okay with really damaging your vehicle, and that's only if you're descending. I don't see ascending possible for a regular vehicle at all.

That descent coming down to Eureka Dunes is one of the most sublime views anywhere. It is unimaginably beautiful, especially with late afternoon light.

Drew Wiley
2-Mar-2016, 14:42
I once drove an ordinary station wagon clear thru there. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Even broke the oil pan. Both tow trucks in the entire county were already broken down themselves on the same road system, further down, hours away. Long, long story. But I obviously got out of there, car and all. The locals were fond of reciting stories about mummified bodies being found in broken down jeeps from time to time. Probably there weren't more than a handful of instances, but such
stories inevitably linger. It's desert, to put it mildly. I'm tempted, now that my actual 4WD has new tires, shocks, and brakes. But the AC still needs replacement.
Don't pop a can of soda on any of those roads until AFTER you return from a long photo walk. Things get mighty shook up.

richardman
2-Mar-2016, 15:58
Which areas did you get in to, and what seemed to be showing the thickest? Also, if you don't mind, which MF and LF cameras were you shooting?

We drove down to Ridgecrest on Sat, then woke up at 3AM to drive through Trona - the BEST vacation spot in the West, then onto the Ageuerrepoint. We missed the blazing sunrise by two minutes as the last 6 miles are unpaved. The view though is still amazing. Then we explored the Eureka Mines and Mr.Ageuerre (probably mangling his name) house and car. We even met another 4x5 photographer there!

Then we explored the Titus Canyon and were surprised that there is a ghost town in the middle of the canyon. WTF?!!! My daughter took out a number of books from the library so we learned all about the follies of man. We were driving our Toyota minivan and while the canyon is rated "high clearance vehicles" only - it's doable. There are some spots you want to drive REALLY slowly but it's OK. There was even a sedan driving behind us with very low clearance - he was driving REALLY slowly and he did make it out too.

Then we raced to the Mesquites Dunes and learned the futility of running on sand with a 30lbs pack, and sand got onto and into everything. Ugh. We camped at the overflow campsite at Furnace Creek. Next morning, we got up god-awful-before-dawn to hit the Zabraski Point and wondered why everyone was facing away from the sunrise. I mean, in all the photos and blogs, no one says you actually are catching the predawn reflection of the Sun!

Onto Dante's View, via way of the 20-mule canyon. It's really easy to see why so many people die at DV - all the canyon "paths" look the same, and if you think, "hey I have a 4WD and a GPS, I can go anyway!" - you would be right, but also that you may not be able to get out. One flat tire would ruin a lot of things.

Dante's View is, of course, marvelous. Some skateboarding kid went down the road with his father videotaping. Not sure how far he went down as I was busying changing film holders and chatting a Canon 6D toting photog about the joy of LF. Then napped at the Gold Canyon area. It has cell phone AND data access! At least on my iPhone 6, but not on my daughter's iPhone 5s. Then we hiked in, because - well, why not. If you do the hike, take at least 1.5 liters of water and take the fork to the right at the end to go up to the "Cathedral" view (not the fork to the Zabraski, but the later fork). It's worth it.

The idea was then to take photos at the Badwater, then wildflowers, then catch the Mesquite Dunes again. Well, the Badwater photo trek took it all out of me. It was 100 degrees. Just the effort to set up the 3 shots with low vantage point with the 4x5 on the salt flat exhausted me. I was definitely getting dehydrated (headache and all) even though I was guzzling water. So we knew we would skip the sand dunes. So we stopped off at one of the patches of "Fields of Yellow" and took some photos there. Most photographers were crouching down taking macro pics and THEY would make some good photos, but I was trying to get the whole field with the mountains vista. We will see how that turns out. (not that I have any macro equipment anyway).

We ended with the sunset through the "Artist Drive", but after the Titus Canyon, the "Artist Palette" pales (ha ha) in comparison. We camped at the Emigrant's Camp that night. Got up early enough to race to the Ageuerrepoint again. This time we were ready and were greeted by the blazing sunrise. Did some Tai Chi at 6000 feet up. Life is good.

Then we took the Panamints center route out. While taking more photos off road, I found a dead cellphone (we took it with us it can be properly be disposed of) on the road - some dumbass must have doing video or whatever while driving or something - as we have seen some guy hanging out of a car with a GoPro the previous day doing just that around Badwater. Marveled that the camp at Panamints have showers and tent cabins! What luxury. On the way out, we saw two fighter planes (probably from the China Lake Naval Base?). The first one I thought it was a drone, until it did a 90 degree turn and a fast drop. It was pretty neat. We saw another one when we were at the exit sign taking selfies. They were flying fairly close to the ground.

Then down the 190-395. Did not realize we would see Owens Lake and the Sierra Nevada range - just like that - amazing view and quite a treat. Then onto Tehachapi pass and were greeted by the wind turbines. For a few years now, I have some ideas of doing long exposure with the turbines so I was glad to finally have a chance to see if it works. I am glad that I took the filters with me, knowing full well that I probably would not use them in the Death Valley per se. We will see how they come out.

Then a long drive onto I-5. I was fighting a really bad allergy and a cold, and have to be careful that it doesn't turn into a full blown asthma attack and napped an hour while my daughter was driving. Boy, I needed that.

Equipment wise, I used the Chamonix F1 4x5 with mainly the 110mm XL, and a few shots with the 150 and 210 Fujinons. I would have used the 75mmm Nikkor a few more times except that the recessed board is interfering with the shutter cable mechanism. I need to fix that.

I used the 80/2.8 and 50/2.8 with the Hasselblad 203FE. It makes a great walk around / hiking companion. Most the time I just took one lens, but once or twice, I would put the other lens in the photog's vest. The 50/2.8 is very large. The 50/4 would be much better in that regard, but it would be less convenient to use since it's not a FE lens.

Great time. It's one of the few times I went out with a companion for solely photographic purpose. Can't wait to do it again.

Nodda Duma
2-Mar-2016, 19:34
Thanks for the memories that your post brought back, richardman. I lived in Ridgecrest for 10 years and know every inch of the path you took.

Pieter K
3-Mar-2016, 17:38
Great account Richardman, thanks.

Sounds like a whirlwind tour. I too know your route, and you got a lot of variety in.

I'm excited to see what it's going to be like. There may even be a little rain, which will be really nice.

Vaughn
3-Mar-2016, 18:52
Sounds like a great trip, richardman! I just passed up Death Valley and came home a few days early (I did spend a night at the Alabama Hills two nights ago). The old ticker is not ticking correctly, so I thought hiking in DV in isolated spots by myself might not be the best idea...although I had just spent 5 days in Joshua Tree NP doing the same...but with a buddy. The 8x10 got carried all over the place, but the 11x14 was used only within reasonable distance from the van. Naps taken as needed to recharge. Next winter I'll get back to DV...a little earlier in the year probably (early Feb)!

So I came with holders still loaded with film...so strange!

From my last DV adventure, or perhaps the one before that...how time flies! (8x10 platinum/palladium):

richardman
3-Mar-2016, 21:39
Nice, Vaugh! I posted a photo with my daughter in the "March Portraits" thread already, so how about a ho-hum, unreal-color sunrise?!

http://richardmanphoto.com/PICS/20160303-Scanned-1463.jpg

stawastawa
3-Mar-2016, 22:05
I'd like to see that print in person - with its subtle color . . . especially in the shadows.
Nice, Vaugh! I posted a photo with my daughter in the "March Portraits" thread already, so how about a ho-hum, unreal-color sunrise?!

Willie
4-Mar-2016, 07:15
Oh, I'll add that there are only two ways in and out of the north--the main road, and Steel Pass.

Unlike Saline Valley Road, Steel Pass is truly not possible without proper 4WD/high clearance...unless perhaps you're okay with really damaging your vehicle, and that's only if you're descending. I don't see ascending possible for a regular vehicle at all.

That descent coming down to Eureka Dunes is one of the most sublime views anywhere. It is unimaginably beautiful, especially with late afternoon light.

When we lived in Bishop would go to Death Valley via Lone Pine and the North route regularly in an Audi 4000. Main concession was to take three air filters and change at least once during the drive. The talk fine sand was a killer and lack of a good filter has killed a few engines on that drive.

Never needed 4WD and only took the pickup when it was wet and muddy. Dry the Audi did just fine.

Pieter K
4-Mar-2016, 07:39
When we lived in Bishop would go to Death Valley via Lone Pine and the North route regularly in an Audi 4000. Main concession was to take three air filters and change at least once during the drive. The talk fine sand was a killer and lack of a good filter has killed a few engines on that drive.

Never needed 4WD and only took the pickup when it was wet and muddy. Dry the Audi did just fine.

Yes, regular route.

But I'm talking about Steel Pass, through Eureka/DeDeckera Canyon. Totally different. It has three serious rock steps that I don't see any normal car negotiating. No one I know has ever seen or heard of a car getting through there, and that's without even having to deal with the soft sand south east of Eureka Dunes, against the Last Chance Range.

Vaughn
4-Mar-2016, 10:04
When we lived in Bishop would go to Death Valley via Lone Pine and the North route regularly in an Audi 4000. Main concession was to take three air filters and change at least once during the drive. The talk fine sand was a killer and lack of a good filter has killed a few engines on that drive.

Never needed 4WD and only took the pickup when it was wet and muddy. Dry the Audi did just fine.

Going in via Big Pine to Eureka Valley, then later onwards to DV, in my Eurovan shook the passenger door lock mechanism loose, but otherwise fine. Had a fighter jet sneak up on me from behind while I was photographing the Eureka Valley Dunes from the road...just a few hundred feet above me.

This is where I hung out while the wind was blowing the sand off the top of the dunes (no footprints the next morning!) The second image is on top of the dunes after the wind picked up again. Both images on 4x5 TMax100.

Vaughn
4-Mar-2016, 10:11
Nice, Vaugh! I posted a photo with my daughter in the "March Portraits" thread already, so how about a ho-hum, unreal-color sunrise?!


Nice, Richard!! I was rewarded with a wonderful sunrise in the Alabama Hills a few mornings ago -- but I could watch it from the comfort of my van -- no color film, so I was not even tempted to photograph and just had to enjoy it! I attempted a star-track photo with the 11x14 that night...7:15pm to 2:30am -- so I felt justified having a lazy morning!

Drew Wiley
4-Mar-2016, 12:05
Gosh, you got buzzed, Vaughn? I had two fighter jets buzz me so close out on Owen's Lakebed once that I was suprised my eardrums weren't burst. The Sinar was knocked over. Guess they get a chuckle out of that kind of thing; but it's not so funny up in the high Sierra canyons where it can start a rockslide. I remember the time they lost an early stealth plane up in lower Kern Canyon. Oh well, the infamous rule-breaker (and barrier-breaker) Yeager himself has sometimes been encountered up that canyon fishing for goldens, minus his noisy aircraft. My most memorable incident was back in the Whites when a huge "UFO" flew right over me and my nephew, utterly silently. I had just poked my head out from under the darkcloth and there it was. My nephew got a shot with his Pentax. It was so low we could read the numbers and identify the Navy logo. Makes sense, since the Navy runs the specialized monitoring radar in that part of the world, which can in fact track stealth planes. Strange looking thing, quite unlike the production stealths. There went a couple billion dollars of early carbon fiber prototyping, I suppose. Like it wasn't even there. No vapor trail, no noise coming or going. Four of the biggest jet engines I've ever seen, apparently under some kind of massive muffler system.

Pieter K
4-Mar-2016, 12:26
Nice, Vaugh! I posted a photo with my daughter in the "March Portraits" thread already, so how about a ho-hum, unreal-color sunrise?!

http://richardmanphoto.com/PICS/20160303-Scanned-1463.jpg

Gorgeous color!

What film did you shoot this on?

Willie
4-Mar-2016, 13:09
When we lived in Bishop would go to Death Valley via Lone Pine and the North route regularly in an Audi 4000. Main concession was to take three air filters and change at least once during the drive. The talk fine sand was a killer and lack of a good filter has killed a few engines on that drive.

Never needed 4WD and only took the pickup when it was wet and muddy. Dry the Audi did just fine.

Sorry, "talk" should be "talc" fine sand.

Getting buzzed is normal in some of the areas and especially in the Panamint Valley. The jet jockeys key in the Sidewinder missiles on the heat from your tailpipes while doing practice combat attack runs.

richardman
4-Mar-2016, 13:30
Pieter, that is Portra 160. At the Sand Dunes:

http://richardmanphoto.com/PICS/20160304-Scanned-1488.jpg

You can see our minivan right under the curved branch.

Vaughn
4-Mar-2016, 15:42
Every time I have been on top of the Eureka Valley dunes, I have seen jets below me, sometimes circling the dunes then heading over the ridges to the southeast. Being buzzed by phantom jets (F4s) in the Sierras was a regular event in the 70's. And I forget how many times I thought my vehical was about to blow up, only to realize I was just buzzed by a jet.

They use to fly low over Mendocino Pass where I worked for the Forest Service (coastal range). One time a FS helicopter was almost hit there...someone forgot to tell the Air Force and there was hell to pay.

Sirius Glass
4-Mar-2016, 17:57
I was buzzed by two Navy jets at Eureka Dunes, too. There is plenty of target range desert that they could do that over without disturbing a National Park.

Richard Boutwell
4-Mar-2016, 23:56
I think the navy buzzing photographers at Eureka Dunes is one of those things that has to be experience at least once. Like you aren't a REAL photographer unless you've been buzzed at Eureka Dunes . It happened both times I was there. I hiked up with the 8x10 the second trip and I swear I was eye to eye with the pilot.

Sirius Glass
5-Mar-2016, 10:33
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