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Thread: Death Valley

  1. #1

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    Death Valley

    I have visited several times before, always early spring. I am considering going in June this year, and wonder what I will find other than heat. Any difference in clouds, absence, thereof,etc? More people, less people,
    site access differences(not snow) ? Filter/exposure etc for b&w?

    Thanks again.
    Terry

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley

    No clouds, not many people (except some foreign tourists), too hot to photograph easily. Treat the light the same as you would in the spring.

    110F or hotter during the day, cooling down to the 80's at night.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Death Valley

    Be careful what kind of shoes you wear. ... the soles can literally start melting on an asphalt road surface. Picnic box with ice packs for your film. Lots and lots of
    water. But don't leave patrolled roads either. No place to break down in summer.

  4. #4
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley

    Another DV thread, who'd a thunk!

    I just noticed in the DV book by Adams and Newhall I referenced in one the earlier multitudes of threads (see also Death Valley Light) that there is a page devoted to photography in DV. I don't think you can do much better than that as a primer both in terms of general advice and specificity in what can be a very challenging environment. I don't think you'll have much to worry about in terms of condensation under the dark cloth though.



    P.S. Snow will be gone from all high elevation roads, and possibly all high elevations altogether given present snow on the ground. I believe most people go to DV either in the late winter – early spring (Feb., March), or when temps rise to record levels in the middle of the summer – mostly Englishmen (to fry eggs on the sidewalk). I'm sure the park keeps records on use, and I know it disapproves strongly on the practice of sidewalk egg frying.

  5. #5
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley

    Quote Originally Posted by ROL View Post
    Another DV thread, who'd a thunk!
    DV is about as close a well known shooting destination as anything else to me these days, but until the end of this February, I hadn't been back since the massive wild flower bloom year, some time ago. That's quite a bit easier to do when Valley temps are tropical and the rest of the country is frozen (thumb on nose, saluting). I began reviewing some historical and photography references and became fascinated once again with its other worldly features and pedigree. So, I came across this YT video of a vintage documentary. It was a lot of fun and quite relaxing to sit back and watch. I could swear I could hear the whirr of a 16mm Bell & Howell projector in the back of the class. Watch for "Johnnie Shoshone" at 3:30. I presume it is the very same Shoshone Johnnie, referenced in the Adams – Newhall book, who breyfogled a mining claim near the Bullfrog Hills from which $5 million was eventually taken. He was paid two dollars, and a pair of overalls for the claim. It was said, he was still wearing the overalls five years later when Rhyolite collapsed. He didn't seem to be wearing them in the flick.


  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Death Valley

    Interesting you brought that story up. His grandson, Ben Shoshonie (actual name - nicknames often became surnames with the Indians) - was frequently at our house when I was growing up, and I heard the mine story from him.

  7. #7
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley

    Thank you for sharing! I enjoyed my short time there last month. Will go back but will probably go in December and spend some time outside the valley in the Alabama Hills.

  8. #8
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: Death Valley

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Interesting you brought that story up. His grandson, Ben Shoshonie (actual name - nicknames often became surnames with the Indians) - was frequently at our house when I was growing up, and I heard the mine story from him.
    Well, I thought it without question that everything thing I bring up is interesting . But I knew I was going way out on a limb with the connection. I think it just as likely that nearly every endemic native was called "Shoshone Johnnie" by whites. However, the timing and perceived notoriety, by choosing him to appear in the film, perhaps, makes the case for it being the same personage a bit more plausible.

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Death Valley

    I of course heard the name as John Shoshone, and the actual value of the mine was quite a bit higher. And the way I heard the story, he traded the mine for a bottle of whiskey and a pair of bluejeans. I have no idea if the person in the movie would be the same; but given the timing, he would have to have been pretty old
    at that time. His grandson lived about half a mile from us with a white family. Long story. He grew up with us as school kids. But by this point in history, California
    Indian communities were largely amalgams of people from completely different ancestries, though around that part of the world, most were either of some kind of
    Paiute (Mono) or Yokuts extraction. Not many Miwok left from up towards Yosemite - they got hit pretty hard by the Gold Rush.

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Death Valley

    ooop... as my memory is slowly coming back, the name of the fellow who sold the mine was Shoshone George, not John. But Indians were often given arbitrary nicknames, some of which stuck, some didn't. So a "John" in the movie migh have been a son or relative, or someone else entirely. The timing just seems to be too
    late to be the original person. But the original story is pretty well documented from multiple sources, and I have no doubt the person I knew was a direct descendant.

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