Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Sometimes Bad is Good

Badlands 1 (4140)

Badlands, that is.  Some of the most beautiful badlands we’ve ever seen are here in Death Valley.  And I personally think that if you photograph them before the sun has a chance to “light them up” (as was the case here) you get a better result.  That’s not to say that they’re not beautiful after the sun pops over the horizon; I just think that the subtle lines, textures, and pastel colors that you see while it’s still a little dark are nicer.  But that’s just me.

The only problem we had while staying in Death Valley was a complete lack of internet access.  We were, as they say, “off the grid” for nearly 5 days.  Hell, cell phones didn’t function all that well.  Supposedly WIFI was available but I was never able to connect.  Not that that was a big problem, but it was a little annoying.  When we checked out this morning the girl at the desk finally admitted that their provider had been having “some difficulties”.  No kidding.

And we finally got some serious warmth.  High temperatures were in the high 80’s or low 90’s – just a little toastier than good old Rochester, NY.  Of course 80’s and 90’s is still kind of cool for Death Valley.  It’ll soon be in the 100’s.  That’s a little too warm.  And if you recall, Furnace Creek (where we stayed) holds the current record for highest temperature ever recorded in the United States (134 degrees in 1913).

We’re in Utah now.  It’s perfect – about 70 degrees.  Maybe I’ll stay here until Rochester breaks 50 (May?).


8 Responses to “Sometimes Bad is Good”

  1. E. Brooks

    Before sunrise or after, Paul, this is a beautiful photo. Glad you survived being off the grid for so long…some these days wouldn’t. It’s been mid-80’s here at Cedar a Key every day for over a week. This weekend the highs are suppose to be a little cooler and I’m looking forward to it.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks EB. No, I really didn’t mind not having internet access. The only thing that happened was my “junk email” started to pile up. I swear it’s worse than the junk mail that arrives in my regular mail box.

      Glad you’re having decent weather, too. I feel really bad for all those people in the northeast who are still dealing with snow. I’m beginning to wonder if they’ll ever see Spring. Heck, I’ll be back there in a couple of weeks. I don’t think I could stand to see any of that white stuff falling out of the sky…….

  2. TomDills

    That’s beautiful light and a very nice photograph, Paul. Bad is definitely good in that case! I’ve got Death Valley on my agenda and hope to get there soon.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Tom. I hope you make it to Death Valley – it’s definitely worth it. Just don’t come between April and October! Way too warm, I think…….

  3. Cedric Canard

    Excellent photo Paul. Wonderful detail brought out nicely by the low contrast.

    I like this region in the US, it’s rather unique and so remarkable in its accessibility.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Cedric. I’m definitely beginning to favor “low light”. Who needs the sun?

      “Unique” is probably an understatement. I’ve been reading a book on the geology of Death Valley and it’s very different from surrounding areas. And it certainly is very accessible. But huge. Even bigger than Yellowstone. I think Death Valley is bigger than New Hampshire.


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