A powerful separation between light and shadow, night and day, darkness and light is achieved at sunrise in Death Valley. In this remote dune system in the deep shadow of mountains, the sun crests a ridge and bursts forth, illuminating the dunes with sharp brilliant light, the line of which moves swiftly up and over the dune crests like a wave of illumination.
So far this season, I’ve spent 12 days camping and exploring alone in Death Valley. Several days I spent wilderness camping in relatively remote corners of the park, many miles from other people in perfect silence and solitude. Other days, I camped in popular campgrounds near famous locations in the park. I enjoy the wilderness camping more by far, but hot showers and meals, along with access to food, water, and fuel tends to lead me to use the main tourist hubs for rest and resupply.
Getting to know the park a lot better than in previous years has been a profoundly rewarding and enjoyable experience. Even so, I’ve scarcely scratched the surface of the wonders this vast place holds. Tourists tend to flock to a select few locations, leaving the remainder of this colossal place relatively empty with plenty of room for solitude and exploration. It is only in these moments of silence and solitude that I find the greatest benefits of deserts can be discovered.
“Foray” is a new addition to my black and white film dune series, "Mojave Monochrome."
Made with analog film.
Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Mamiya RB67 Professional
"Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter." – John Muir