Photographing Salt Flats & Cracked Mud | THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD & LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY #9

It took me two days of location scouting to finally come across a location with a good enough concentration of beautiful cracked mud on the ground. In the right lighting conditions this can make for a beautiful composition. It also helped that the location I found was facing the black mountains. 

All I had to do for my sunrise shoot was show up at the right time and find the right composition to shoot and hope there’s good light. That’s all. Haha. Well in landscape photography things don’t often go as planned. This morning was colder than the other mornings in Death Valley, and I found myself struggling to stay somewhat warm and find a location to set up my tripod in the dark. I had plenty of time until sunrise, but my body was beginning to break down from the cold. 

I finally settled on a composition and quickly realized it was going to be my only image for the morning and that was perfectly fine. Though I did wait in this spot for a good hour and explored with different variations of the light. 


I made my way to the Badwater Basin Salt Flats for sunrise. I must admit that I had heavily researched this area online but had not location scouted it myself. For this reason I arrived a good four hours early, ha! I settled on a lovely composition that provided me with a great leading line using the salt flat formation. Little did I know the sky was going to explode, literally. I witnessed one of the greatest sunsets I have seen in months. I was quite fortunate and came away with two images that I’m very pleased with. 

My final image was taken a good thirty minutes after sunset, but it was actually the image I had in mind the entire time. I wanted a moody, darker image. 


Check out the episode in Death Valley photographing salt flats and cracked mud. This is part 3 of my 4 part series in Death Valley.