This is a shot that was taken at the Devil’s Golf Course in Death Valley National Park. It’s a really interesting salt formation left over from an ancient lake that existed in that location during the holocene epoch. The surface is twisted an gnarled with jagged salt formations. It truly feels like a prehistoric landscape.
To get this shot, I arrived at the parking area about 30 minutes before sunset. I had to walk out a fair way to get to an area that hadn’t been trampled by the unwashed masses. The sky was occupied by a combination of high cloud and haze. It was clear that I wasn’t going to get the color that I was hoping for so I went a different direction with it. I wanted to exaggerate the prehistoric feeling so I used a Singh-Ray 2 stop soft split, graduated neutral density filter to bring down the sky. I also did some dodging and burning in Photoshop, via adjustment layers and blend modes, to bring out some shadow detail.
The photograph was made with my Canon 5D, using my Canon 17-40 f/4L lens at 19mm. Exposure was 1.6 seconds at f/11 using an ISO of 100. I spot metered, and manually focused, on the foreground. I set the camera to overexpose by 1 stop.