Willie and I have been wanting to visit the sand dunes at Death Valley National Park for a long time now. Well, we visited a few years ago but we didnt have the equipment to take the photograph we wanted. If you happen to be at the sand dunes with a very large telephoto lens you can take advantage of how optics work: longer lenses compress the 3 dimensional elements into a more 2 dimensional and flat scene. Sand dunes off in the distance feel closer, mountains feel like theyre in your face. Take this to the sand dunes and you can make one pretty amazing photo. Willie purchased Sigmas new 150-600mm lens and brought it on our trip to Banff. I was blown away by some of his photos and immediately ordered the lens, ahead of our desire to visit Death Valley in December 2015. Then, at the last minute, we cancelled our Death Valley trip and went to Yosemite instead.
I had already purchased, paid for, and received the new Sigma 150-600mm lens and figured I might as well bring it on our Yosemite trip anyways. It turned out to be a good call, because we saw a number of Coyotes hanging out in the meadows, and the lens turned out to be amazing. It also became quite useful while we hung out at Tunnel View for a sunset that never happened.
While waiting at Tunnel View for sunset, a new storm rolled in and threatened to cover the entire Yosemite Valley. Sunset clearly wasnt going to produce any beautiful photos and I was determined to make the best of it. I noticed there was some beautiful fog rolling into the valley, dancing amongst the trees. I looked at Willie and said Im getting the big lens. He looked back and replied grab mine too. We spent the next 20 minutes capturing the beautiful fog as it played amongst the trees, blanketing the valley in a beautiful mysterious scene.
Here you can also see the impact of the Beetle infestation in the park. Typically, cold weather kills the beetles each year, but the last few winters have been too warm and the beetle population has grown, eating their way through many of the beautiful trees in the park and creating an even more hazardous potential fire situation. We’re all hoping this winter will be cold enough to kill them off.
Nikon D800 w/Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary:
200mm, f/10, 1/6, ISO 100