Mesquite Dunes

D800
14-24 2.8 @ f2.8
14mm
25 seconds
ISO 2200

Nestled in the heart of Death Valley, the Mesquite dunes are a popular destination for any park visitor. They are easy to access, and as a consequence, are generally a pretty busy place during the day. On a dark night, the dunes come alive in a mystical way, and as you can see, I've been there to experience it. 

In December the best parts of the Milky Way are not visible to us on the northern hemisphere. Nonetheless, we can capture some pretty wonderful sections of it at the right time. This image was taken about 9:45pm PST. the moon had set some time before, the skies clear, and in one of the darker Northwesterly vectors, the dense formation of billions of stellar objects gather and delight the night forescape of Death Valley. After some trial and error, I was finally satisfied with the light painting going with a low to the ground, white halogen beam to create the contrast in the waves on the sand and the various dips and divots. Managed to paint the creosote bush as well, which is a hearty staple of the dunes, which do well in the sandy environment.

Shot at f2.8, 14mm (Nikor 14-24 2.8) for 25 seconds, ISO 2200. I gently post processed limiting the typical high contrast adjustment and rather played with the blacks in Lightroom and, of course, some noise reduction. All in all, I was pleased with this image.