My March “madness” consisted of trying, for me, a new aspect of photography. I traveled to Death Valley, during the full moon, to try my hand at “moonscape” photography, that is, photographing iconic locations in Death Valley by moonlight. March is high season in Death Valley and I had made reservation at Furnace Creek Ranch far in advance of my trip. It was good I did. The valley was filled with tourists, speaking a wide variety of different languages, and Furnace Creek was totally booked. Many of these visitors were also photographers that I ran into as I attempted my moonlight photography. Perhaps the most iconic landscape location in Death Valley is Manly Beacon at Zabriskie Point and that is where I concentrated my efforts and met fellow photographers from as far as Germany.
I was accompanied on this new adventure by Bruce Hollingsworth. We like to travel and photograph together and he was also game to try something new. I had researched the internet for information about how to go about this unique type of photography. What I discovered was that reading about how to obtain well executed moonscape photographs is so much simpler than actually implementing the process during the dark of night. Although my planning and preparation for obtaining moonscapes was good, my ability to create “keeper” images left a lot to be desired. Obviously, much more practice will be needed before I can brag about my moonscapes. I also attempted photographing the full moon. Looking at my results from that endeavor, full moon photography is also a skill I will need to work on. It is not that my attempt at this night time photography was a complete bust. The resulting images were just not up to my expectation and standard.
All was not lost, however. There was a killer sunset in the valley that I was able to photograph and get some decent images. Also, during a telephone call with Jane, I learned that the Anza Borrego Desert State Park was experiencing the best spring wildflower display in ten or more years. So a short jaunt to Borrego Springs was called for. The wildflower bloom was pretty impressive with flower displays in areas I had not seen any flowers before. Of course, with this kind of colorful flower exhibit, and the associated publicity, hundreds of other people had also ventured to Borrego Springs to experience the remarkable phenomena. I did manage to obtain some images without extraneous people in them.
My two short trips in March provided ample photographic challenges and demonstrated the need for more practice. That means more trips!