Something I decided I wanted to do was attend an on-location photography workshop. It took me a while to hone in on where I wanted to go and who I wanted to go with. Early last fall I finally decided I definitely wanted to check out Death Valley National Park. Mike and Chris Perea have a YouTube channel and I’ve learned a ton from them. Plus, I like both of their photography styles. They were offering a workshop in Death Valley at the end of January so I jumped at the opportunity. Well, in early December California locked down again and did not open up again until it was too late. So, I connected with another couple that was also planning to attend the workshop and I kept my rental car and plane tickets. My expectation was to be able to wander Death Valley with some direction and instruction. Instead I made my own decisions on where to go and when which made for some confusing moments. But, I’m learning so much about how to be uncomfortable, to set aside expectations and embrace the unexpected moments. It wasn’t the trip I had been planning and I’m still figuring out what I learned.
This is an image that was totally unexpected! The day I drove into Death Valley, the CA side was getting snow and I had to navigate a few storms. I stopped a few times to make some images of some moments that caught my eye. As I drove into the valley, I stopped again to make another photo and just as I turned to put my camera away, the clouds parted over one of the peaks and I the light streamed through for maybe 30 seconds. It’s such a wonder to see snow in one of the hottest places on earth and to see it happening in real time. I’m extremely grateful for these moments I get to witness because I make time for exploration. I also recently watched a webinar from David Kingham about editing in black and white. I gave the process a try and this is my first B&W image! YAY for surprises and more learning in 2021!