5 Quick Photo Observations From My Recent Death Valley Trip

Hey everyone. I’m on my flight heading back to the East coast from my recent Death Valley photography trip. As I was flying I was thinking of the trip and came up with 5 quick photography-related observations about my trip:

An Unexpected Lens Choice
I borrowed a Nikon 24mm f/1.4 lens to try out for this trip. I put it on while shooting my first sunrise last Friday and expected I would change out lenses pretty quickly because of it’s lack of zoom. You know what? I ended up keeping the lens on nearly all morning and only took it off when I wanted to put my longer 70-200 lens on. Then, for sunset, I again kept it on the whole time. I totally didn’t expect that and I’ll write more later this week on my blog (www.mattk.com) why I think it happened.

There Should Be An Alarm On My Camera
There SOOOO should be an alarm you can set on your DSLR that beeps when you turn your camera on if certain settings are changed (like ISO or bracketing). If you’ve ever shot at night or in low light with a high ISO of say, 3200, and then the next time you use your camera is in the morning for a sunrise shoot then you know what I mean. Just sayin’.

No Matter How Early You “Think” You’re Arriving To Your Sunrise/Sunset Shoot, It’ Not Early Enough
No matter how early you think you’re getting somewhere it’s not early enough and you always find yourself rushing. On our last morning there I went with +Amy Heiden to a location we'd already been to a couple days before. I’d swear we had plenty of time for sunrise (we arrived a half hour earlier then we had any other day). But after scouting for a location, setting up, etc… I still found myself rushing to catch the good light.

I Don’t Like The Sun
This one is weird. Looking through my favorite 10 photos from the weekend, I’d have to say that 7 of them are before sunrise or after sunset – mostly twilight or blue hour. I guess I just don’t like the sun 

Coming Back With A Different Shot Then You Thought You’d Get
I learned this lesson years ago and it continues to be true. You have to be open to seeing things differently than you thought. Several times this weekend, I came back with a favorite photo from a location that wasn’t what I thought it would be. Like I said, I’ve known this for years, but I’m still always amazed at how often it happens.

As always, there's more on my blog over at www.mattk.com.
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