Saltworks, Death Valley National Park, CA

Saltworks

This was probably one of the best sunset I have ever photographed on the salt flats of Death Valley National Park. The sky was lit up in all directions, and there were a couple of inches of water on the flats – which are typically dry and desolate. All that standing water created amazing reflections of the color and light in the sky. I was thrilled to be able to capture such incredible detail, too.

The salt formations stand out dramatically in the foreground because the camera was down low – half a meter or less above the ground. I controlled the exposure between the sky and foreground using a soft, 0.6 graduated neutral density filter. Even with a GND filter, some areas of the sky were overexposed and needed manual blending. I used layers and masks in Photoshop along with our manual iHDR workflow to bring out the details in the highlights.

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