The Devil’s Golf Course of Death Valley

Spending time in Death Valley National Park was an overwhelmingly creative experience. I think it is for many artists because it is one of the most beautiful and strangely diverse landscapes in America. This is the fourth of several posts about life in Death Valley.

Some of the “regulars” who photograph Death Valley National Park do not recommend the Devil’s Golf Course highly, so I almost left it off my list. I’m very glad I didn’t. What looks like a field of irregular boulders is actually a mud flat tortured by the climate and weather. This salt-encrusted landscape was the most alien and unworldly place I went to in Death Valley.

The Devil's Golf Course in Death Valley

The Devil’s Golf Course #1 by Richard Lewis 2013

The Devil's Golf Course in Death Valley

The Devil’s Golf Course #2 by Richard Lewis 2013

How I Did It – Photographing the early twilight and dawn means you need to stumble around in the dark with heavy camera gear. In an area like this it would be easy to break your leg in one of the deep ruts, so it is very important to have a good head lamp to find your way.

Devil's Golf Course in Death Valley

Devil’s Golf Course in Black and White by Richard Lewis 2013

How I Did It – I’ve was working on this third image of the Devil’s Golf Course when I stumbled on some of Edward Weston’s amazing black and white photographs of Death Valley. I have been very caught up in the amazing range of color in Death Valley, but Weston’s Photographs reminded me that the area also has stunning textures and tonal range too. It is good to find inspiration that helps you look at things a little differently and expand your vision.

The white “frosting” on the rocks looks like ice or snow but it is salt. This area in Death Valley is slightly higher in elevation than the rest of the basin so it is not smoothed out by water accumulation. This is a tough area to walk around in, and one can imagine trying to navigate it with a horse or by walking before the roads were there. By the way, it really isn’t a golf course, but you can imagine how it got its name.

More Death Valley to come!

Want to be more creative with your camera? I can help so feel free to contact me. 

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