Tag Archives: death valley

We Built Our Own World

inception_poster_imax1-535 copy Inception. I am in danger of becoming stuck inside this movie. I have watched it three times and it is brilliant. They seemingly stuck a camera inside my own dreams, indeed that is how it feels like watching it. Inception toys with dreams merging with reality and does it extremely well in a very entertaining way. It also provided an idea and an insight into my landscape work.

Dream within a Dream

I continually look for landscapes bathed in otherworldly light where I can compose and capture a timeless composition that sits somewhere between dream and reality. Hyper reality. It is Earth but not quite as we know it. I am not interested in reality I am interested in creating grand dreamscapes allowing the viewer to Escape in Landscapes. My landscapes are not documentation, when I get it right they are moments of dreams.

Abstract simplistic locations like a desert at dusk lends itself well to dreams of surrealism; here I present Death Valley in the USA and the desert of Namibia. Both images shot with ND and GND filters using long exposures at the very tail end of the dusk light and picking up that lovely otherworldly glow:

Badwater Bliss -  blogMagic of the desert -blog Cities can certainly become hyper real in the right light. This is the best image I will ever capture of Copenhagen, a large thunderstorm two years ago prepares to level the city at sunset and creates a never to be repeated light.

Summer Storm - blog

Waiting for a train

What is your favourite ‘dream’ image? An otherworldly image that feels like you are dreaming it. Can be your own image or someone else, feel free to post a link in the comments.  Hurry though, the music may start playing soon.

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This Desert Life

The Southwest of USA had a tendency to take my breath away every day. No I was not crossing the continent in Forrest Gump style. I am not so much a running fool more a walk in the desert fool. Rather, I was short on breath from the incredible landscapes leaving me speechless and awestruck in the presence of ancient dramatic masterpieces by Mother Nature. One such masterpiece named Death Valley is a complete otherworldly experience where the expression "wide open space" falls short and new words are needed.

I have posted a few images from the Valley of Death previously and today I present a vast view of the valley. Well, it is only part of the valley actually as it is some incredible 150 kilometers long. It is a hazy view during a sand storm just before sunset. Tell me if this view makes me feel as I do, that you are visiting something else than Earth as we know it.

vast valley of death - blog 

Whilst I love this view and the memories of Death Valley that it triggers I must admit to not being quite sure what to do with it. Is it an image or more a memorabilia? Is it a fine art image I want in my collection? Is it something anyone would wish to purchase? What do you think? It is awfully wide, more than 5 to 1 in width height ratio making it rather unpractical. This is of course a stitched panorama, around 19-20 vertical images from my 100-400mm Canon L lens set at 300mm. The final file is 27,000 pixels wide, quite detailed although fine details suffer from the dust storm. It will support prints almost as big as the real thing. Actually; with a few cheesy titles this is the intro to some 70s sci-fi show!

Even if it is just a memory, I may print this one at many meters wide and stick it on the wall of whatever future home I settle in. It will be my window to my home planet. Vast Valley of Death for some, home for me and I can escape here. In the words of Guilliaume Nery, into "one pure instant of eternity" where the vastness and emptiness draws and humbles me. This Desert Life and we shall take it Further and Further.

Abstract Antelope Canyons

It has been another week of wonders. From driving a Jeep Wrangler with big off road tires to the otherworldly ethereal Playa Racetracks in Death Valley to following in the footsteps of John Muir, Ansel Adams, Galen Rowell in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is simply staggeringly beautiful. Even with all the tourists and hefty price tags on accommodation and Glacier Point being closed meaning I missed the pano shot I really, really wanted. Still, Yosemite is too beautiful for words. Not one of the famous iconic images prepared me for how tall and impressive the granite walls of El Capitan and Half Dome are. Yosemite is also becoming far too popular and busy but that’s for another post.

Today’s image is something a little different from my grandscapes. I spent quite a few days in Page, Arizona as I really liked that area. Page is right next to Lake Powell but also well known for the slot canyons. There are two easily accessible, Upper and Lower, and they’re quite different and both worth exploring. I got some great light beam shots in the better known Upper but today’s image is from Lower Antelope canyon, which is not as good for light beams but much better for some abstract images with gorgeous reflected sunlight on the walls of the very narrow Lower Antelope Canyon. The longer exposures you do the better as you pick up more reflected sunlight and enhance the beautiful colours on the canyon walls:

Slot canyon - blog. Flemming Bo Jensen

The road, no the car, is home!

It is a classic Jack Kerouac quote "the road is home/life" and I used to write it constantly along with "no fear", "into the wild" etc. Back when I clung to a clicheed bag of quotes. I am somewhat attempting to break away from that.

I have found that actually my car – is my home presently! I have now travelled over 8,700 kms (5800 miles) here in the Southwest of the US. I thought initially I might get bored with all that driving but it turns out that the one constant home in my present travelling life is my car (it’s a rental so we have to part ways soon though). I actually really enjoy the driving now, music on my ipod fed into the stereo and I take every backroad (I hate the interstates!) possible through the glorious landscapes. Sometimes I get slightly down when I actually get to my destination and park my Nissan spaceship, and can’t wait to fly again. "How you get there is the worthier part" (well, now I’m quoting Firefly but that’s always good!).

It is too cold for me to camp here but for my next US trip I am definitely getting a larger 4WD and buying camping gear so I can skip all the motel beds and camp out! Nothing better than sleeping under the stars but it requires the right conditions. I miss camping very much but it is seriously cold at night here in the desert so it will have to be next time, where I really will make the car my home. Here’s driving on the road, well technically me sitting in the middle of the road, leading to the salt flats of Death Valley:

death valley road - blog

A few minuses: What little ass I have has become the shape of a car seat. My neck, shoulders and back are killing me from all that driving and photography and crappy soft motel beds. My tinnitus kills me ears, something about driving that triggers it. And I feel out of shape, which is a feeling I really hate. I think it will be healthy to de-attach this car from my ass for a while soon!