Landscapes,  National Parks,  Travel

Death Valley’s Alien Landscapes

Death Valley National Park is widely known for its alien looking landscapes.  In fact, these unearthly landscapes have appeared in numerous Sci-Fi movies and TV shows including Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, and The Twilight Zone.

Where is Death Valley?  

Death Valley National Park is located in the Mojave Desert in southeast California.  It is about a 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas and a 4.5 hour drive from Las Angeles.  The valley is situated between the Panamint and Amargosa Mountain Ranges.

Death Valley Zabriskie Point Alien Crevices

What is Death Valley?

Death Valley is the lowest location in North America with Badwater Basin at 282 feet below sea level.  Death Valley has also recorded the hottest temperature on earth at 134 degrees fahrenheit on July 10, 1913.  Death Valley is also known for its unusual landscapes and odd geologic formations which are perfect for landscape photographers.
 
Some of my favorite other worldly locations to photograph in Death Valley are Zabriskie Point, Golden Canyon, Badwater Basin, Racetrack Playa, and the Devil's Golf Course.  In this blog, I’ve included several of my alien like landscape photographs of Death Valley with information on how I processed the photographs. 
 
Death Valley Golden Canyon Mars Landscape
 
This landscape was taken near Golden Canyon.  It was processed in Google's (Nik Software's) Silver Efex Pro 2 with a sepia tone.  The reddish color was added to the sky using Photoshop CS6.  I used a photo filter adjustment layer and a layer mask to apply the filter only to the sky.  This helps to give this photo the appearance of a martian landscape.

Death Valley Golden Canyon Skeleton Fingers
This photo was also taken near Golden Canyon.  It was converted to Black and White using Silver Efex Pro 2.  I also darkened the sky using Google's Viveza 2 plugin to keep the focus on the skeleton like fingers at the top of the mountain.
 
Death Valley Zabriskie Point Black and White Landscape
 
This landscape was taken at Zabriskie Point close to sunrise on a cloudy morning.  It was converted to black and white using Silver Efex Pro 2.  Zabriskie Point has layers of color on the mountains which provide different tones when converted to black and white.
 

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