It has been some interesting weather on this visit. High winds and hot to high winds and cold. There is no better time to visit the dunes than after a windstorm. So, that is what we did on Wednsday morning. The area in Death Valley with the dunes is huge and everyone spread out and came back with their own amazing images. The sun and clouds cooperated with us.
After our long trek to the Race Track and some great photography we celebrated a ritual at a junction of unpaved roads – Tea Kettle Junction. As you can see by the photos below this is where you leave a ceremonial tea kettle behind. More fun than that though is looking at the other tea Kettles that are there. All the attendees signed our PODAS tea kettle and we are now part of this tradition. We topped it off with a group shot. We still have plenty more places to photograph and lots of classroom time. Sleep is optional. It’s all about taking great photos. Stay tuned for more to come.
PODAS is not an event you go to if you want to relax. Monday has been a very full day. After the sunrise at Zabriskie we finished our breakfast and boarded the specially built Pink Jeep for a run to the Race Track. The Race Track is an amazing dry lake bed that not too many people visit. To get there after traveling 35 miles on paved road you have to drive 30 mile on what is probably one of the roughest roads you’ll experience. Most of the time never traveling more than 15 MPH. But the trip is worth it, as this is the place where rocks seem to move all by themselves and leave tracks in the dry mud. No one has ever seen them move but they do. Just look at some of these images. We had a blast and everyone managed to get a ton of images with their Phase One cameras. After a few hours there and a lunch we headed towards Tea Kettle junction. Look for the next entry to see what we did there.
We were up and on the road by 5:15AM to make our first sunrise at Zabriskie Point, Death Valley. The last few days we were met with stiff winds and heat but today changed all of that. We watched the early morning glow transform the valley into a beautiful palette of colors. Everyone is using their P65+ cameras and a variety of lenses to capture the moment they way they saw it. We returned for a hearty breakfast and just enough time to re-pack our gear for a day long trip to the Race Track and a few other destinations. Check back later for an update on the rest of Monday.
At a PODAS workshop there is not much rest. The workshop has a jammed packed schedule of photography excursions and classroom sessions. Within 45 minutes of arriving at the Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley the attendees were in the meeting room and the workshop was beginning. We started out with a welcome presentation, a slide show showing the park and distribution of the Phase One loaner camera systems. We then took off to our first location Zabriskie Point. This was for many people the first chance to use a medium format camera. As you can see in the photos below it didn’t take long for everyone to be shooting like they have owned the cameras for a long time. It was extremely windy and made shooting a challenge. So far so good. We came back to the resort enjoyed a great dinner and then a quick classroom meeting. We leave at 5AM for sunrise shots and then after breakfast we will be on an all day excursion to the Race Track at Death Valley. It is not where you race cars. We’ll see what we come back with. Visit again and take a look.
Preparing for a PODAS workshop is a team effort. The Phase One PODAS crew arrived in Death Valley on Saturday with 56 boxes waiting to be unpacked. At a PODAS workshop attendees get the use of a P65+ Camera system to use during the workshop. We also have a full compliment of lenses that attendees can try out. Add to that, camera bags, welcome kits, projectors and other workshop support material and you have a lot of supplies. On Sunday the PODAS attendees will be picked up at the airport and transported to Death Valley where we will immediately launch into a very busy agenda. Keep you eyes here to see the latest in what is happening on the PODAS Death Valley workshop.