Ubehebe Crater

Ubehebe  – it is not an exercise in bad grammar but the largest of a cluster of volcanic craters off the northern tip of the Panamint Range in Death Valley National Park.  It is a maar type crater, created when rising magma came in contact with ground water about 2,100 years ago, creating steam and huge pressures from below.  The resulting blast created a hole about 800 feet deep and .5 mile wide.

Our Visionary Death Valley Workshops group arrived at the Ubehebe parking area shortly before sunrise and began a self-paced, counter-clockwise photo walk around the crater rim.  According to Michael and Guy, most photo groups take about three hours to complete the approximately one mile walk, but, our group really “got into” the place and took nearly five hours, some sort of record.

Today’s image was captured at the northern side of the crater rim toward the end of my rim walk. After over four hours of photography, I had begun to feel creatively exhausted and had actually put my camera away on my walk back to the parking lot when this scene presented itself before me.  Because of recent rains, there was water in the bottom of the crater that contrasted with its textured surroundings, and with the arrival of late morning clouds from the southwest, there was a range of light and sculpted a sense of depth and shape to the crater I had not seen earlier. My ennui immediately disappeared as my camera was pulled back out of the pack, placed on the tripod and the composition framed. Click!  An absurdly simple setup resulting in what is for me an extremely satisfying image.

Thanks for stopping by.