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Bringing Life to the Valley of Death

Jul 17, 2019

By Zane Foley

Millenia Frozen for an Instant

The Mesquite Sand dunes of Death Valley present to every photographer their own test. At the mouth of the dunes, there are millions of footprints, even after the wind sweeps them dry the night before. But each mile you venture onward, they grow less and less until the tranquil waves of the dunes lay untouched by human travelers. It is the triumph of your reward. To carry your tripod up and down and over the towering dunes, seemingly growing endless with each advancing step. The sky burns to cotton candy as the sand dunes reflect in pink hue their farewell to the last wink of sunset. You watch as the ravens fly to their homes across the Badwater Basin and into the pineapple fields of chaparral. You’ve arrived at the final dune with perspiration faucetting off the tip of your nose. You wipe your face before looking through the viewfinder and with an exhaling breath, you compose a moment in time you will never forget. You see, Death Valley has been a test of survival for generations, and while today that test has been transformed by the pilgrimage of the photographer, the reward remains the same – bringing life to the Valley of Death. 

Follow Zane on Instagram: @zaneyorkfoley

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