Devil’s Golf Course

Devil's Golf Course

Devil’s Golf Course, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Speaking of golf courses in the desert, this is the Devil’s Golf Course in Death Valley. Slightly to the north of Badwater—the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level—the Devil’s Golf Course is a formation of seemingly endless crystalized salt spires arranged, well, like a diabolical golf course. I say that you probably shouldn’t build golf courses in a National Park in the desert, but if you do, please make them like this one out of sympathy for El Diablo.

To make this image, I pulled up in the van along side the Devil’s Golf Course after dark. With the north-facing door of the van open, I plugged my camera into my big battery, and shot 77 exposures at four minutes each using my 10.5mm digital fisheye. The lens was wide open (f/2.8), and I shot at ISO 400. Using my intervalometer, I programmed four minute intervals between the exposures—so the total elaspsed time for this image was about ten hours.

During this time, I mostly slept in the van. From time to time the noise of the mirror clunking up or down every four minutes woke me, but there wasn’t much else to do but sleep. Turning on a light would have ruined the image.

I think the lighting in the foreground comes from the small sliver of the moon that was up by the time I finished. You can also see the road over to the west side of Death Valley in the distance if you look carefully.

Processing a stacked composite of 77 images is definitely go-eat-dinner-while-the-computer-chugs time. To create the image, I read all 77 files in RAW format into the Statistics action available in the extended versions of Photoshop, and combined them using the Maximum mode.

This entry was posted in Digital Night, Photography.

One Comment

  1. davidsuntodd November 10, 2010 at 7:57 am #

    The star trail colors are stunning.

5 Trackbacks

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