Photographing Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge

Ash Meadows is located about a half hour from Death Valley and is the largest remaining oasis in the Mojave Desert.

The name comes from the abundance of ash trees in the past. The water in the springs is fed by an aquifer. It is millions of years old and is called fossil water because it comes from melted ice from the last ice age and takes thousands of years to move underground. Great place for a photographer due to the Caribbean blue water in the springs

I combined this trip with my Death Valley Photography trip.

For camera equipment I used the following

  • Camera: Nikon D7200
  • Lenses: Nikkor 12–24 mm & 105mm
  • Filters: Polarizing filter & ND8 Neutral Density filter
  • Tripod & cable release

For those seeking a photo safari here, some do’s and don’ts

Do’s

  • Start the trip with a visit to the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. They are extremely helpful and played an educational film on request
  • Drive atleast an entry level SUV to negotiate the dirt roads though you could get by with a Toyota Prius type car
  • Visit these photogenic locations: Crystal Springs boardwalk, Point of Rocks and Kings Springs

Don’t

  • Take any rocks or damage the park or put anything in the water. This is a very fragile ecosystem
NIKON D7200 1/60 105mm ISO100 with polarizing filter. Dec 26, 2017

Crystal Springs

This pool is midway through the boardwalk loop which starts at the visitor center. You can access the boardwalk even if the visitor center is closed. The loop walk is less than a mile round trip. The reward is a crystal blue pool

NIKON D7200 13mm ISO100 with polarizing filter. Dec 26, 2017

Photo Tip: Using HDR brings out a lot more detail as you can see in the images below. Use your auto bracketing feature in the camera and merge these images to create an HDR image using software like Adobe Lightroom

NIKON D7200 f/4 ISO100 with polarizing filter and HDR. Dec 26, 2017
NIKON D7200 f/4 15mm ISO100 with polarizing filter and HDR. Dec 26, 2017

Photo Tip: Stop down your lens to a small f number so you have shallow depth of field to capture the flowers in the foreground and blur the background like the image below

NIKON D7200 1/10 105mm ISO100 with polarizing filter. Dec 26, 2017
NIKON D7200 0.625s 105mm ISO100 with polarizing filter. Dec 26, 2017

Hope to come here again especially in Spring.

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Interested in landscape photography, payments, education & meditation

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Prakash Hariramani

Interested in landscape photography, payments, education & meditation