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
- 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
- Take any rocks or damage the park or put anything in the water. This is a very fragile ecosystem
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
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
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
Hope to come here again especially in Spring.