Landscape Photography by Valerie Hayken
Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, California.
Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, CA is part of the northern Black Mountains, in the Amargosa Range. Five million years ago, Furnace Creek Lake dried up. Its sediment, plus erosion, formed Zabriskie Point. This photograph is looking out over Gower Gulch, a wash that traditionally drained about 2.5 miles of desert. In recent years, erosion has increased rapidly due to an artificial diversion that has increased the volume of water washing through. It's a lot of fun to explore Gower Gulch and its many side canyons, although it can be a surreal experience. The landscape is both eerily empty and geologically rich. The narrows are filled with basalt, gypsum, borax, sedimentary and volcanic rocks, faulting and tilted strata, lake sediments and more. I shot this photograph with a large format view camera. As a result, I can create large prints and the image remains incredibly sharp. This is one of my favorite images. I made myself a print in size 24x30.
Virgin River, Utah
I've photographed this spot a number of times. I love the low waterfall in front of the red cliff, with lots of green around. It's such a neat spot. This color photo of the Virgin River was shot in Zion National Park, Utah.
Moving Rocks at the Racetrack, Death Valley
Moving Rocks, Death Valley, CA This is a dry lake bed about 1,000 feet thick. With the perfect combination of wind and rain, the playa becomes slick and rocks are blown across it. Hence the name Moving Rocks. The rocks leaves scars behind in the playa which is the only proof of their movement since no one has ever seen the rocks move. It's important to understand that the rocks are not magical. They move due to a unique combination of landscape and weather. Unfortunately, visitors to this area often remove the rocks to take something magical home with them. There are fewer and fewer rocks remaining at Moving Rocks each time I visit.