Most people do not realize how beautiful Death Valley can be. The colors and textures can be phenomenal.
While there is not alot that grows there, at certain times of year or in certain locations in the park, awesome subjects can present themselves to be photographed.
This is a Cottontop Cactus and my wife Linda and I found it along the dirt road that leads to the Racetrack. That area seems to be one of the few locations in the park where they grow (we also saw some on the way to Ryiolite, in the Eastern part of the park). Along this road we found quite a few of these cacti and their forms and pink colors just begged to be shot. As you can see, the ground is littered with rocks, which actually adds to the whole scene and provides some additional color.
This is of course an HDR and the process tends to accentuate the colors and textures, but that is exactly the effect I was going for. To get this shot, I used my 17-40 mm lens and got real close and low. I love how the wide angle lets me do this and on a full frame camera (Canon 5D Mark 3), the wide angle is truly “wide”.