The geologic history of Death Valley National Park dates back 1.8 billion years. Then, its ancient rocks were forming and over the years folding, faulting and recrystalizing in every imaginable way. The land was inundated by volcanic lava and ash beds and deeply sliced by erosion. The landforms include salt flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons and mountains. Death Valley is the hottest and driest of the national parks. It is the land of extremes - from 282 feet below sea level at Badwater to 11,049 feet of elevation at Telescope peak. It is the hottest place on earth - 1n 1913 there were five consecutive days where the temperature was at least 129 degrees reaching a peak of 134 degrees.
Yet, it is one of my favorite places to visit and certainly one of my favorite places to photograph. I was so inspired by the geology of Death Valley that upon returning from a trip a few years ago, I enrolled in a geology lecture class and workshop at College of Marin.
After a more recent trip, a photography workshop by Michael Gordon, I wrote the following review for his website: "Michael is extremely knowledgeable about Death Valley as he took us to places unlikely seen on a self-guided tour. Michael is a great guide, very friendly and very helpful to photographers of all skill levels. He does allow plenty of time for those of us wanting to spend more time in each location. This was my second workshop with Michael and I strongly recommend his workshops." http://www.michael-gordon.com.