After spending the first hour on the playa (ancient lake bed) in the shade of the nearby ridges, the sun finally peeks over and the effect is, for a lack of a better word, magical. The dry and chalky jigsaw puzzle ground begins taking on a gold and shimmery tone as if there is water reflecting the sun.
With the low angled sunlight, everything on the playa takes on a different look. The rock trails are accentuated with the contrast created. The dark rocks take on light and develop shadows.
Location Notes: The famous sailing rocks are located on the south end of the playa, about a 1/2 mile walk from the “parking area”. Likely the hills at this particular location provide the loose rocks that eventually begin the meandering journey over the lake bed. The remaining 80% of the playa are essentially free of rocks. I suppose this particular photograph could have been taken closer to the middle of the playa where it is free of tiny loose rocks.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 19mm, f/14, 1/100 sec
Death Valley (CA), Reflecting Playa, Sun Rays. Racetrack Playa, Death Valley, CA. November 26, 2016. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.