taken this past sunday (11-10) under a (nearly) full moon sky, pictured here is a scene from death valley in the mojave desert, very very far away from any people and civilization...this is a remote wilderness area of the park and is only accessible via dirt roads and 4wd...an unforgiving and desolate area far below sea level where there is no internet, no cell phone coverage, no technology, no traffic, no other vehicles...
i loved being here, being disconnected from the world again for a spell, and yet so reconnected to nature, seeing a part of the wild world untouched by man, as it has been for millions of years here...not another soul for miles and miles, only myself and my good friend, adventurist, and fellow amazing photographer, chip morton along with my aussie sheppard, my pup, besos...the "lowest souls" in the western hemisphere all weekend (at times we were close to -300ft below sea level!)
this is an eerie landscape formed in the heat and pressure that is very unique to desert surfaces which are markedly below sea level (-285 feet below sea level here)...and pictured here are natural shapes made by a thin layer of salt crystals (similar to ice) that are blanketing over the top of a very silty, slick, and dense mud layer beneath that holds moisture, but still dies out and cracks from the desert's extreme heat in places, and these dry cracks make edges that rise more than the middle parts (much like the edges of brownies or pan cookies) and create seams in the salt layer above it, creating the formations and shapes you see here...
what makes this image so starling beautiful is a combination of light sources surrounding me as i stood there transfixed and mesmerized by all i was seeing, truly a gift for my eyes, and such a nightlight holding me in pure admiration of mother nature...sharing in this moment with me was my new doggie at my feet, and my closest friend a few feet away from me capturing this luminous display of light with his camera same as me...
the main nightlight for this image obviously came from the moon, but what you do not see, is the remnant light behind me from the already set sun, the blue hour as photographers call it, a beautiful afterglow of shorter wavelengths of red light that were mashing and mixing around me with the new light coming from the rising full moon, longer violet wave lengths of light coming over the mountains to the east before me, as i stood at -285ft below sea level...i was simply in awe of the lightshow i was seeing, a perfect nightlight...
i took only a few images (since my images are long exposures), but this particular one stood out and glowed better than any of the others for some reason i cannot explain, very noticeably different and head and shoulders above all of the other images viewed on the back of my camera on this evening...
side note...the strange salt crystals layer was like walking on thin ice, yet very spongy and cushiony, breaking through to the slick muddy layer underneath very often and then slipping with each step...very strange, and unnerving at times, like walking on slippery bed mattress for miles
"you are everything everywhere...my spirit rises up in your light, my heart blossoms in your colors, and my soul is born into your shade" ― bodhinku, everything everywhere
"see me as your moonlight
and you're the sky, i'm the satellite
orbiting through your night" ― bodhinku, satellite
“be the rising moon in my dark nights.
"a storm howls in my soul
a wild torrent of madness
feral, dark and raw
echoing my longing
through the ancient dunes
the desert bears witness
to the spell that forms upon my lips
a ritual woven of hope and aching desire
whispered to the swaying sage brush
witnessed by a blanket of starlight
there i stand in the darkness
digging my toes deep into the sands below
anchored in the solace of the earth
awaiting the rebirth that comes
with in the illumination of the moon
i am the altar
upon which the winds of change do blow
here i wait in silent worship
surrendering at the edge of the unknown
opening to all that lies beyond
at long last she rises
a jewel shining on the horizon
calling to the depths of my spirit
a feast of nightsong to sooth away the noise
her great strength granted to my outstretched fingertips
here my spirit is born
here in this nightlight
here my eyes finally see
here where all things
are eternally free" ― c. ara campbell (modified by bodhinku), the storm in my soul
“you have shown me a boundless love...a love that roams barefoot to feed its hunger through the desert...a love that strips off its clothes before running across the sand dunes...a love that would scale mountains just to howl to the heavens and see all the world shrink and tremble before it...a love that dreams through the day and comes alive through the night...a love keeping us alive...a love that knows no limits and never backs down from a fight...a love that burns and bleeds and laughs and cries, and shines like a nightlight with all the majesty of the moon and stars" ― beau taplin
“it can’t be helped. it’s you. and there’s nothing else. you are my eye’s only focus and my heart’s single truth. we could be standing on the surface of the moon beneath a blanket of stars, and still, i would see only you”
"the moment i knew you were it? it was when i showed you the darkest parts of me, and, instead of running away, you rolled out a blanket, laid on your back, and pointed out the stars” ― beau taplin
"no one else, love, will sleep in my dreams. you will go,
we will go together, over the waters of time.
no one else will travel through the shadows with me,
only you, ever believe, evergreen, ever sun, ever moon" ― pablo neruda
“that's how i always want to remember my time with you. like a pure white light, breathtaking to behold" ― nicholas sparks, dear john
“it's a full moon here tonight, which makes me think of you. because, i know that no matter what i am doing, or where i am, this moon will always be the same size as yours, half a world away"― nicholas sparks, dear john
“light is shallow; darkness is infinitely deep. light is always bounded, it has boundaries. darkness has no boundaries, it is unbounded. light comes and goes; darkness always is. when there is light, you cannot see it. when light is not there, you can see it. but it is always there; you cannot cause it. light has a cause. you burn the fire, you put on wood. when the wood is finished, the light will be gone. it is caused, hence it is an effect. but darkness is not caused by anything, it is not an effect. it is uncaused eternity" ― osho, the empty boat: encounters with nothingness
"darkness is beautiful. it has tremendous depth, silence, infinity. light comes and goes; darkness always remains, it is more eternal than light. for light you need some fuel; for darkness no fuel is needed...it is simply there" ― osho, freedom: the courage to be yourself
“darkness is an absence of light. ego is an absence of awareness" ― osho, the search
“and the greatest adventure is not going to the moon...the greatest adventure is going to your own innermost core" ― osho, the secret of secrets
“fear is natural because one is moving in darkness. the inner journey is very dark. light comes, but that is only at the end. first one has to pass through the tunnel, hence trust is needed" ― osho, beloved of my heart
"science is a day approach. in the full noon, everything is clear: distinct boundaries, and you can see the other well. logic is a night approach: groping in the dark only with the mind, without any experimental support, just thinking. poetry and religion are twilight approaches, just in the middle. the day is no longer there, the brightness of the noon has gone; things are not so distinct, clear. the night has not yet come; the darkness has not enveloped all. darkness and day meet, there is a soft grayness, neither white nor black, boundaries meeting and merging, everything indiscriminate, everything is everything else. this is the metaphorical approach. that’s why poetry talks in metaphors...and religion is the ultimate poetry; religion talks in metaphors. remember, those metaphors are not to be taken literally; otherwise you will miss the point. when i say the inner light, don’t think in terms of literal understanding, no. when i say, “the inner is like light,” it is a metaphor. something is indicated, but not demarked, not defined, something of the nature of light, not exactly light; it is a metaphor.” ― osho, tantra: the supreme understanding
“there are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights”― bram stoker, dracula
“we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light” ― plato, phaedrus
"one truth, many paths.
one heart, many complexions.
one light, many reflections.
one world, many imperfections.
we are all one,
but many.” ― suzy kassem, rise up and salute the sun
“before you, my life was like a moonless night. very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...and then you shot across my sky like a meteor. suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. when you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. i couldn’t see the stars anymore. and there was no more reason, for anything”― stephenie meyer, new moon
“light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. no matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it" ― terry pratchett, reaper man
“moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars" ― j.r.r. tolkien, the lord of the rings
“i will love the light for it shows me the way; yet i will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. i will welcome happiness as it enlarges my heart; yet i will endure sadness for it opens my soul” ― og mandino, the greatest salesman in the world
“people need to face their own souls. one does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”― carl jung, psychology and alchemy
“i want to be
in love with you
the same way
i am in
love with the moon
with the light
out of its soul" ― sanober khan, a thousand flamingos
“happiness is always there. you just have to choose to see it. there's no point dwelling in the dark and ignoring the light of the stars" ― carrie hope fletcher, on the other side
“in a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. if we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others" ― brennan manning, abba's child
“he carries stars in his pockets
because he knows
she fears the dark.
whenever sadness pays her a visit
he paints galaxies
on the back of her hands.”― alaska gold, growing Light
“i had forgotten how much light there is in the world, until you gave it back to me" ― ursula k. le guin, a wizard of earthsea
“the brighter the light, the deeper the shadow” ― jay kristoff, nevernight
“oh, what is brighter than the light?
what is darker than the night?
what is keener than an axe?
what is softer than melting wax?
truth is brighter than the light,
falsehood darker than the night,
revenge is keener than an axe,
and love is softer than melting wax." ― cassandra clare, a clockwork princess
"there's a lover's moon tonight
as i look back over my shoulder
all the stars are shining bright
just like the nights when i used to hold her
she's out there somewhere under the lover's moon
lover's moon won't you shine on me
i'm dancing with a memory
wish i may, i wish i might
have one last chance to hold her tight
there's a lover's moon tonight
shining down on half of this world
so many souls are in its light
but for me there is just one girl
and she's waiting,
i know she's waiting
i know she waits for me
under the lover's moon ”― glenn frey, lover's moon
"george: what is it you want, mary? what do you want? you want the moon? just say the word and i'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. hey, that's a pretty good idea...i'll give you the moon, mary.
mary: i'll take it. then what?
george: well, then you could swallow it, and it'd all dissolve, see? and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes, and the ends of your hair..."― george bailey, it's a wonderful life
"don't hide the candle of your clarity. stand up and burn through the night...without your light, a great lion is held captive by a rabbit!"― jalaluddin rumi, poems of ecstasy and longing
MORE MEANINGFUL JALALUDDIN RUMI QUOTES
“last night i asked the moon about the moon, my one question for the visible world, where is god? the moon says, i am dust stirred up when he passed by. the sun: my face is pale yellow from just now seeing him. water: i slide on my head and face, like a snake, from a spell he cast. fire: his lightning--i want to be that restless. wind: why so light? i would burn too if i had a choice. earth, quiet, impregnated: inside me i have a garden and a bubbling spring” ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi
“patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing. it is looking at the night and seeing the day. lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full” ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi
“to see the moon that cannot be seen, turn your eyes inward & look at yourself,in silence...there is a moon inside every human being, learn to be companions with it” ― jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
ABOUT THE IMPRESSION
"laying together on a blanket under the night sky, i see my perfect nightlight just as the moon shines on her body, her soft skin glowing into my soul in effervescence" ― bodhinku, perfect nightlight
this is single frame image composition with the night's darkness being lit by a full moon. so, a long exposure was needed to allow the proper amount of light into my camera at the settings i needed to create this impression you see here and permit the foreground before me to be illuminated ...and since it is a long exposure, a stable and sturdy tripod was an absolute necessity in order to keep the image sharp with the glowing salt crystals (i use selective focus on most of my images, similar to the way our eyes see things)...for this i used a dolica 70" carbon fiber tripod, because it is sturdy, tall, and perfectly compact....for me, this shot would never have been possible without my friends daniel and april at dolica tripods.
in my photography i always use filters to create longer exposure effects and to balance the light in my composition in camera...i often use as many as four filters at time, and i always use at least one filter...in the case with this composition, i used one filter to get the effects and balance i was looking for...so, i used the 1.2gnd progrey genesis filter along with the progrey g-150z filter holder and adapter for my nikon nikkor 14-24mm lens...this dark graduated neutral density filter was selected to bring down the much brighter moonlit sky 4 stops and allow me to use the correct long exposure time on the foreground for bringing out the glowing salt crystals, and not have the sky clipped from brightness, permitting a few stars to shine through as well...this balances in-camera overall the image the way i envisioned...
i wish to openly thank my sponsors who have always supported me through both the good and bad times...for truly this long exposure impression would not be possible without the use of my trusty dolica tripod in combination with the progreyusa filters which i use with every photo i take...
"the transition of twilight is so unique, that time we call blue hour...it's where i find my peace under the light of a billion stars, glowing and flickering like fireflies rising up in the night sky as the sun sets..." ― bodhinku, my peace