Cracking The Code

End of The Road

About the shot:

While traveling through Death Valley on the way to the Racetrack Playa with my best friend in the passenger seat, we were thoroughly enjoying the moment with no one around for miles, no where to be at a certain time, and no exact plan or schedule.  A sunset was brewing on the horizon, but we figured we’d watch it as we drove.  But then this perfect large patch of cracked earth appeared.  We both looked at it, looked at each other, and knew we had to turn around.  This sunset seemed to last forever, and it definitely will in our minds.

The cracked earth epitomizes the desert.  It takes rain to soften the ground, and then extreme heat to bake it, as if in God’s own clay art oven.  The weather extremes here are amazing.  As one of the hottest places on Earth (and the lowest depression in North America), we experienced 95 degree days and below freezing nights.

It also symbolizes the moment we were experiencing.  Part of the plan was to decompress our lives, experience nature, and put things into perspective.  We all get stressed out and need to escape into nature to reconnect from time to time.  At this moment we were feeling like we were really settling into the groove of the trip and letting go.  We had “cracked the code.”  Its really amazing… if you’re open to what nature is telling you, there are mirrors for your inner state and messages everywhere.

What lens did I use?

“End of The Road” – Thanks, Zeiss, for making an awesome 15mm! Mother nature deserves to be captured with good equipment.

I love this lens at f/22. Everything is perfectly clear and sharp at infinity focus with no distortion. This one has been bouncing around in my camera bag for a few years now, and its still tack sharp! If you know me, then you know that three years of travel includes a lot of off road adventures, falling on hard ground, and eventually having those moments where you look at your camera bag and think, “Uh oh. Something must be broken in there.”

But not this guy. Zeiss lenses are built like tanks. Although they have come out with newer wide angle lenses, I don’t see any reason to replace this one. So if you’re in the market for a great wide angle, check this one out (Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8). You can pick them up for about half of what I paid a few years ago.

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