The Road Ahead, Death Valley

SEPTEMBER 2003 – Highway 190 in the Death Valley National Park in California. Photo © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

Crossing the Death Valley in California is three things.

Firstly, it is super exciting, because you don’t know what to expect. You may have images in mind but to experience it is entirely different. And as a photographer, you will find many opportunities for awesome images.

Secondly, it is somewhat scary, because of the name and all those warning signs along the highway. Quickly, you will also get very thirsty, thanks to the heat. And yes, please bring a sufficient amount of water, at least a gallon per person. We definitely needed this!

And thirdly, the drive can be really boring, because for long periods you’ll drive through dry scrub on a completely straight highway. Which is fun – not!

This is one of the shots I wanted to do. I realized that these super straight highways excite me. I can’t say why, though. I probably like the geometry involved and the sense of wide open space that is created.

I took this photo a bit west of the intersection Highway 190 – Scotty’s Castle Road, about 90 Miles from Lone Pine, our destination on that day. As usual for this type of image, I had to wait a while until no car came (from behind) and the cars in the distance were still too far away to be clearly visible. I adore this shot, and the memories associated with it.

The high resolution image

Capture Date22-SEP-2003
LocationHighway 190, California
CameraCanon AE-1 Program
Image SourceFuji Slide Film
Digital Image SourceMinolta Dimage Scan Elite II
Digital Image File FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, AdobeRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions2508 x 3845 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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