Playing On The Racetrack Under The Stars

By |2013-01-17T10:16:07+00:00Jan 17th, 2013|

Kids will be kids when they’ve got that spirit in their hearts. Two people who truly embody that are Amy Heiden and Brian Bonham. You might think that including them as they frolicked around on the Racetrack playa in Death Valley with their flashlights was intentional. Those who know me well enough know that I would have just as rather pushed them into a crater than have their lights compromise my shot. :) ( truth behind every joke )

But, when I saw this image on my display, I became really fond of it. It added a sense of place and gives you a better idea of what our night on the Racetrack was like. There was tons of laughing, huddling around sailing rocks, and gazing at a sky full of stars. It’s in the unintentional byproduct that often makes an image truly special.

In terms of processing
Very little done here outside of applying a preset from Dave Morrow’s Under The Stars Lightroom 4 preset pack and some finer touches in the LR Develop module.

[map w=”745″ h=”185″ lat=”36.66338″ lon=”-117.55974″ marker=”yes” z=”17″ maptype=”SATELLITE”]


  1. Brian Bonham January 17, 2013 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Hahaha, yeah the lights ruin add so much to this shot. ;)  The stars on that night were spectacular!  I have not seen a night sky like that since standing on Mauna Kea.

  2. Davide Baù January 17, 2013 at 10:25 am - Reply

    This shot is fantastic!

  3. Ricardo Lagos January 17, 2013 at 10:47 am - Reply

    there was this crater we drove by +Brian Matiash .. you missed your chance.

  4. Amy Heiden January 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Haha good thing I can run faster than you. wink

  5. Manuela Azevedo January 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm - Reply


  6. Dave Morrow January 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    awesome shot dude, really glad your loving those presets:) Was it your first time out there +Brian Matiash? I've never been but it's high on the list.

  7. Brian Matiash January 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    +Dave Morrow Thanks man. Yeah, this was my first time to Racetrack and to Death Valley. It was a freaking gorgeous place. I'll likely return back after Photoshop World Vegas in September. Can't get enough of that area.

  8. Silvina Zitto January 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    despite those lights :D…  the shot is great!

  9. Brian Matiash January 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    +Silvina Zitto Yeah, I should have buried them in the desert with their flashlights. :D

  10. Brian Bonham January 17, 2013 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Hindsight is always 20/20 Bri… shoulda, coulda, woulda!

  11. Kurt Laidlaw January 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    I thought that was some kind of new signature for your work.

  12. Laura rengifo diaz January 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    divino .. me encanta

  13. Ling Kimoanh January 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm - Reply


  14. Newton Belo January 18, 2013 at 2:25 am - Reply


  15. Amanda Pitts January 18, 2013 at 8:04 am - Reply

    That is so zen

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