The skies above Death Valley National Park's Mesquite Flat Dunes are washed with colors at sunrise as a winter storm moves into the area. The colors can be spectacular, but alone they're not enough.
Look for something to use in the composition, like the pile of dead branches I picked out. There needs to be a graphic element that helps the reader with scale and texture.
In honor of this year's National Park Service centennial, the Travel section is posting 100 park travel ideas and tips based on trips staff travel writer Christopher Reynolds has taken, along with photo-op advice from Times photographer Mark Boster. We'll post one per day through Dec. 31.
Follow Reynolds on Twitter: @MrCSReynolds