National park photo ops: Cross your fingers and hope for a stormy sunrise at Death Valley

Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley National Park.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

A rainbow forms during a rare stormy sunrise at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

Sunrises in Death Valley National Park are great. Though it means waking up in the dark and going on faith, the reward is usually a colorful surprise.

The winter months are best for this type of color because storm fronts usually bring clouds and clouds bring rain.

I used a tripod and a cable release with a slow shutter speed and stopped-down a little for some depth of field. The picture was a pleasant surprise and a gift for being patient on my last morning in the park.


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

See travel videos by Reynolds from around the world.