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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Eighteen: Light and Landscape – combining personal vision with nature’s gifts > Manley Beacon, Death Valley National Park, California, 2007
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Manley Beacon, Death Valley National Park, California, 2007

Manley Beacon, Death Valley National Park, California, 2007

Most dawn landscapes stress the delicate early morning light as it falls on the primary subject. In this image, I go against that principle here – using the dawn light as context for a subject still very much in shadow. The distinctive arrowhead shape of Manley Beacon is still shrouded in darkness. As the most prominent feature of Death Valley’s famous Zabriskie Point overlook, it forms the base layer of my image. Its vast shadow is the secondary layer. The distant Amargosa Mountains, aflame in the dawn light, form the background layer of this landscape. The image is about the gradual arrival of the morning sun, tempting the imagination of the viewer to visualize what Manley Beacon will look like when it becomes ablaze with light.

Leica V-Lux 1
1/250s f/4.5 at 32.6mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
Phil Douglis23-Jan-2008 05:41
Good to hear from you, Yiannis. Thanks for appreciating the contrasting tonalities here. There is contrast in light, shape, texture, and color as well. And all of this builds contrast from layer to layer.
Yiannis Pavlis23-Jan-2008 03:18
The image has wonderful contrast and tones.
The combination of both is truly effective…
Phil Douglis21-Jun-2007 19:19
They are the colors of dawn, Mo. To make images such as this, you must be on the site before the sun leaves the horizon.
monique jansen21-Jun-2007 09:41
Amazing colors in this one, and you layered your landscape very beautifully as well
Phil Douglis20-Jun-2007 18:40
I love the way you always manage to find a social message in my photos, Ceci -- even my landscapes. It shows me that my image is working on your imagination and your conscience, and issues such as the conquest of the American west are important to you. Be sure to see the image I just posted at
It picks up where this leaves off.
Guest 20-Jun-2007 17:42
This to me symbolizes the body of a fallen warrior, with its striations that could be a feathered war bonnet, and the general shape of the rocks streaked with "tears" the dying of entire peoples at the hands of the whites who came in unstoppable numbers to this continent. The sun touching the barren hills is symbolic of the new dawning of "civilization" that came to the West, oblivious of the "bodies" lying in the foreground, bodies that became the sacrifices for hordes of foreigners who arrived to "find their fortunes and build their lives." The fact that millions of indigenous people lived and breathed in areas of the west seem to be of no consequence, even today. A most powerful image.
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