From a distance, the salt flats at Badwater Basin in Death Valley look quite, well, flat. Indeed, if you visit Badwater and walk out onto the salt, the initial stretch where everyone walks is indeed flat. But off the beaten path, the flats are quite rough. The salt flats are made up of masses of polygonal structures of varying size. These are formed by expansion of the salt mud as the water evaporates and the salt crystals grow.
The park brochure warns the visitor not to hike on the salt flats in the summer. I’m guessing this is because the white salt reflects back more of the sun’s heat raising the temperatures even higher. The highest temperature recorded in the US was 134F (56.7Â°C) in Death Valley on July 10, 1913. The hottest temperature recorded on earth to date as 58Â°C (136F) in Libya on September 13, 1922.
I don’t know the hottest temperature I’ve worked in but I do recall one day working in Libya in the 1980s when the temperature mid-afternoon went over 50Â°C (122F). 50Â°C was as high as the thermometer at the airstrip nearby where we were working would go so we don’t know how high above 50Â°C it was. Have to say, it didn’t feel much different from 49Â°C!
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Lens: Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF Lens (B&H)
Processing: Lightroom 3.6
Processing: Photomatix 4.02
Processing: Photoshop CS5
Processing: Nik Software HDR Efex Pro Software (B&H)