Low angle winter light is one of the most attractive conditions to photograph Death Valley National Park under, as I describe in my blog post ‘The Advantages of Winter Light.’ Sand dunes are particularly compelling, and the best time to photograph them is NOT sunrise, sunset or even golden hour! In recent years, visiting during this time we have enjoyed stunning weather, no crowds for untracked landscapes and low season lodging rates. It is amazing to be in a major National Park in a peak photography season while being able to dial the clock back 20 years on the crowds!
For 2022 we will have a few hours of dark skies on the peak night of the Geminid meteor shower before the 61% full moon will wash out all but the brightest ones. We may open a January 2023 session as well if demand is sufficient (let us know if that works better for you). As a bonus, if there is late fall/early winter rain, the December through early January time frame offers the best conditions for standing water to remain on Badwater Salt Flats: cooler temperatures, low wind and a saturated water table below. In 2019 the water lasted close to 5 weeks!