Badwater Basin, Death Valley

In Film, Travel
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We recently returned from a short trip to Death Valley, California. I had never been and was truly surprised by its beauty. Each time, I thought, “This is the most beautiful place I have seen!” I was immediately proven wrong with a new, gorgeous view. And it wasn’t just the views. My body could feel the beauty of this place.

Hasselblad | Kodak Potra 400
Hasselblad | Kodak Potra 400

One of the landmarks we visited was Badwater Basin. Usually, Badwater does not have water in it. Usually, it is filled with fascinating geometric salt polygons that form on the flats as groundwater rises up through these deposits and evaporates. However, a big storm came through California, and water filled the basin. We were in awe. We couldn’t stop proclaiming, “It is so beautiful!” We were there for hours, taking pictures and watching the sunset. These images are from my Hasselblad shot on Kodak Potra 400.

Hasselblad | Kodak Potra 400
Hasselblad | Kodak Potra 400

It was a holy moment for me. I felt surrounded by hope and love. It reminded me of John O’Donhues’s Blessing for Equilibrium:

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.”

Hasselblad | Kodak Potra 400
Hasselblad | Kodak Potra 400

May moments of laughter rinse through your soul, and may your gravity be lightened by grace.

~Staci Lee Kennelly


  1. Oh so beautiful in every way, Staci. Thank you for introducing me to that lovely poem as well. Glad you were able to visit one of my favourite places on earth (I say that about a lot of places, but in the case of Death Valley, it’s in the top three…)

  2. I can’t believe I’ve never been! Thank you for taking me there through your beautiful images…

  3. Oh my goodness! We visited Death Valley the year before Tate was born (on a road trip down the west coast) but the light was not as magical as this. And thank you for sharing the poem too. It accompanies the images so very well.

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