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 My trip to Tataooine, er, Death Valley
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By: aceface (offline) on Wednesday, March 12 2008 @ 12:19 PM PDT (Read 19373 times)  
aceface

A few weeks ago, I went to Death Valley. Took some photos. Wanna see 'em? Look here or in an unsorted gallery here.

I recommend the slideshow option on the first gallery. Enjoy!


"we're mild and green ... and squeaky clean."
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By: Admin (offline) on Wednesday, March 12 2008 @ 07:04 PM PDT  
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Hi Mitch,

Looks like you had a great trip. I was able to sort the pictures in your album that you uploaded so everything should be in the correct order now. You can try the slideshow on this site also.


Thanks for sharing.
Bill


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By: ColinK (offline) on Saturday, March 15 2008 @ 08:09 AM PDT  
ColinK

Hi Mitch,

That's a great slideshow. Death Valley, Yuma, and Redwoods are on my radar for 2009. Then all the Tatooine sites will have been visited. This just puts me in the mood. Was it difficult to do in a day or would you recommend two days. How about lighting and temeratures, was morning , midday or afternoon the best ?

cheers
Colin.


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By: aceface (offline) on Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 11:43 AM PDT  
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Quote by: ColinK

That's a great slideshow. Death Valley, Yuma, and Redwoods are on my radar for 2009. Then all the Tatooine sites will have been visited.


Fantastic! Maybe you will locate the handful of of shots that I ran out of time to find.




Quote by: ColinK

Was it difficult to do in a day or would you recommend two days. How about lighting and temeratures, was morning , midday or afternoon the best ?


I took three days. I did Dante's view the afternoon that I arrived at the park, I did all of the canyon shots the following day, and I hiked out on the dunes the morning of the third day. It's certainly possible that you could do them all in a day, but that doesn't really leave much time to savor the experience. You'd basically be running a kind of Star Wars location marathon.

Temperatures were never an issue. It was mid-Feb when I was there and the temperatures were in the 60's (F). I think the original shots were filmed in Feb of '77, though the next time I go, I plan to aim for March as the days are slightly longer (daylight savings time works in your favor) and the temperatures are slightly warmer (70's).

As for time of day, from the film it appears that Dante's View (Mos Eisley overlook) was an early morning shot. The dune shot of R2 rolling away looks more like a midday shot to me. And the rest appear to be late afternoon shots - some may even have been taken after the sun went down (as some of mine were).

In general, early morning and late afternoon gets you the nicest shadows. Midday sun tends to be somewhat harsh and can easily wash out some of the more subtle landscape features. However, shooting in the canyons in the early morning/late afternoon isn't the easiest thing to do as usually the canyon walls will render well while the sky is blown out. Or the sky will be nice and blue but the canyon shadows will be very dark or black. That's just the nature of the locale I suppose. You can overcome it, but it takes a little more than a point and shoot mentality. Basically, you want to meter the mid-tones of your shots. If you are shooting digital, you have a huge advantage in that you can check your shots as you shoot them.

To sum up, you can certainly take in the sights in a day. Two days is better though. And if you have more than two, why, then you take in other things as well: picasaweb.google.com/ac3fac3/20080222DeathValley

Enjoy!


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By: Admin (offline) on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 09:59 PM PDT  
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I did my trip in 2 days which allowed plenty of time to see everything. On the way into the park I stopped at the dunes by Stovepipe Wells, but that was the only Star Wars location I hit on the first day. I camped out at Furnace Creek that night and went out to Dantes View early in the morning. On the way back I stopped at Twenty Mule Team Canyon and all of the rest of the locations are close together.

Kahunna talks a little about the times of day he visited some of the locations in his Tatooine or Bust trips.

Steve over in the Death Valley forums posted some info about his experiences searching for these locations. He also just got back from a recent trip there and would probably be a good person to ask if you have more questions.

Bill


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By: Anonymous: Mitch () on Tuesday, April 08 2008 @ 01:41 PM PDT  
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Quote by: Admin

Steve over in the Death Valley forums posted some info about his experiences searching for these locations.


There's some good discussion there! I have my doubts about any landspeeder filming on the westside road though. Everything I've read has never mentioned it. I seem to recall in both The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film and Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside the Star Wars Model Shop (the two best sources on the Death Valley area pick-ups, IMO) mention these shots being made near Owen's Lake (well outside the park).

I don't think there was anything done in Gower Gulch either, but I could be mistaken. If you go shot by shot from the time R2 enters the canyon, until the shot where the Jawas carry him out, you'll notice that I am missing a couple. It's possible that they were shot in Gower Gulch. I ran out of daylight on the day that I was in that area and so was unable to check it out.





       
   
By: aceface (offline) on Monday, February 23 2009 @ 08:33 PM PST  
aceface

I just returned from my second trip to Death Valley.

I spent some time looking for this image, but was unable to locate anything that remotely resembled it. I suspect that it may have been shot in Tunisia. Watching that sequence again, I noticed that the shot that preceeds it (as well as those that follow it) are/were all made in Tunisia.

However, I was successful in finding this shot...
[img]http://www.starwarslocations.com/mediagallery/mediaobjects/disp/f/f_anh_006.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.starwarslocations.com/mediagallery/mediaobjects/disp/a/a_anh_007.jpg[/img]

I shot my take on it a few hours earlier in the day...
[img]http://www.starwarslocations.com/mediagallery/mediaobjects/disp/c/c__mg_0652.jpg[/img]

I had hoped to nail down this shot from JEDI as well...
[img]http://www.starwarslocations.com/mediagallery/mediaobjects/disp/9/9_rotj_009.jpg[/img]

...but was unsuccessful. I realize that it is/was a matte painting, but figured that it was likely based on a real scene (as this one was). I further thought that since it looks back on this shot along 20 Muleteam Road, that I might find it by driving up the road a bit to the approximate location of the inserted painting of Jabba's palace. However, this was the result...

[img]http://www.starwarslocations.com/mediagallery/mediaobjects/disp/1/1_20090222-_mg_1247-1.jpg[/img]

They don't quite match up. That was on my way out of the park and back to Vegas to catch my plane yesterday. I poked around for a further 15 minutes or so, but was unable to find a better vantage point. Next time I go, I'll try and spend a little more time in that area.


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By: ColinK (offline) on Sunday, March 01 2009 @ 05:35 AM PST  
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Hi Mitch

Another great find. How do you think they get those rich colours in the movie? Do they film at certain times of day, use special filters or just film on a cloudy day? The lighting certainly seems flat in those movie stills.

In those two pics of Jabas Palace you assume they are shot from opposite directions, but if you look the tall tower is behind the large round tower in both. So they are at different angles and distances but both from the same side of the palace. The valley 3P0 and R2 are walking along seems to curve around to the left which might be the section of valley you are seeing in the matte. Assuming LFL would go to these lengths to copy the real terrain 8O

Is there a way to find out who the matte artist was and ask them. The layered rocks on the left look like they were painted from a photo and the the distant hills on the right could be a real location too.

It now looks like my visit will be March/April 2010, when do you go again.


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By: aceface (offline) on Sunday, March 08 2009 @ 01:20 PM PDT  
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Quote by: ColinK

How do you think they get those rich colours in the movie? Do they film at certain times of day, use special filters or just film on a cloudy day? The lighting certainly seems flat in those movie stills.


I'm not sure about the exact cinematic process that was used at the time (or even currently for that matter). I do think that those scenes were shot late in the day though. Either that or they were shot "day for night". The stills I posted, are DVD captures that I lightened considerably in Photoshop. It's also possible that it was a cloudy day (as it was in most of the Sidi Bouhlel canyon shots). An overcast sky makes provides a much more even lighting and if you can keep the (usually) bland sky out of the shot, no one will really even notice.


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By: ColinK (offline) on Friday, March 13 2009 @ 01:53 PM PDT  
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Could that 'cave' scene be in any way related to something like this?

mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20061220014819428


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