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Death Valley, California, is a very special place.  It is further below sea level than anywhere in North America and the hottest place on earth, as measured by highest recorded temperature.  It is the product of the process of slip faults – with one section rising up while the one next to is depends.  In this case the result is peaks of 11,000 feet next to a dried up ancient lake belt hundreds of feet below sea level.  This traps air into a basin and results in creating a convection oven that heats up tremendously during the course of the day.

The sand dunes in this photograph result when wind blows across the Death Valley basin and grains of sand are gradually piled up at one end.  When you see this kind of landscape in movies, commercials or on TV it is quite often Death Valley you are looking at.

I really like the idea of using wild, rugged landscapes as a background to body photography – particularly photos of larger-than-life, muscular physiques.  Piney woods and lush green vistas do not do these bodies justice.  So although Death Valley is somewhat difficult to get to – 5 hour drive from Los Angeles, much of this through winding mountain roads – the results are worth it.

Kerstin Schulze is an Amazing Amazon and one of my favorite models.  She is 6′ fall with a genetic gift for muscle – which you can verify by looking at her almost identically built twin sister.  She is also a great model to use in circumstances that involve a long drive and then slogging up and down across the difficult footing of shifting sand.  She is also German, so there is none of the prudishness you sometimes find about nudity with American models.

Bill Dobbins




Bill Dobbins Photography and Motion

2012 Veteran Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90025

cel: (310) 721 8666


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