Death Valley – named in the Californian Gold Rush era after several pioneers perished in its conditions – is the hottest, driest place in the United States. Despite its seemingly barren environment, it is also a place of great biodiversity and stunning beauty.
It is this side of Death Valley that Brisbane photographer Richard Muldoon showcases in his latest exhibition. The landscape unfolds in a dramatic wash of colour, with cloud-ringed mountain ranges giving way to undulating sand dunes and vast salt plains. Muldoon’s ability to capture both the hostility and serenity of the area earned him the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers' title of Queensland Professional Photographer of the Year.
While the landscape takes centre stage, Muldoon doesn’t shy away from human intrusion; despite its inhospitality, Death Valley receives more than one million visitors per year. The presence of tourists in Muldoon’s photographs is a reminder that few places in the US exist in isolation, no matter how forbidding the environment.