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Melody of Death Valley

posted Mar 28, 2011, 5:05 PM by   [ updated Mar 28, 2011, 5:14 PM ]

By Tony Le Kim Thuan APSA HonEFIAP

The heat of late summer in Death valley can drive men mad and it is also able to drive many tourists crazy, fooling the mind with strange mirages… The lines, curls, contours, shadows, and waves lie long on yellow sand dunes in the early morning and the late afternoon creating the different beautiful images. The foot prints still remain as marks on hot sands dunes. The puffy white clouds have disappeared from the sky of Death valley in the afternoon of hot summer. Over seen… there are few artistic photographers recently rest under the shadows of the trees in desert of yellow sands. In the evening the Sun is gradually going down… the shadows, the lines, the sand waves on the sand dunes are being created as impact different beautiful images. Those images are very attractive and exciting to the photography enthusiasts. The “she” sand dunes, displaying their profiles are so wonderfully sensual and attractive they cannot be resisted; but the “she” beauty mash and intensifies the deadly heat of the summer Sun.

I am a field trip scout was mistaken in comparing the heat of summer between the tropics and Death valley, national park of United States. The “she” sand dunes in Death valley were “hot” at this time is 125 F degree plus. I led eight photographers, the oldest 85 years of age, the youngest a girl 25 years of age to go to the middle of Death valley, where we think able to see, to taste, to touch… and photograph the most beautiful curls, contours and the profiles of “she” sand sensual. All of us ready to infiltrate the dunes and the time went by… my master Lee Lan Sieu is feeling too weak and he cannot go further! and he then gave us the warning words, twice: “Don’t go!… stop!… don’t go!…, danger!... danger!..., be careful!… be careful!…”.

None of us listen him at all; we continue to run faster and faster… to the selected points. He then returns to the meeting point to rest, and to wait for these seven crazy artistic photographers disperse in the different directions; with water canteens and cameras load in hands to be prepared quickly attack to photograph “she” sand, and quiet capture the “she-hot” while she wakes up with flying sands…, and we then to withdraw quickly because the magnetic of the “she” heat. But, we were falling into her lovely sand-traps!

She ambushed.

Each of us gradually disappeared behind the “she” sand dunes, and only our foot prints remain marked on the yellow sand. I stand on a top the highest dune to view the scene. There is a light wind blowing… sand fly lightly… I feel my body sweats greatly, but dries instantly… Camera in hand but I feel cold despite the heat, the air is slight…; it is very hard to breathe. But, Oh!, How beautifully sensual and exciting “she” sand is! I cannot stop! and cannot stop my hand… I pulled trigger of my Hassemblad 2003FCW load with 250 F lens and 203FE load with 50 F lens, I photographed the “she” sand, twice, then I feel my head then grew heavy, my eyes blur…; Qickly, I put my cameras in a poly bag and zipped complete and put it in my back pack, now I knew, I fell beside the legs of “she” sand dunes. Perhape, I was being purnished for photographing the “she” nude.

NguyenKimThanh, one of my students had followed me in climbing over the “she” sands’ bosoms to find a location to photograph. He saw me fall into the foot of the “she” sand dunes. But he cannot rescuse me on time before he succumbs to the heat. He craws to me… slaps my face… pour water in my mouth, and cried; then we both pass out. When we awaken and thirsty; we found no water left in the canteen. The sky is going to dark…; the two of us walked step by step together follow the map direction to go to the meeting point with other photographers.

My Godness! the other crazy artistic photographers had passed out at locations nearby until none were left to photography the “she” sand dunes. Worse, none were left to rescuse those who fell! or were there? NguyenNgocHanh, 75 years of age, a former colonel, airborne rangers, South Vietnam Air Bone, who has much experienced in the battle field, told me that:”when he felt the strange heat in the middle of desert, he recognized that the danger hidden in the hot attraction of “she” summer”. He did call all colleagues but he only hears his echoes.” When no one answered his calls…, he immediately withdrew to the edge of route then passed out on the shoulder of road near the south entrance of Death valley. It was so wonderful lucky that in the late evening, a passing tourist car crossing the Death valley area found and rescused NguyenNgocHanh, and took him to the park ranger station nearby. The evening-tide passed quickly… when none returned to the meeting point, my master LeeLanSieu has tears in his eyes…. and that night we were rescused by Ms. Melody K. a park ranger of Death valley, including ambulances and choppers. Sunny W.K. Lee from Hong Kong was the last rescused at about 22:30 hrs. All of us were brought to the restaurant of Death valley to recover by the ranger officers.

In a moment under the yellow light in the restaurant, I suddently catch the sparking blue eyes of Ms. Melody K. looking at me… In my mind, I think she was asking me “who is your group leader?”, and she maybe gave me a ticket! but not perhaps, Ms Melody K. having seen me very weak; therefore, she takes a good care of me; she forces me to drink about two galon of water and she recommends that the photo group and I should stay at the Death Valley’s motel for overnight resting. She also ask me about our photographic trip to the middle of Death valley for her record only, she said. Soon, the ambulances, the choppers returned to their station after she notifies them, that we were recovered safely. She also feels that my colleagues and I are now healthy and in good condition, she said.

The voice of Ms. Melody K. is so sweet and warm; her sounds bring our hearts and minds into the strange images as sweet spirit springs off the Death Valley’s angels. The feelings of the crazy artistic photographers… the taste of spirit angels seem like the magic of the beautiful curls, the contours, the lines, the profiles of the “she” sensual sand dunes, or the magic waves of the “she nude” in the Death valley that follow the scenes, the images of lovely isolation and romantic for photography enthusiasts. It is so wonderful and fun photography… neither believes… nor; It is very hard to forget this photo session!

Soon, after all were well, Nguyen Kim Thanh is one of my students told to other friends that: “The eyes of master Tony Le Kim Thuan were rolled back in his head, it is so scared me…”, and then he made a joke to colleagues that: “I may haven been invited to sleep and have fun with “she” sand dunes as an overnight forgiveness and might be forever…”. By mid-night we left the Death valley and following photo schedules that took our group through northern to southern California in order to finish the field trip, photo session. The artistic photographers very often have many different and dangerous adventures during their photography trips… However, the miracle images of this story will never be forgotten in my memories. The Images Colleague Society and I are sincerely thank and grateful to Ms. Melody K. a park ranger officer of the Death valley and unknown tourist car for saving our lives!

The two images that I have photographed at the Death valley in this photography session have been processed and printed. The images are most beautiful and wonderful to me! I love it. This is not perfect pictorial print; but to me, it is a great valued and remarkable as a “souvernir” on my mind. Survival in the life of photographic arts in America, my second home land, where I was now being thought that: “These images are wonderful and truly live in art for me forever”. The best of the Death valley image print were an enlargement of 24 x 30 inches, it is hanging in the photo display room at my home. I enjoy and take good care of it every day… but I cannot find a true title for this image.

Day by day, in the evening there is a slight rain… the fresh Autunm come by…, my lovely daughter is playing on her piano a great song, “Melody of …”, that magic music moves me in rememberance Ms. Melody K. a young lady with blue eyes… Melody K.!... Oh!... Melody!... I am so happy! It is recalled my memories: “Melody is a sound of miracle angels; A sound of the magical music rithym; A wild named… the calling named of a young beautiful lady of Death valley; Melody is either resonances of arts, of artists, or in which the philosophy of its nature characteristic is happening, appearing, and occupying the heart of strange images with the practical situation between the “She” a calling named “Melody” is a syllable synonym matched with my “Image” printed. Therefore, I think that I, myself will give premisson to ask her through my mind… that may I able to use her lovely named “Melody” for calling the name of my lovely “image” title: “Melody of Death Valley”.