Death Valley, California is perhaps an unusual tourist destination for some, though it has a unique beauty and quietness that attracts people from all over the world. The fact that it’s one of the hottest places in the world with the highest recorded temperatures is not a barrier to tourism, or the lure of visiting this great wilderness. Death Valley’s unusual name stems from the time of the California Gold Rush, when a group of pioneers, whose story would be referred to as the “The Lost 49ers,” journeyed across this immense Great Basin Desert. Many perished or suffered severe hardship, leaving the survivors to allude to this expanse, through which they had traversed, as Death Valley. This project looks at the path well travelled as well as some of the quieter landscapes and histories that Death Valley has to offer—whether that’s the Timbisha Shoshone tribe (which has an area of land recognized as its own after years of struggle, and lives alongside the more affluent tourist hub of Furnace Creek), or the surrounding beauty of the landscape away from the standout geographical highlights. Death Valley and other great wildernesses offer more than just the discernible focal points that initially attract us, and unfortunately people sometimes forget to stray from the path.
Joel Redman is a UK-based photographer, shooting internationally. His calm contemplative work looks at people and the environment. Redman has exhibited as part of a number of group shows internationally, and shoots for international editorial clients, including The Guardian, The Telegraph, Monocle Magazine, Focus Magazine, and Condé Nast.