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The Drama of Sand Dunes and Light

great sand dunes cloud shadows slant

Most photographers prefer photographing sand dunes with dramatic curving shadows cast by early morning or early evening sun that is rich in warm tones. I agree that such photos are impressive. But my husband and I didn't arrive at Great Sand Dunes National Park , CO until noon, so I relied on the partly cloudy sky to help accentuate the curves of the dunes, trying to catch the fast moving shadows at the right moments. I was happy with the results, but hope to try shots when the sun is setting one day.

blowing sand high dune

Hiking in sand on a windy day is bad for a camera, but I did it anyway, tucking my camera under a jacket. I got grit in several crevices, but later managed to remove it with care. Wrapping camera equipment in a plastic bag would offer better protection.

With my husband's encouragement to take it slow, I managed to reach the top of High Dune, the second tallest dune in N. America. The views were great and provided me with the photo I use at the top of each page of this web site.

In the photo below, hikers are mere specks, dwarfed by the towering majestic dunes, as they plod forward, sliding back about one step for every three taken.

great sand dunes with cloud shadows and hikers



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