Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunset on the Great Sand Dunes

A few weeks ago, I spent a night near the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Due to the fact somebody drove through a stop sign and hit me in the rear of my car in Durango, I arrived too late to get a spot on the NPS campground. Luckily the very helpful ranger told me about a BLM just south of the park near Zapata Falls. This was a great tip as that is just an awesome campground with very few people on it and it is free and maybe 20 minutes from the dunes including the dirt road leading to it. So I set up my tent and set off to the park again to be on the Dunes by sunset. This was just fantastic. I posted three panoramas from the sunset before here. I hiked along many of the ridges near the high dune in order to find some good shots and found many. The wind was blowing like crazy and it was a major challenge keeping sand out of my gear. Below I'll show a few. Most of these shots, excluding the composites were done handheld as it was just too windy. Later I'll post images from next morning's sunrise expedition which yielded a lot of very nice pattern shots that I am dying to show.
Backbone. Buy a print.
High resolution composite from nine images at 48mm, f/13, 1/80s, ISO 200, Nikon D300.

A gigantic nuclear furnace
A gigantic nuclear furnace. Buy a print.
Single shot at 26mm, f/16, 1/80s, ISO 200, Nikon D300.

Windblown steps. Buy a print.
Single shot at 24mm, f/8, 1/60s, ISO 200, Nikon D300.
Sun worship
Sun worship. Buy a print.
Single shot at 18mm, f/5.6, 1/200s, ISO 200, Nikon D300.

Smoke signals
Smoke Signals. Buy a print.
Single shot at 55mm, f8.0, 1/100s, Nikon D300.

The long S
The long S. Buy a print.
High resolution composite from 9 images at 46mm, f8.0, 1/50s, ISO 200, Nikon D300.

Red dusk
Contrast. Buy a print. High resolution composite from nine shots at 48mm, f/16, 1/40s, ISO 800, Nikon D300.

retrace. In the print you'll see the people that are trying to get to the top of high dune which is the dune on the right side. Buy a print.
Assembled from 2 shots at 18 mm, f6.3, 1/60s, ISO 800, Nikon D300.

Visitors on Mars
Visitors on Mars. Buy a print.
Single shot at 16mm, f/5.6, 1/25s, ISO 400, Nikon D300.

The road traveled
The road travelled. Buy a print.
Single shot at 11mm, f/4, 1/13s, ISO 400, Nikon D300.

On the high Dune
On High Dune. Buy a print.
Single shot at 16mm, f/4.0, 1/80s, ISO 200, Nikon D300.

Purple dunes at dusk
Purple dunes at dusk. Buy a print.
Single shot 16mm, f2.8, 1/4s, ISO 800, Nikon D300.

And last and not least here is me on top of the dune. Shot by a kind stranger.
From 2011-08-31


  1. some very nice shots in there.

    and remember ... solar is nuclear ;-)

  2. "solar is nuclear"

    A fact I am acutely aware of of course being a solar energy researcher. The title of that image is a reference to an old 60's song we often sing here by Tom Glazer and Dottie Evans "Why does the sun shine". It used to be available on a website but that disappeared recently. This song was later really well redone by They might be giants with a fun video. On youtube here: