Thursday, November 24, 2011

Purple predawn colors on the Great Sand Dunes

Last August I spent some time on the great sand dunes. This place is very interesting, especially in its setting rimmed by a high mountain range and at the end of a high valley. It's a vast field of dunes that is a lot of fun to explore and offers many gorgeous photographic opportunities. I recently posted images from the sunset on this blog. I also showed some coyote tracks I found the next morning. Below I'll post a large set of images from that same morning I found the coyote tracks. I'll focus now on the predawn images. Later I'll show some postdawn images. You can look ahead if you want to those by going to my Sand Dunes gallery on smugmug.

The purple dune
Purple dune. Buy a print. Black and white version here.
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 14 mm, ISO 200, f/11, 25s

That is not a misprint. I needed a 25 second exposure for this. In the large image, you can actually see the coyote tracks I referenced before going over the dune. After sunrise I spent some time following them around the dune field.

The thin purple line
The thin purple line. Buy a print. Black and white version here.
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 14 mm, ISO 200, f/11, 10s
This is a different perspective on the same dune as before.

One grain of sand
One grain of sand. Buy a print.
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 14 mm, ISO 200, f/11, 6.0s
There are many different types of sand on the dunes. This was very course stuff forming very interesting patterns.

Reflections
Reflections. Buy a print.
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11 mm, ISO 200, f/11, 0.5s

Color starting to show in the sky.

Waves
Waves. Buy a print.
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11 mm, ISO 200, f/11, 0.4s
I loved these wavy patterns formed by the wind. The black and white version of this is very nice too.

Steps
Steps. Buy a print.
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11 mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/25s, handheld.

diagonal
diagonal. Buy a print.
Nikon D300, Nikon 18-55mm at 18 mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/15s, handheld.

The colors are turning yellow now. Here I was mostly interested in the geometric shapes of the dune and how the little grass breaks that.

Soft dune
Soft Dune. Buy a print.
High resolution image stitched from 9 images shot with Nikon D300, Nikon 18-55mm at 50 mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/15s.
This image will print super large with amazing detail in the sand.

Sideswipe
Sideswipe. Buy a print.
High resolution image stitched from 9 images shot with Nikon D300, Nikon 55-200mm at 70 mm, ISO 200, f/16, 1/30s.
Again, this image will print very very large without issue. You can see the edge of dawn in the haze on the mountains. I love the color of the sand here.

A line in the sand
A line in the sand. Buy a print. Black and white version.
Nikon D300, Nikon 55-200mm at 145 mm, ISO 200, f/16, 1/30s.

This is a detail that I really liked. The black and white version really brings out the ripples very well.

Later I'll get to the images during and after sunrise.

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