The Great Dunes

Back in August 2014 I had the opportunity to meet a friend from college and head down to the Great Sand Dunes National Park.  Arriving late in the afternoon on our first day we quickly decided to change our plans and spend both nights camped at this awesome location.  The tallest dunes in the US (~700′) up against the almost 14k foot Sangre De Cristo Mountains made for a dramatic and beautiful location.  Given the craziness that we witnessed the day before (see High Voltage) I was after more of an overview shot of the dunes as they leap out of the plain below and up against the impressive peaks.   After shooting sunrise up in the dunes that morning under some pretty wonderful light the day quickly went overcast and dreary.  As the afternoon went on I noticed a slight opportunity to the west across the San Luis Valley.  Finding a good spot along the road the waiting game began.  A familiar one with landscape photographers this was no different, except for the proximity to comforts.  The waiting game looked like it was going to pay off as light started to dapple across the grasses below the dunes.  But not quite where it was needed.  Then, as photographer’s tell stories of, the beam of light moved up over the dunes, for a mere 3 minutes.  I rattled off a number of panoramas and then it was gone for the afternoon.  Moments like this are what help keep the photographic ambition alive and chasing those moments. Glad I was there 🙂

The Great Sand Dunes under late afternoon light and dramatic skies
“The Great Dunes” (unreleased)

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