Mesquite Sand Dunes Sunset 3

Mesquite Sand Dunes Sunset 3

During my recent visit to Death Valley National Park, I created this image Mesquite Sand Dunes Sunset 3. Because they are close to the road, the dunes get a lot of foot traffic and are usually covered in un-photogenic tracks. However, several days of strong wind had blow away any footprints and created razor sharp edges on the dunes. When I began my hike, the wind was still howling. I stood for over an hour in the maelstrom being sand blasted, but the winds ceased 20 minutes before sunset. The conditions serendipitously came together to create this beautiful image. You can watch my iPhone video from this shoot here.

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14 thoughts on “Mesquite Sand Dunes Sunset 3

  1. This is a masterpiece to me, you did an excelent job, I’m loving that golden sand.

  2. I am happy that you enjoy it. The sequence was difficult to shoot & the sky was kind of manky with the sand blowing around.

  3. Just plain (!???) gorgeous! (and IMO the blowing sand adds to the image). I really like what you are doing–always the images, of course, but your videos of the shoot. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nice leading lines. I like the sand in the air in the upper right to ‘finish off the shot’.

  5. I definitely like the sand blowing around in the background for a very atmospheric shot. Some viewers might not be aware of what is going on without an explanation. Damn that sand hurt. Of course, I was standing there in my shorts & no shirt because it was hot. The sand got in my eyes, teeth, nose, underpants, you name it.

  6. It’s gorgeous. Nice job. I see what you mean about it being an LDR image. I perhaps would have bumped the contrast a little more.. or made the shadows a little darker.. or something.. like you said, I like the darker sand shadows I think. I think I’m trying to say is that the darks might look nicer if they were darker – but it’s a nitpick. They might not.

  7. Take a look at the histogram on this jpeg & you can see that I did pull the image apart to add more contrast. There was enough soft reflected light bouncing around in those shadows that I don’t think they needed to go black. I shot some images the next day about 45 minutes earlier where there was more contrast (blacks!).

  8. Very striking Jon. I really like this one. Beautiful light and lines. Serendipity only comes to those with your patience and perseverance!

  9. That’s a beauty Jon.

  10. I’m a bit surprised by all the kind things that you all have to say about this image, but I appreciate it & your time. I processed 9 versions of this image, including horizontal/vertical, wind/no wind, and increasingly nice sunset light. I’ll add them to my Death Valley Gallery on my website in the next week. Thank you.

  11. That is a beauty Jon – love the light!

  12. Absolutely amazing shot, Jon. Among your best. The light is incredible, and having the elements cooperate in the way you describe makes it magical. Would love to see the ones you shot with more blacks in them.

  13. wow, jon. seriously amazing. the light and shadows are perfect!

  14. Thanks, Larry. I still prefer a lot of contrast in my images. I am not a fan of low contrast images, but I feel like I am slipping into the minority. I like the dark sky in this scene, though in reality it was probably not this dark.

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