Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sand Dunes at Twilight

On the west side of the Guadalupe Mountains the Guadalupe Escarpment drops a mile into the Salt Basin.  There beneath the wall one can find sand dunes.  The dunes are pure white gypsum sand.  They are also a lonely place of silence.  


It is about a 45 mile drive from the Pine Springs campground by park headquarters.  It is also a place you need a key to get access to, so be sure to check with the rangers before driving out there.


I made the drive on a day with some fantastic clouds that hung low in the sky.  The peaks were in the clouds as the cloud line was about half way up the escarpment.  I hoped that the clouds would stick around and that if I got lucky there might be just enough of a gap in the wast to really create some dramatic light at sunset.  See the first image on the road to the dunes to get an idea of what the conditions were.


I hiked out to the dunes and photographed in the afternoon.  The light was not great but I still hoped for the sunset.  Then the sky started to break up.  In a matter of an hour the sky went from 98% cloud cover to about 5 % cloud cover and it was still an hour to sunset.


Oh well.


What started out as a potential for a great sunset did not happen.  That is part of being a landscape photographer-sometimes the light is amazing and sometimes it just aint there.


So since the sunset did not happen like I hoped I had to do what I could with the light I had.  So, I stayed on the dunes until the sun had long set and light was faint.  At that very edge of the day there is that last bit of warm orange glow from the west.  That light was low and the exposures were long but it does bring out that glow.

No it was not the image I was hoping to make that day, but it was an image I was very pleased to have been able to get.


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