Morning Twilight on the Dunes

After my sunset on the dunes I had driven to my campsite and called it a night.  I awoke early and decided to head back out to the dunes for a possible sunrise.  I have always just done sunsets at the dunes and thought a sunrise would be something different.

I hiked into the dunes and found my way back to the same area I had been the prior sunset.  There were still some starts in the sky and I could just make out the Milky Way.

I set up two cameras and went to work.  Night images are a slow process with most images being 15 or 30 seconds.  It gives me time to go from camera to camera.  It still keeps me very busy making adjustments, tweaking the composition and trying different light painting techniques.

I was also bouncing between different lenses to see what kind of look different focal lengths gave to the scene.

I had a rented 6D with me and I was using the Samyang made lenses of 14mm f/2.8 and  24mm f/1.4    I also did a few shots with the little Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 lens.  The Yongnuo is very difficult to focus at night as it is very sensitive to any movement and so critical focus is hard to achieve.  I think a good 40% of the images were out of focus from that one, but a few did work.

I was also using the 24mm and 50mm on the little NEX6 via an adapter which gave them the look of a 36mm and 75mm respectively.  It allowed me to have some different looks to the images.

At first the sky had a few clouds but as I could see on the back of the camera the clouds were moving toward me.  

I made images and it got close to sunrise.  The clouds kept getting thicker.  And thicker.  And thicker.  I lost the stars to the clouds.  I kept hoping somehow light might peak through.  No such luck.

There was no sunrise.

Then a few rain drops started.  I packed up.  Thinking this could be some rain, I put my rain jacket on and covered the pack.

The drops became frequent and as I hiked out it became a full fledged rain.

It was raining pretty good by the time I reached the vehicle.

The road into the dunes is clay and rain turns it to slop pretty quick.  My drive out was very slick but still passable.

The rain kept falling so I went back to Dell City and had breakfast at Spanish Angels.  After a plate of huevos rancheros, I explored the mesa edge north of town as the roads are gravel and not the clay of the road to the dunes.

It would end up raining all day.

I knew there was no chance to get back to the dunes for sunset as it would be impassable.  So, I decided to drive back toward camp at Pine Springs late in the day.


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