Crest Quest

Sony A77II
Sony 70-400G @ 280mm, CPL
ISO 200, 1/100 @ f8
Great Sand Dunes NP
Was up early on Memorial Day to get some sunrise images and found this couple and their dog making their way to the summit. I made some random footprints go away but decided to leave their tracks to document their journey. There had been rain overnight which made for some interesting patterns in the sand. Also I’ve noticed with certain light angles in the dunes that there are some diffraction effects on the edges of the shadows accounting for some fairly strong blues which I have tamed a bit. The BG is the still shaded Sangre De Cristo mountains. All comments welcome. >=))>

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

This looks really good, Bill. I quite like the warm/cool tones and the people provide a great sense of scale and story for the footprints. No nits here.

This is really gorgeous Bill, the light is wonderful. But the story telling value of the people elevates this shot significantly, and leaving their footprints, is wonderful touch that also adds to the story. I like your use of strong contrast and color. Some may say the shadows are too blue, but I like them.

My only nit would be leaving that small sliver of blue above the dune crest in the left half of the image. I would like to see either more of it or less of it, it feels too cramped as presented. If you don’t have room to add space, a slight crop away from the top would work for me.

Top notch, Bill. I love thinking about their journey as I follow their path through the image. Good call on leaving them in.

Bill, my first reaction was, “a neat abstract”, then I saw the people and their long trail winding in. The light/dark textures in the dunes and their gentle roundedness contrast beautifully with the dark angular shadows .

Fantastic dune image Bill - with a great human element and story. I think, that without the hikers, you could bet away with cropping out the top bg and just focus on the dunes; the contrast, shadows, shapes, etc. But with the people, that extra space up top is needed for scale and context - So, I love this as presented.