Hurry Sundown

Sony A77
Sony 70-400G @ 160mm
ISO 200, 1/13 @ f8
In the late 90s and early 2000s my wife and I made a number of trips to Colorado for an annual medical conference in Estes Park. In 2005 we did a side trip to Great Sand Dunes NP. I was mesmerized by the place but didn’t get back until November 2014. My 70-400 was brand new and this was the first time I put it to good use.
On that trip I went by myself and practically had the park to myself. As dusk approached the few visitors still there made their way to the exits. I stuck around to shoot the play of light and shadows as the sun set. I got a bunch of keepers in the waning light and then was treated to the most spectacular sunset I’ve ever experienced and the only soul still around was the custodian cleaning up and closing the visitor center. We’re headed back to Colorado in a couple of months and will definitely stop by the dunes. Even if the conditions aren’t as wonderful as these it will always be a magical spot for me. All comments welcome. >=))>

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

Bill, you KNOW I like GSD, and for the very same reasons. The magic hour lighting you got on the dunes is enviable. Sunset ain’t too shabby either.

Bill, the dune shot is fabulous. The angle of view or perspective on that location was perfect. That POV makes the scene with the contrasting dune top highlights and the deeper dune area shadows.
Also, that sunset light is amazing…:+1:

A beautiful image of the dunes, Bill. I really like the inclusion of the sunset lit foreground and you caught the light on the dunes at a very good angle. That’s also one awesome sunset.

I LOVE the dunes. It’s very intimate and very sensual with all those diagonal lines. The foreground grounds the image very nicely.

Bill, the angled light in your first post is spectacular in the way it sets off the shapes of the dunes. The strip of glowing prairie as the base and the strip of blue sky at the top set the stage beautifully. That is an awesome sky in the 2nd post.

Very nice, Bill! This is great as is, but have you considered giving ore focus to the repeating ridges with light on them? That’s what really draws my eye and the sky/ground don’t add a lot for me. I downloaded it, cropped it, stretched the top, and did the fastest, sloppiest clone job on the top left for illustrative purposes:

I’d definitely spend more time centering/rebalancing the lit ridges were it my own. Maybe you have an exposure that’d work better. Just food for thought!

Brent: I like what you’ve done with your crop. I was like a kid in the candy store that evening. I do have a number of tighter crops but conditions were changing so fast that it was hard to get everything covered. At one point I had two cameras going and almost got dizzy spinning from one to the other. Thanks again for your comment and your effort. >=))>

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Bill, I missed this being an EP pick. Congrats on that selection. I think we’ve all seen a lot of dune photos over time, but this one is surely one of the best, at least for me…:+1: