Photographing the Sand Dunes - Salvador Armendariz

Photographing the Sand Dunes

April 24, 2017

These are some photos from a recent trip to the Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. I've been there once before, long before I realized how much I like photography. My wife and I visited on April 22 for a long weekend. It's a remarkable place. Not the biggest national park, but very interesting to learn about the dunes and to experience being there. If you go, I recommend you spend at least 2 full days exploring the place so you can do more than go the visitor center and hike them for an hour or two. There is wild life around, various different vantage points, and tons of hiking. I just hope you like sand in your shoes!


Scroll through the photos below for a bit of commentary on our recent trip or see my Sand Dunes gallery.


Cheers

Photographing Sand Dunes

I don't know if it's allowed, but this is where we slept in our car, just outside the park.

Photographing Sand Dunes

A shot of one of the several early risers that took advantage of the beautiful sunrise light.

Photographing Sand Dunes

This is Medano Creek, a shallow creek that runs in the spring due to the snow melt from the Sangre De Cristo mountains to the north. You have to wade through it to get to the dunes from the parking lot.

Photographing Sand Dunes

Medano Creek partially freezes in the morning (when I was there at the end of April) so it makes it tricky to get to the dunes. Fortunately for me, it makes for some cool patterns on the sand.

Photographing Sand Dunes

It's difficult to photograph the dunes because you leave footprints everywhere you go. Not to mention all the other footprints from the hundreds of other visitors.

Photographing Sand Dunes

It was interesting to see the wind erasing my freshly made footprints. It was also nerve racking to change lenses with all the sand flying around!

Photographing Sand Dunes

A shot Alissa (my wife) took of me while we hiked to the top of the dunes in mid morning. It was cold and windy up there, but a beautiful sight.

Photographing Sand Dunes

Shoes get a bit sandy while hiking. It's best to wear boots!

Photographing Sand Dunes

There are deer, elk, coyotes, rabbits, kangaroo rats, and several kinds of birds in the park. Supposedly there are bears and mountain lions but of course I didn't see any.

Photographing Sand Dunes

A shot of the night sky, next to the highway where we slept in our car. I was getting the camera set up to do a 2-hour continuous exposure for star trails. The sand dunes are just underneath the mountain silhouette but you can't really see them here. There were elk roaming the grass in the foreground and coyotes hauling off in the distance.

Photographing Sand Dunes

Here is the finished product after two hours.

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