I remember it as if it was only yesterday. It was in Death Valley, one of the hottest and most bizarre places in the world, with more absurd landscapes then you can imagine and definitely a landscape photographers playground. I woke up at 4:30 or so, to watch the sunrise above the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. I stayed in a little place called Furnace Creek, one of the 3 only small towns in the whole of Death Valley - a place larger then the whole province of Noord-Holland (for those of you who are Dutch) - and drove 25 miles to the Dunes, arriving there around 5:30; an hour before the sun would rise.
During my drive there I stopped alongside the road for half an hour to take some shot of the night sky as well, I'll upload those later on.
Upon my arrival I already saw some other cars parked at the small parking lot. More people come here at sunrise since all the books state you have to be there at sunrise, when the night winds have blown all the sand flat again, erasing all of the footsteps of the tourists. And seriously: the previous day I went scouting, and there was litteraly no sand untouched. Every little square foot was covered in tracks. And even when I arrived at 5:30 in the morning, a lot of area's close to the parking lot where already covered with individual tracks, spreading out in the far distance which would either ruin my photo, or mean a lot of clone stamping work... Neither of which I was looking forward to. So I walked about half an hour untill I found some decent spots from where to take shots, standing on top of a hill when a desert fox crossed paths with me. He looked at me for a few seconds, before he moved on into a bush and disappearing into the twilight again.
Before long the sun was starting to come up and the sky was amazing. I walked a little further after taking some shots which were not yet really satisfying. After another half an hour or so I finally found the spot (an hour away from the parking lot!) which really had the flat dunes which the name was suggesting. Another photographer was standing on the edge of a sandy hill and I just went up and went to sit next to him, taking my shots and having a bit of smalltalk with the friendly man.
Anyway, needless to say the sun was already up for about half an hour by then, so no dramatic skies anymore. But the golden lighting, needed for photographing the dunes and getting those nice stripes to lit up from the side was still there and I didn't stop shooting until the sun was too high, destroying the highlights and shadows, about an hour after my arrival.
Hope you like it, let me know!
Shoot info:Canon EOS 7D w/ Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM1/15 sec | f13 | 10mm | ISO 100
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