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Sandbox Under the Stars

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By PeterJCoskun   |   Watch
Published: March 19, 2014
© 2014 - 2019 PeterJCoskun
One of my main goals for this year is to really work on some night photography and more specifically, nightscapes. There is just something so surreal about viewing a familiar landscape under the stars. Now, to me these dunes were not familiar. I had never photographed them before (at least got INTO a dune field). During my trip to death valley, I knew I wanted to take in the sand dunes, but not just any sand dunes. I wanted to find ones that were relatively untouched and tucked away. I did some research and found out about these dunes tucked away in the southern end of the park. On the second day after an incredible sunrise at Zabriskie point, my friend and I made our way out to these dunes two hours away from the heart of the park. Upon arrival, it looked as if we would get rained on once again with the dark gray clouds filling the sky. We quickly got situated for camp and decided to head out into the dune field. A few sprinkles here and there, but nothing that made us think of turning around. The thing with these dunes, is that you can't just drive up to the dune edge. You have to hike a mile or so to reach the base of the dunes which seems a lot longer when you are actually hiking out to them. Once we got to the edge of the dunes, we made sure to be careful and not trample over everything and leave footprints. We didn't see a single footprint out there, it was perfect. We scouted around and shot from various ridges as the storm passed by giving us some nice stormy light. Just around sunset, the skies began to clear. While it would have been nice for the clouds to stick around for sunset, I was even more excited for the clear skies to come. Death valley is known for it's dark skies, and it surely did not disappoint. The milky way began to rise over the dunes and andromeda shined brightly to the left. I got pretty lucky as a shooting star happened to fall on the right side, balancing the sky. This is a blend of three exposures. Two for the landscapes at a low ISO and to get greater depth of field, and a shot of the stars, at a very high ISO and fast aperture. It is a scene I won't forget, and perhaps one of the most technical and planned out shots I have. 

Ibex dunes- Death Valley National Park, California.

I wrote up a blog about this recent trip with plenty of photos if you care to view peterjamesnaturephotography.wo…
Please view this image on my website where it displays against a dark background pjcphotography.com/Photos.php

Like this image and more on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/Peter-J…

PURCHASE THIS PRINT HERE fineartamerica.com/featured/sa…
Image size
900x689px 531.84 KB
IMAGE DETAILS
Make
Canon
Model
Canon EOS 6D
Shutter Speed
13/10 second
Aperture
F/16.0
Focal Length
16 mm
ISO Speed
100
Date Taken
Mar 1, 2014, 6:51:02 AM
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS3 Macintosh
Sensor Size
5mm
Comments232
anonymous's avatar
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simsage's avatar
Exquisite piece of Art!
Angie-AgnieszkaB's avatar
Angie-AgnieszkaBHobbyist Photographer
OMg i fall in love with this ! 
Really deserved DD :clap: 
Wuyiyi's avatar
WuyiyiHobbyist General Artist
One of my wishes is to see the stars clear, I would like to see this in person.
Altair75's avatar
Altair75 Photographer
Fantastically tranquil. :) (Smile) 
Cyrusma's avatar
very handsome, dream !
Orion-Apocalus's avatar
It's so enchanting and magical!
rogina-torabinejad-1's avatar
Beautiful!

- rogina torabinejad
animelover4ever2002's avatar
Its absolutely gorgeous and I would one day like to see something just as beautiful as this piece.
Bishop-Of-Balance's avatar
Bishop-Of-BalanceProfessional Digital Artist
Wow, this piece and the description actually gave me chills. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous experience with us. I'm sure it is one that you will cherish for a lifetime. 
zenstep's avatar
is there ANY way we could get a larger copy of this image? its one of my all time favorite visual art pieces :O
PeterJCoskun's avatar
Thank you, I appreciate the kind words. Unfortunately, I try not to post multiple sizes on the web as it keeps it easier on managing my own files. 
44aboriginny2014's avatar
44aboriginny2014Hobbyist General Artist
great picture!!
LifeBySeconds's avatar
LifeBySecondsHobbyist Photographer
Amazing.
acoresjo88's avatar
acoresjo88Hobbyist Photographer
Congratulations, you have been featured here!
Would be nice if you´d stop by and have a look. Thank you!
PeterJCoskun's avatar
Thank you I appreciate it!
Adam-Walker's avatar
Adam-WalkerStudent Writer
Beautiful.
Adam-Walker's avatar
Adam-WalkerStudent Writer
Almost reminds me of a dream of Carmen or Bella.
Brookelynn-marie's avatar
Brookelynn-marieHobbyist General Artist
this would be fun to paint in water color 
anonymous's avatar
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