A funny thing happened on the way to High Dune. I had just finished leading an "Autumn in the Aspens" photo workshop and after saying goodbye to some fantastic new friends and photographers, I wanted to head over to Great Sand Dunes National Park and make the most of the sunset and sunrise before heading home the following day. This was only my second visit to the Dunes and it's a place that just keeps pulling me back. Conditions change so quickly and there is just so much beauty to photograph there. Really a special place.
So, I headed out in the hour or so I had before sunset and started hiking into the dune field. The hiking seemed to be a little easier maybe with the colder temps, the sand seemed more firm and manageable along the ridges. The light was getting interesting and there was even some gusty 30mph winds that made things challenging in more ways than one...I was determined though to make it to High Dune in spite of the wind that kept increasing the closer I got to the higher ridge. Between wind gusts, even made a few images along the way. But, as luck would have it, the sand caused my camera to malfunction which turned out to not be the end of the world since the camera simply would not turn off. There are worse problems to have!
The exciting thing for me was just taking in the scene and literally chasing the fast moving light and shadows across the higher ridges while heading on up. The curves, lines and contrast made for endless compositions in the changing light. Eventually I made it to the highest ridge where the wind was whipping sand over the top and I literally could not make any more progress forward. Not to mention it being impossible to take any photographs in that kind of wind. In the end though, it was worth it for the adventure and a few photos for the master folder. The camera body made it safely back from the hospital without too much damage to the budget. Chasing the light always seems to lead to something interesting...
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