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 - Panoramic 3:1
People's Choice Award ViewBug The Beautiful Desert
BetterPhoto Editor Pick

One location I have wanted to photograph for years is the main central Death Valley Sand Dunes. I had traveled there on several trips hoping to get great shots of this expansive terrain. But each time I had to give up. Why? Was it the wind, searing hot Sun? Maybe storms? No. It was all the footprints! Everyday, people explore the these dunes in all directions leaving footprint pollution! Unless you catch these dunes right after a wind storm, it is almost impossible to photograph!

Finally this day: strong winds almost stopped me from even taking the camera out for fear that sand will get into it. But the footprints were gone and there was a small lull in the wind speed near me, but you could see that more sandy winds were headed towards me! I already was photographing all around me - except into the direction of the sun. Usually this is a bad idea because the resulting capture is hard to control and likely to be over-exposed. I really had nothing to lose except time before the wind hit again, so I set up and shot a few frames thinking they would probably not turn out at all and fled the dune top. I’m glad I was wrong on this one! It literally looks like the surface of the sun in the distance! Not a planned shot - these can make the most unique and rewarding images!


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