In my lightboxes:
- Title: Lines Of Light
- State/Province/Region: California
- Country: United States
- Nearest Area: Ibex Dunes, Death Valley National Park
- Nearest Town: Baker, California
- Brief Directions: From Baker, drive about about 35 minutes north on highway 127, turn left on Harry Wade road, go about 6 miles, then turn right onto Saratoga Springs road. You'll see the dunes off to the right.
- Best Season: Winter
- Description: The Dumont Dunes north of Baker, California are beautiful: long, sloping, graceful lines and curves, almost no vegetation, and made of gorgeously reflective silica sand. How heartbreaking it was when I arrived at the dunes, all a-twitter with excitement, only to find out that they are an off-road vehicle park. All those pristine dune faces I saw from a distance were, in actuality, covered with tire tracks. There wasn't a single untouched dune in the place. And having arrived at the dunes only an hour before sunset, I didn't have time to drive back to the Kelso Dunes in the Mojave, or to drive to the Mesquite Dunes north in Death Valley. Epic clouds were building for sunset and I felt like crying.
But not one to sit around and curse the fates, I decided to do a little exploring, and set off down Harry Wade road into the very southern tip of Death Valley. After what felt like 10 spine-jarring, teeth-rattling miles of washboard road where I was searching frantically for some interesting desert feature to shoot, I happened to glance to my right and saw something amazing off in the distance: sand dunes.
SAND DUNES!! I yelled, and leapt out of the car in my excitement. I had no idea how far away the dunes were, but nothing was going to stop me from shooting them. After 40 minutes of olympic-class speed walking, I arrived at the base of the dunes, and practically exploded with elation: no tire tracks, no vegetation, not even any footprints. These dunes were as pristine as it gets.
- Gear: Nikon D7000, Induro Tripod, Acratech Ballhead, Lee soft GND filters
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