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Sand Dune Starburst
Photo By Steve Perry

  • Title: Sand Dune Starburst
  • State/Province/Region: California
  • Country: United States
  • Description: This photo was captured on REALLY windy evening in Death Valley National Park at the Mesquite Dunes. The day had started out windy, then progressed to really windy, then went right to “Are you kidding me I can’t get the truck door open!” windy! In fact, this shot almost didn’t happen due to the conditions, but by late afternoon the wind relented a little, so Grant and I decided to give it a go. We set out for the dunes after dinner hoping to find a cool composition for sunset, especially since the sky was really cranking out some sweet looking clouds. The main area of the dunes still had a few footprints despite the conditions (people put down tracks as fast as the wind erased them), so we decided to make for an area off to the left of the main dune field hoping it would be clear. Up and down the dunes we went till we discovered this composition. I really like the “sweep” of the sand and the way it points right towards the setting sun. I also knew I’d get a nice starburst if the sun was breaking through the clouds enough when it hit the edge of the sand dune. I used my little Focalware app on my iPhone and my compass to determine exactly where to setup then waited. As the sun hit the edge of the dunes and the (if I may say) killer-looking clouds lit up, I began snapping away furiously, hoping to capture just the right moment. The wind was starting to find its strength again at this point and I actually had to block the camera and tripod to avoid vibrations (and I have a beefy tripod)! As the sun got closer to the horizon, the wind got stronger and stronger. Finally it was time to high tail it back to the truck. It was only a mile away, but the wind was back to full strength and in our face. Never knew a mile could be so far! Still, it was an amazing evening and I’m pretty happy with the result. Hope you like it too!
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Keywords:  Deserts
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