Sand Dunes of Colorado - Nikhil Nagane

Sand Dunes of Colorado

I was hiking up the tallest sand dune in the US, “Star Dune” in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado. The sun had already set and the landscape was only lit by the residual light in the sky of the blue hour. To take advantage of the low light conditions, I intentionally underexposed the frame to isolate the curves of sand dunes and create deep shadows in the rest of the sand dunes. The softness of the light and the clean curves of the sand dunes create a scene that gives me a sense of calm and peace.

Nikon D7200 with a Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens; Focal length 140 mm (35 mm equivalent - 210 mm); Exposure 1/640 sec at f/8.0, ISO 100; Exposure Bias -3 EV

Feminine Mystique

I came across this scene on the same hike, where I have tried to isolate the intimate details in the landscape out of the vast expanse of the desert. The sun had just started to set on the left, which created this breathtaking play of light and shadows in the curves of the sand dunes. To me, the darker tones in shadowed areas invoke a sense of mystery and anticipation, whereas the soft detail in the light gives a sense of hope.

Nikon D7200 with a Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens; Focal length 140 mm (35 mm equivalent - 210 mm); Exposure 1/200 sec at f/8.0, ISO 100; Exposure Bias -3 EV

Hiking the sand dunes

Thanksful for the light

Hiking the sand dune was more challenging than I had anticipated. Take three steps up only to slide down two steps down. My shoes were getting sand boarded constantly. However I was rewarded with one of the most unique landscapes during this hike.

Nikon D7200 with a Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens; Focal length 18 mm (35 mm equivalent - 27 mm); Exposure 1/2500 sec at f/7.1, ISO 100; Exposure Bias 0 EV

Golden hour hike

Muave sand dunes

Nikon D7200 with a Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens; Focal length 24 mm (35 mm equivalent - 36 mm); Exposure 1/60 sec at f/8, ISO 100; Exposure Bias 0 EV

A sandstorm during the golden hour created a unique color palette. I have underexposed the shot in order to capture the entire range of color hues and luminosity in the sky. The subtle details in the shadow regions on the land give this image an abstract and painterly look.

Nikon D7200 with a Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens; Focal length 140 mm (35 mm equivalent -210  mm); Exposure 0.4 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100; Exposure Bias -1 EV

Hiking the Sand Dunes

Diagonal dunes

Nikon D7200 with a Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens; Focal length 140 mm (35 mm equivalent - 210 mm); Exposure 1/200 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100; Exposure Bias 2 EV

Nikon D7200 with a Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens; Focal length 24 mm (35 mm equivalent - 36 mm); Exposure 1/500 sec at f/7.1, ISO 100; Exposure Bias -2 EV

Abstracts - Ripples in sand

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