Great Sand Dunes Sunset

Since I lost the use of my tripod I still wanted to capture a shot of the Great Sand Dunes at sunset. I increased the ISO on my camera to 1600 and used a Singh Ray Reverse ND and captured this image. There was still quite a bit of fog, but I really liked the violet glow that was hitting the dunes as the sun was setting. I did some cleanup using Nik Software’s DFine 2 and Sharpener Pro 3 to  reduce the noise and sharpen up the image. It’s not the best image, but I’m still happy with the results.

The Sangre De Cristo Mountains don’t look that spectacular up close, but really shine when you get away from the range and the Great Sand Dunes in front of the mountain range really give this scene some perspective and contrasts. I’m going to have to try to swing down to the park before all the snow melts off the mountains. I would really like to capture this sunset shot again but with the use of a tripod next time.

If you didn’t know, The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is the most inexpensive U.S. National Park. The cost is only $3 to enter the park. It’s truly one of the hidden gems that not many people visit, but sure has some spectacular images to be captured. The surrounding San Luis Valley is a slice of Americana and definitely can be experienced while visiting.

Great Sand Dunes Sunset
Great Sand Dunes Sunset – Click to Enlarge/Purchase

Capture Notes:

  • ljsaltiel

    What a beauty Rick. Love the colors. Thanks for your helpful tips on Denver.

  • Good, not great. Bright foreground is overly distracting to what I believe is the main subject…the dunes and the mountains. I camped there for 3 nights so I do know what it should look like. Obviously the wrong filter to use which is intended for sunsets on water. The dunes have effectively been rendered way too dark and unimportant.