Sands Edge

Yesterday I mentioned the high winds Ryan and I were facing at Great Sand Dunes National Park as we hiked the dunes and we would see some fantastic light, but by the time we hiked to a good vantage point the sun would disappear behind some clouds and the light would be gone.  On the way back the light was finally glowing some on the edge of the dune we were climbing. I decided at that point I was going to try to capture one of the lines of the dunes before heading back to the car. Just at that time the wind picked up and started blowing harder.

I was bound and determined to get a shot. I took off my backpack and proceeded to unbuckle my tripod from the pack when I noticed that the bottom two extensions from one of my trusty Gizto tripod legs (not so trusty anymore) had worked its way loose and was no longer there.

Missing Tripod Leg

I was so mad! I couldn’t believe I had gotten this far only to find out I had a two-legged tripod. The wind at that point had probably covered up my tripod legs somewhere out on the dunes and there was nothing I could do about it. I made the best of the situation and decided I was going to shoot low.

The wind was picking up more, but I dug what was left of my tripod into the sand and mounted up my camera. Next, for some reason, my 5DMKII wouldn’t focus properly. I tried putting my eye up to the eye piece but the sand kept pelting me in the face and it hurt! I finally flipped on Live View Mode and manually focused the camera with my right hand as I put my left hand up against my face blocking the blowing sand from hitting my face. I think if someone were to film this event it would probably be a comedy! I was determined to get a shot.  Here is my image at Sands Edge. I hope you like it. I’ll probably print it for my desk so I can look at it for those days I decide to have a pity party.

Sands Edge
Sands Edge – Click to EnlargePurchase

Capture Notes:

  • ljsaltiel

    Wow, what a tough day Rick. Great detail in the image and you show the blowing sand quite well. A day to sadly remember…

  • I think we all have those images in our portfolio/archive that remind us of our determination in pursuit of the shot. Looking at this image, you’d never know you were being pelted by sand or dealing with a two-legged tripod! Great texture and details!

  • Armando Martinez

    Bummer Rick. At least you got the shot. You can order the parts and get it back together. Let me know if you need help, I just overhauled my Gitzo and had to replace some of the inner sleeves.

    • Thanks, Armando. Yea I called Gitzo Parts and ordered the parts. They were cheap enough, but they are 6 weeks back ordered. It gave me the excuse to order a new tripod for my Moab trip in April.

  • I actually really enjoy this shot, it’s a great natural abstract piece, Rick! Sorry about all the grief you had to go through for it, but the results are really quite good!

  • That is what I call dedication! Most people would have given up upon discovering the, fortunately, vary rare two-legged tripod. Glad you kept going as this is an interesting image that I like a lot.

  • Michael Criswell

    Bummer about the gear, great shot though