I love working with light/shadows in the landscape, when you can really bring out the form of objects with the gradation of the shadow. In Death Valley one afternoon, I was lucky to find this dune with few residual marks from human traffic. The edge of the dune was wonderfully sculpted by the night’s breezes, and amazingly it hadn’t been run all over with footprints! By using my 300mm lens, I was able to optically compress the background and keep it out of focus, which turned the mountains into a soft textured blue, a nice contrast to the golden warmth of the dunes. The top curve of the entire dune added to the story. I’m looking forward to going back to Death Valley in February with my partner, Jed Manwaring, when we lead our first Mentor Series tour of 2011. It’s a great time to go when there’s less people, the potential for great cloud systems, and a good low-angle to the light both morning and evening.

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