Shadows and Light at Great Sand Dunes

© 2012 by Bobby Magill

Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado is a photographer’s dream in one of the West’s most surreal landscapes. I spent Saturday night and Sunday morning at the dunes, where the best light occurs at sunset and within about 30 minutes after the sun peeks above the Sangre de Cristo Mountains not long after sunrise. My best images have been added to my National Park Series on my Restless West Photography website.

There were several large forest fires in the region Saturday, filling the San Luis Valley with smoke and providing just the right amount of pollution in the air for just the right sunset. © 2012 by Bobby Magill

© 2012 by Bobby Magill

Medano Creek runs at the base of Great Sand Dunes, between the dunes and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains after spilling from its source somewhere beneath Music Pass high in the mountains. Even at peak runoff, Medano Creek disappears into the sand. During one of the worst runoff seasons in recent memory, Medano Creek gurgles into the sand about a mile or so downstream of the dunes parking lot. © 2012 by Bobby Magill

Medano Creek, reduced to a small rivulet but still flowing quite briskly, finally dead-ends into the sand at a crackling, slowly moving mass of foam, lumbering downstream about an inch or two per minute. © 2012 by Bobby Magill

The dunes reflect in a pool in Medano Creek. © 2012 by Bobby Magill


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