Sunrise at the Mesquite Sand Dunes
Death Valley National Park, California
The last time I visited the Mesquite Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park things were a bit of a disaster. Willie loves to arrive early to things, which is usually great. It gives us time to get settled, scout out an area, find the best views and make sure we don’t screw anything up. That’s normally fine ... except when it’s 85°F with absolutely no shade and sunset isn’t for 4 more hours. After getting little sleep the night before, Willie woke me up from my nap to demand we head out to the sand dunes. We spent hours trying to hide from the sun after realizing we had gotten out there way too early.
Determined not to make the same mistake again, we got a few tips from David on where to head once at the sand dunes. We had left his house in Las Vegas at 3am and made the trek over to Death Valley in time for sunrise and we lugged our massive “Bazooka” telephoto lenses out with us. We arrived early but not too early!
Although David pointed us in a general direction, we still struggled to find compositions. Both of us ran around trying to find the shapes and patterns we had seen others find. Willie stayed in a small area while I explored further. At one point I found this view, setup, and fired a few quick photos before running off to try a different view. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized I had found a spot with these beautiful rolling sand dunes!
Nikon D800 w/Sigma 150-600mm f/2.8:
165mm, f/11, 1.0 sec, ISO 100
From Central California