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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Mesquite Dunes

During the workshop I recently attended in Death Valley, the group had two occasions to photograph the magnificent Mesquite Sand Dunes.  The size and vastness of the dunes are hard to describe! The time to photograph the dunes is in the morning or evening when the sun is low in the sky, particularly on a cloudless day.  With few clouds and the sun low in the sky the light is very directional and certain areas of the dunes that are brightly lit are juxtaposed with areas in shadow, drawing abstract patterns across the landscape.

Making photographs here requires a different way of seeing.  No longer are you photographing sand dunes but, rather, you are making abstract photographs based on lines, shapes, and tones. In my mind, converting the image to black and white removes the last vestige of 'what it is' and allows the viewer to simply dwell upon the these abstract features.

This is the first photo of the dunes that I have processed since returning from the trip.

Mesquite Sand Dunes in Death Valley    © Howard Grill