Elizabeth Mangham  

Rain on the Sand Dunes by Elizabeth Mangham

November 2019 - Rain on the Sand Dunes

About the Image(s)

I love the lines and wonder of the Great Sand Dunes. Some how they seem magical to me. In this view they appear small next to the great Rocky mountain just behind them. My lens compressed it, but the mountains are miles behind the dunes. I was surprised at just how large the dunes are. I had to wait for the rain to stop to get near the beginning of the dunes. Areas look almost as if they are moving, while others are very sharp. I don't know if that softness is due to wind or rain draining down the sides.

I used my trusty Canon 60D, lens Canon 100-400 at 70 mm. SS 1/60, f 20 (for sharpness), ISO 640 due to the darkness of the shadowed areas.
PP: The bright clouds had to be softened with the adjustment brush and the darker shadows of the plants in the foreground had to be lightened slightly in ACR. Nearly all my adjustments are made in ACR. I cannot remember any other adjustments.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING and A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU. (Or Happy any other holiday you have. I can't spell them all so can't list them.)

This round’s discussion is now closed!
13 comments posted

Marilyn Peake   Marilyn Peake
That's a really interesting photograph with a quality that reminds me of surreal landscape paintings. I'm wondering how it looks in color.   Posted: 11/09/2019 04:52:12
Elizabeth Mangham   Elizabeth Mangham
Here is the color image. I felt the foreeground was too bright and was distracting. I could have darkened it but felt it would not darken in good tones. See what you think. Also I intender to convert to monotone when I took these photos, A few look good in color, but for the most part I like the black and white. Just a matter of preference, I think   Posted: 11/10/2019 17:42:58
Comment Image
Marilyn Peake   Marilyn Peake
I agree with you. The black-and-white photo creates much more of a mysterious mood. It's really interesting to see the difference between the two versions of the photo.   Posted: 11/11/2019 04:04:16

Ken Carlson   Ken Carlson
The image certainly looks very painterly, primarily because of the dunes being so soft. Did you plan that, did you want that or did you not want that? I sometimes get that look in low-frequency parts of my image, similar to your dunes, if I add too much noise reduction   Posted: 11/09/2019 12:34:13
Elizabeth Mangham   Elizabeth Mangham
I planned for the edges to be sharp. The softness is due to the wind and sand moving. I am not sure if the rain was still draining, if so, I think it added to the softness. I like the variation. I think it adds interest. I did not do any noise reduction. These things make the dunes more interesting to me because you can never get the same photo twice. It is alive wit movement.   Posted: 11/10/2019 17:34:49

Elizabeth Mangham   Elizabeth Mangham
BTW, friends, when I wrote the comments I forgot which shot I chose and thought it was the one with mountains behind it. Sorry. All else applies to this scene. I debated on which to send and just included the big mountains in my mind. Getting old is difficult.   Posted: 11/10/2019 17:46:07

Paul Hoffman   Paul Hoffman
Looks like something out of a science fiction movie, don't go on the sands, it's out of phase and you be trapped in another dimension. It does give a serial feel to the image that you have composed very well. That one main bush on the left-hand side is so important to hold the image and allow the dunes to do their thing. It does look a lot better in monochrome, if this was mine, I would remove that path like effect down the centre of the image by using the patch tool with content-aware.   Posted: 11/14/2019 09:31:59

Elizabeth Mangham   Elizabeth Mangham
I had not noticed that line before. I checked the tif and it appears to be some darker soil turned up. None the less, I thank you for pointing it out. It does need to go.   Posted: 11/15/2019 21:52:13

Mark Southard   Mark Southard
(Groups 8 & 18)
Spectacular image and B and W fits perfectly.........   Posted: 11/16/2019 10:05:00
Elizabeth Mangham   Elizabeth Mangham
Thanks. Glad you visited our group.   Posted: 11/18/2019 12:35:44

Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Very unique shot at the NP. It does look surreal to me in B&W, especially without the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the background. I'd love to visit there someday. My only observation to add, is that there appears to be a water/lens spot blending into the dark clouds in the upper left corner. Nice capture!   Posted: 11/18/2019 11:56:37
Elizabeth Mangham   Elizabeth Mangham
I blew up the RAW file and it is actually a cloud. But you are correct that it looks like a water spot and needs to go. I will work on changing it to look more like a cloud. Thanks.
Do try to go there. It is wonderful. So much could be done with photography there. I wish I had had a longer lens with me. Abstract possibilities are endless.   Posted: 11/18/2019 12:35:00

Raymond Zurschmitten   Raymond Zurschmitten
Good picture with three layers. Below the savannah with 2 single trees and a forest border. In the middle the sweeping dunes and above the sky with dramatic clouds. Special are the structures of the single areas: below the dotted base, the middle part with many diagonals and above the chaotic sky (which I wished for bigger to keep the proportions). I find the choice of black and white suitable. A successful picture.   Posted: 11/21/2019 07:25:43