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Death Valley Dunes

Death Valley Dunes
Photo Information
Copyright: Sky Fa (SkyF) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 1999
Categories: Desert
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-04-30 9:25
Viewed: 3648
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Many first time visitors to Death Valley are surprised it is not covered with an endless sea of sand. Less than one percent of the desert is covered with dunes, yet the shadowed ripples and stark, graceful curves define "desert" in our imaginations.

The Mesquite Sand Dunes are at the northern end of the valley floor and are nearly surrounded by mountains on all sides. Due to their easy access from the road and the overall proximity of Death Valley to Hollywood, these dunes have been used to film sand dune scenes for several movies including films in the Star Wars series.

The primary source of the dune sands is probably the Cottonwood Mountains which lie to the north and northwest. The tiny grains of quartz and feldspar that form the sinuous sculptures that make up this dune field began as much larger pieces of solid rock.

In between many of the dunes are stands of creosote bush and some mesquite on the sand and on dried mud, which used to cover this part of the valley before the dunes intruded (mesquite was the dominant plant here before the sand dunes but creosote does much better in the sand dune conditions).

Scan from the archives

XOTAELE, jcoowanitwong, kokos101, izler, norenastramus, loot, Adanac, captainsgirl, fiyo, carper, gracious has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hola Sky.
Preciosa panorámica, llena de contrastes. Magníficos colores los de la arena en contraposición los oscuros de las montañas.
Estupenda nota.
Un cordial saludo, JL.

Hello Sky,
I like this perspective pov. This is how this place really look like. TFS this fine picture and also your informative note.

wonderful view sonja, excellent shot with beautiful colors.

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2007-04-30 14:13]

hello my friend
here is wonderful panoramic view of these impressive desert and mountains
i like composition, point of view, lighting, colours, details, note and framing
thanks for sharing

Hello Sky,
excellent shot Beautiful view with colors.Well done.TFS

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2007-04-30 20:55]
  • [2]

Hi Sky

A classical landscape shot with all the right proportions according to the so-called "rules for landscape photography".

The composition and POV is great with the 3 distinct layers visible and lying on the approximate lines of the 1/3 horizontal axes'. The foreground containing most of the creosote vegetation and the impressive flowing dunes, the middle ground showing the picturesque Cottonwood mountain range, and finally the back ground that contains the cloudy and almost turquoise coloured sky which is a remarkable variation on the normally intense dodgerblue Californian sky.

The colours are very natural and pleasing, the details are sharp throughout the entire DOF plane, and the exposure was well managed. This is even more impressive when one considers the fact (which suddenly and finally struck me) that this is an archive shot that was scanned from a photo that was taken in 1999.

Lovely work and TFS.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-04-30 22:50]

Hello Sky

Nice shot.The dunes look great against the mountains.Very good POV and composition.The colours are wonderful,the blue of the sky and the sable of the sand balance well.TFS


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-05-01 0:44]

Hello Sky,
Great scene well captured,TFS.

Hello Sky,
This is a very interesting picture with excellent notes. I didn't now much about this almost mystical place but you made me discovered it in a very interesting way. Colors and exposure look fine to me in a good POV. You seem to travel a lot, this is fun! TFS this interesting one. Thanks,

Hi Sky,
Great informative notes on this pretty photo. I like the layers of colors. Is that Luke Skywalker I see there ? :o)

Thanks for your comments on my photo " Swimming in Reflections (12) "

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-05-01 7:33]

Hello Sky,
amazing landscape; sharpness, colors, light, composition, everything is excellent !

bonjour sky
vous avez delaissé les animaux pour ces beaux paysages,j'etait loin d'imaginer ce genre d'endroit en californie!moi je voyais plutot la plage mais il y a deja le sable.
merci de faire decouvrir des lieux a mille lieux d'ici.

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2007-05-01 14:17]

a fantastic landscape here Sky,
good composition, nice the balance and a good pov, very nice place, thanks for showing us

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-05-01 23:53]

Hi Sky.- Very nice and fine photo. We also have Sand Dunes in the middle of the desert, not to far from were I live. I like them a lot. Luis52.

Hello Sky,
A really impressive landscape, the name was well chosen for that valley; the plants in front looks like scorched. Good composition with different coloured bands: plants, dunes , mountais and sky.

Hello Sky,
Great panorama of landscape!
good POV with colour, clarity and details always
great job

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