The Sand Dunes

Kennedy and I took a trip on April 23, 2022 to Death Valley National Park with the sole purpose of photographing and exploring the Mesquite Sand Dunes.


Mesquite Sand Dunes in Death Valley


Sunset in the Dunes

We took a walk out on the dunes around 6:00pm. I was excited to try out my 100-400mm lens while Kennedy walked around taking some video and photos on her phone. I wanted to try and capture all of the interesting shadows and patterns in the dunes as the sun set over the valley. I couldn't walk more than 50 steps without seeing something awesome being reviled by the dunes. Kennedy and I really enjoyed our little sunset stroll in the sand. It's always a pleasure hanging out with your best friend and capturing photos that have been on your list for a while. Death Valley always delivers on its sunsets and this one was no different. We only walked about 1 mile before returning to the car to camp for the night as the real adventure was in the morning.

Patterns in the dunes


Sunrise in the Dunes

I woke up around 4:45am and Kennedy around 5:00am. It was important that we got an early start to ensure we could get far enough into the dunes to find the most visually pleasing and least travelled dunes before first light. We hiked about 1.5 miles into the dunes and that's where Kennedy decided to sit down in the cool sand and take in the beautiful sights while I ran off to look for compositions like a crazy person. Here are some of the photos I was able to capture.

First light photos


Photos of Kennedy

After I had captured some of the first light photos, it was time to have Kennedy get dressed and ready for her photos. I was trying my best to capture her as naturally as possible in the in the beautiful morning light. I basically had to focus on my settings and making sure I was getting interesting shots while Kennedy just did her thing. Working with a talented model makes everything so much better and easier. We photographed for a little over 1 hour with one outfit change. I love the variety of photos we were able to get.

Kennedy in the dunes


Walk Back to the Car

After we finished Kennedy's photos we took a slow zig zag pattern back to the car while I continued to photograph everything I found interesting in the dunes. Once we got back to the car I wound up finding a cool composition off the side of the road where I zoomed all the way in to 400mm while still capturing the vastness of the dunes.


Photo of dunes from the road


The Sand Dunes

The Mesquite Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park is one of my favorite places on Earth. There is so much to take in and explore. I could spend weeks here. The dunes are incredibly fun to photograph and will give you something different each time. I always look forward to my next trip to Death Valley. If you're interesting in purchasing a print use the button below to visit my Death Valley print shop.


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