Dune Strolling in White Sands

Image of the Day – Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Niko & Rayne Stroll the Dunes of White Sands, NM

Niko & Rayne Stroll the Dunes of White Sands, NM

The end of a very busy, exciting day is today’s image from my life. We began our day early departing from Carlsbad, New Mexico and making our way through Lincoln, New Mexico, the center of the infamous Lincoln County War depicted in the movie, Young Guns. Driving from Lincoln we passed the spot where the original Smokey the Bear was found clinging to a burned tree after a forest fire and strolled through Three Rivers Petroglyphs with rocks strewn about etched with thousand year old native etchings.

We finally found our way to White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, New Mexico and spent the rest of the day walking across massive dunes. It was a hot, scorching, cloudless afternoon in the middle of several hundred square miles of glaring white gypsum. The flowers were in bloom in great abundance and the desert was just as alive as it was desolate.

Towards the end of our day just before sunset we came across an area of picnic tables under small shelters. The desert winds picked up and in a barren, wind-whipped cul-de-sac we prepared a simple meal of hotdogs and cold soda and water. As the dogs cooked on a small gas grill I snapped this picture of Niko and Rayne strolling across a large dune as the day gave way to an equally crisp, clear night.

Composition in this image is non-existent but I still like the shot because I was there to see how much fun Niko and Rayne had on those dunes in White Sands that day and this was their last moments walking barefoot across sand dunes in a desert sunset – something a person doesn’t get to do every day.

The only enhancements I made to this image were to reduce the noise. I’d shot this at a high ISO as the light was fading fast and my subjects were in motion so there’s considerable noise in the original. My Nikon’s auto white balance failed me terribly here so I also added a levels layer mask and lightened the image, added a touch of contrast and finally using a Color Balance tool I changed the colors by +5 red and -4 yellow.

~ by rfoxx on June 3, 2009.

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