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The sand dunes at Mesquite Flat, near Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley NP, have a much shorter maximum height (~130 feet) than...
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Dawn in the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California

The sand dunes at Mesquite Flat, near Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley NP, have a much shorter maximum height (~130 feet) than many of their nearby counterparts (especially the Eureka Dunes at 700'), but they make up for what they lack in height with spectacular curves and contours.  Their proximity to the highway that bisects the park, CA-190, also has landed them scenes in numerous films, perhaps most recognizably the dune scenes from the original Star Wars .  From the first time I set foot in these dunes fifteen years ago, I have been completely captivated by the way they lend themselves to the fundamental elements of photography:  light, line, and texture.  The dunes give brilliant contrast when directly illuminated with low light just after sunrise and just before sunset, but the soft tones just before sunrise and just after sunset also enable interesting compositions and interpretations. Photo © copyright by Greg Owens.

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