Photography by J.D. Magers

Portfolio Book Image: High Dune

Added on by J.D. Magers.

In 2008, my wife and I went for a weekend trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park.  We stayed at Zapata Ranch, which is an awesome place to stay by the way.  We want to take our kids there one day, as they have a complete ranch experience package.  And it's run by the Nature Conservancy.  Check it out here: (  

Anyway.  This is one of my first attempts at HDR.  I just love this image.  I love how the clouds lead your eye from the upper left, curving just as you arrive at the summit of High Dune.  This is 800 feet of sand.  It's also just a monster to climb.  Very difficult.  The sand is reflecting some early afternoon light, which is again giving us some red/blue color contrast between it and the sky.  In retrospect, the HDR is probably a little over done.  The sky isn't really that blue here all the time (although I have seen it that blue).  There are highlights in the clouds that are blown out, but hey, I was working with an 8 MP camera back then.  It's a solid attempt, and one from which I have learned.  And I like that there are four people in this image.  

I haven't done as many HDR's in the last couple of years.  Mainly because I don't live as close to the mountains anymore.  That's an excuse though, and one that needs to go away.  I enjoy HDR, and tinkering around with all the plugins.  It's cool, and it's all that should matter.  

Only one photo left...

High Dune, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado