Great Sand Dunes National Park: A Morning in a Moment

In the San the Luis Valley of Southern Colorado you will find the highest sand dunes in the United States at Great Sand Dunes National Park. The Sand Dunes were established as a National Park in 2004, but I started shooting images of the dunes before it received park status. My brother, Moe, and I world take these trips in an old Volkswagen bus, scouting for places to photograph and hike. 

Mount Herard Great Sand Dunes National Park Colorado

Mount Herard Great Sand Dunes National Park Colorado

One morning, Moe and I were camping at the Great Sand Dunes and awoke to a valley covered in fog. There was a brightness to it as the sun was just out of view through the low fog. I set up my camera, pointed in the direction of the Sangre De Cristo Range. The fog began to lift and revealed Mount Herard, just past the dunes. It was a moment in time to capture a wonderful image since the fog turned to overcast clouds and the light went flat. We went hiking for the rest of the day since there was nothing more to shoot.


For landscape photography, The Great Sand Dunes is an ever shifting canvas. The dunes move all the time. A shot you take once will not be the same since the landscape will change with the wind. 

The rocks in Maine that I photograph near and around Acadia National Park stay the same and it is the weather around them that creates the dramatic changes. Since the dunes, though, are always changing as much as the weather, the whole of the landscape is unique each time I visit. 

Great Sand Dunes NP Mosca, CO

Great Sand Dunes NP Mosca, CO

The National Parks have taken quite a few hits lately. Between Hurricane Sandy, Forest Fires, Colorado Floods, and the Government Shutdown it has been a rough year. If you would like support your National parks Donate to the National Parks Foundation.