One of the things I really like about digital cameras is their sensitivity to color temperature. The human visual system naturally adjusts to color temperature in order for our minds to see things as “normal”. Set your camera to daylight white balance and take a picture in the shade and everything has a blue cast to it because shady light is, well, blueish. As case in point is “Leading Line” above where the white balance was set to best retain the color in the dunes and underexposed to increase the shadows. The distant mountains which were in deep shadow from the late afternoon sun appear as an unwashed denim blue creating a striking contrast to the tan tunes.
While my friend Gus and I were searching for interesting patterns in the dunes, we spotted this spiral of pumice stones in a dry “pond” bed. It must of taken someone considerable effort to get the rocks there. The rocks were not particularly small, and for pumice, not particularly light. I was hauling about 25 pounds of gear on the dunes and it was pretty tiring. Lugging a pack full rocks to this place couldn’t have been fun, especially since it looked like it would require a few trips. Gus suggested going low and wide for the shot. Normally, I like to follow my own instincts about a composition but Gus has a really good eye so I listen. Thanks Gus. Fitting, it came out pretty otherworldly looking.