Early in the morning, before the winds have had the chance to erase the tracks of the night and dawn, you can walk the loose sands of the world, reading those stories. Here raven tracks criss cross each other, meandering on the face of this dune. There are areas where it looks like the bird was traipsing drunkenly, others where it came to a run. It is a mystery story, a who-done-it.
The tracks are clues to a mysterious dance, where the motive was unknown, and only the path can be seen. In a few brief hours the story will be erased more completely than most in the world, blown away by the breezes of the day… but there will be a fresh palate by night fall, ready for a fresh story for those early readers that want to seek it out.
Often I prefer to take photographs of sand dunes when the first rays of the sun strike the dune, giving every wind wrinkled inch texture and definition, adding knife edges to the shifting contours of the distant faces. There are times though when that contrast between shadow and light can be too distracting and change the focus and message of an image. There are times when the subtleties of the dunes can speak more loudly, such as when I took this photograph in the hour before dawn, when the sky is brightening, but not yet casting its sharp shadows.
ISO was higher- 640- as I was shooting in low light without a tripod. Shutter speed for this reason was fairly slow, but not too slow- 1/50th of a second. Equally, aperture was only slightly stopped down to f/7.1. I focused a little farther from me, not right close up to maximize my shallow depth of field.
ISO 640, 24mm lens, 1/50, f/7.1