Three Tips For Sand Dunes Photography

Photographer Erica Robinson shares three secrets to getting the best photos at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. 

The Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve is an amazing place to photograph! But regardless of where you go, being prepared and doing your research can make or break your trip. The more you know, the better it will go.  Here are three tips to help you prepare for your trip to the park.  

1. Bring glow sticks

The Great Sand Dunes National Park is filled with dunes that are exactly how they sound... great! It’s a vast area that at night looks much different than it does during the day, making it easy to get disoriented. If you are planning an evening photo shoot, pack 5 or so glow sticks to mark your entrance just past the path of the trees. On your way back out of the dunes, you will be able to spot them and find your way back out.

Tip from a local: Remember to practice Leave No Trace Care for Colorado Principles and pick up all glow sticks on your way out. Pack in-pack out! 

2. Weather can be a bit unpredictable

If the wind picks up you want to be prepared, especially with your camera equipment. When you get out to the dunes, make sure you keep your bag closed up. Otherwise, you are going to be walking back to the parking lot with pounds worth of sand. Also, try to have your lenses already changed and on your camera body before getting out there. Changing lenses in the dunes can result in sand getting into your sensor. 

3. Apps!

Our phones are a huge source of information. Preparing with apps can help if we are gearing up for a sunset/sunrise or night sky photoshoot. I like to use SkyGuide for my night sky searches and PhotoPills for all other sun/moon information.

Erica Robinson travels the country as a Tamron instructor, holding workshops in national parks across the West, including at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.  

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