My August 2016 Photo of the Month is GSD1. I made this image during the height of the monsoon season in Great Sand Dunes National Park.
This photograph was part of a one-day trip from my parent’s home in Trinidad, Colorado, over to their nearest National Park. This was my second visit to Great Sand Dunes, so I had a plan in head before arriving. Rains were intermittent throughout the day, and I knew that the cloud cover would make for some dramatic images. On my previous trip, during a prevailing drought season, we did not see many wildflowers in the dunes. On this particular day, I was lucky to find many that had sprouted from a superb monsoon season. I even needed to start heading back to the dunes parking lot (several miles North) because of storms and lightning coming into the area.
As you can see in the image, there are several patterns of diagonal lines that pair up in this image. I think the scene overall is very dramatic in black and white. People tend to default to color when wildflowers are present, but the tones in monochrome were too pleasing to me to resist. The result from this trip was one of the favorite photographs I have ever taken.
This image was taken during a very busy month. I had this Summer vacation with my daughter to see her grandparents, a Summer night visit with my friend Alex Kunz to photograph moonlit sand dunes (and lightning), and another visit to Pinyon Point in the Laguna Mountains. With so many images to choose from, this is still the image that stands out best for me and is August’s Photo of the Month.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.