Morning – Imperial Sand Dunes
I am was on the way to Phoenix yesterday morning, so I spent a quick Morning at Imperial Sand Dunes. On Interstate 8, out of El Centro, I was headed East when I found that good light was already hitting the clouds and I started planning for a good place to stop. I decided to try the Imperial Sand Dunes off Grays Well Road.
I also enjoy this stopping point because Grays Well Road is a portion of Old U.S. Highway 80. The old Plank Road also existed prior to Highway 80’s christening in 1926, and was a set of wooden planks that were set over the dunes to allow vehicular travel to clear the dunes without getting stuck.
The glow from the high, light, clouds had amazing hues or red, pink, purple, and orange. The strongest colors existed much more than 15 minutes before sunrise, and I was quite pleased with the results. As the twilight morning grew closer to sunrise, the colors because much more muted, and eventually washed out.
This isn’t the most ideal time of year to photograph the Imperial Sand Dunes. This is ATV season, and it is hard to look anywhere without seeing tire tracks everywhere. In a way, I think that still makes for good images though, because it does show a time and place for these dunes, and people can immediately guess where and when the image was taken, as well as provide some perspective for how these particular dunes are enjoyed by the public.
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.