Sand Dune Panoramas

After many hours of stitching and tweaking panoramas, I’m finally able to post some of the best ones from the Great Sand Dunes National Park. I had to resize and cut the below images, because some of the panoramas were too long.

Once the thumbnails fully load, click on the first image and it will bring up a separate window with a full version of the panorama. Then click on the next button on the right hand side of the image to view the rest of the panoramas. The images are 1200 pixels wide and they might not fit on your monitor – in that case, you can scroll left and right using your scroll-bar on the bottom of your browser.

I captured this first panorama on a small stream that was running alongside the dunes. The stream was very shallow and I simply stood on it, capturing the stream, the dunes and the mountains in the back:

Sand Dune Panorama #1

Then we moved up the dunes and I found a nice spot overlooking the stream and the mountains:

Sand Dune Panorama #2

Climbing up the dunes was not easy, especially with our heavy gear and the wind blowing on our faces. It was cold and on top of that, sand got into my eyes and my mouth, which was not very pleasing. As we were moving up, I pointed my camera against the sun and shot the following panorama:

Sand Dune Panorama #3

As we climbed higher, it was getting colder and windier, but at one point the sun came out of the clouds and shone directly on the dunes, adding a golden color on the dunes:

Sand Dune Panorama #4

I turned back and saw a spectacular scene – the whole valley got lit up by this golden light. Sergey and I started shooting the scene very quickly, as the sun was about to disappear again:

Sand Dune Panorama #5

NIKON D700 @ 50mm, ISO 400, 1/200, f/10.0

The whole scene did not even last 5 minutes and the sun was gone for a long time after that. Our last opportunity was at sunset, but the clouds covered up sun and the light was only hitting the clouds. Hoping for the last opportunity, we waited for another 15-20 minutes and it’s a good thing we did, because the sunlight finally penetrated the clouds and painted the mountains along with the clouds. In this very short window of opportunity, I was able to capture the following panorama:

Sand Dune Panorama #6

NIKON D700 @ 35mm, ISO 800, 1/200, f/5.0


  1. November 24, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Nasim, you should really consider offering higher resolution image downloads for personal use. I am sure a lot of people would love to have these images as a wallpaper on their screens. My screen is 1368×768 in case you offer wallpaper downloads :)

    • November 25, 2009 at 3:19 pm

      Mukhsim, thank you for the suggestion! Honestly, I have been thinking about providing wallpaper downloads a lot, but I first need to clean up the messy gallery. I only want to leave the best “showcase” photographs there and provide a link to download a high resolution version as well. I’m also thinking about keeping watermarks on those images, so that the photos do not get stolen…

  2. 2) WebMonster
    November 25, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Thumbs up Nasim aka! Excellent job. I agree with Mukhsim, it would be a good reward for your readers to offer a wallpaper downloads of your shots.

    • November 25, 2009 at 3:20 pm

      WebMonster, thank you! I will definitely start working on those this week!

  3. 3) Stewart
    April 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Thank God Sony ALpha DSLRs have amazing auto panoramic mode lol. I don’t have the patience you have when it comes to photoshop.

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