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Dawn: the greatest show on earth
29-DEC-2006 Robert Charity

Dawn: the greatest show on earth

Death Valley, California view map

I arrived before dawn at the sand dunes to find the place packed with other photographers. We all selected our own sand dune, positioned a polite distance from each other, and waited for the sun to come up. This group of people must have come very early as they had claimed the highest sand dune. The sun rays had not yet reached the sand, but had just lit up the mountains in the background and the crowd was enjoying and photographing the spectacle.

Nikon D200 ,Nikkor 500mm f/8 Reflex Ai-S
1/40s f/8.0 at 500.0mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large
margreet harmse27-Sep-2016 14:43
Fabulous photo! Wonderful composition and atmosphere!*V*
photography16-Aug-2015 16:03
You are really talented photographer. I would also like to say you might want to upload it on a website, its called YouPic. You will have many more viewers
Darrel Giesbrecht Photography12-Jun-2015 00:37
Joe Bonello10-Nov-2014 07:02
Great Capture !
Abescat Charles21-May-2014 16:34
GeneWard08-Mar-2014 02:02
Wonderful! V
carol j. phipps17-Feb-2013 03:46
Surreal! Wonderful!
Richard Cobby22-Sep-2012 21:09
Truly fantastic. BV.
Jean-Sebastien13-Sep-2012 15:11
Superb photo. Love the composition, and the colours... -vVv-
Rosemary Gallinger23-Jul-2012 22:47
Wow! This is a very striking image!!
June & Warren21-Jan-2012 22:22
Class I image (Defined as: "The only thing wrong with it is that I didn't do it").


Vickie BROWN05-Nov-2011 11:09
Stunning capture! Great work! BV
Ornjira Chawankul16-Sep-2011 05:25
Iris Maybloom (irislm)22-Aug-2011 04:47
The composition + the lighting + the colors = a stunning piece of art!
Barbara Read and Fred Schaad15-Aug-2010 05:12
Great shot. V
Sandi Whitteker03-Jun-2010 16:41
This one is still my favorite of your many wonderful shots Robert. Hope you sold it to National Geographic!
Jill28-Apr-2010 00:46
Captivating image.
Mario Solka13-Apr-2010 15:54
Awesome capture!
Julie Bird09-Oct-2009 04:59
Robert, I had forgotten just how wonderful your photography is. I have loved having another browse of your work. Julie
Algis Kemezys14-May-2009 05:19
Excellent image BV
Ohad.R05-May-2009 12:20
awesome shot!

missy corrales15-Apr-2009 20:51
surreal. the colours are gorgeous.
WoW! -v-
Pawel26-Jan-2009 14:32

This is masterpice, BV
Bartosz Kotulski14-Jan-2009 13:38
this is this interesting perspective and fantastic strong colors. great use of light.Love it
June & Warren07-Jan-2009 23:23
Ditto the above. Do you have a detailed trip report like how hot was it. How far did you have to walk to get where you were. etc.
Chris Spracklen05-Nov-2008 22:16
Yep! Amazing!
A really eye-catching shot, Robert! (V)
Joon An04-Nov-2008 00:56
really liked the texture and colours.
Quy Tran27-Oct-2008 02:52
Amazing capture! Great composition! Vote.
Diana Whiting27-Oct-2008 01:28
George Moy25-Oct-2008 05:05
Incredible shot and gorgeous color!.... V
Andrew23-Oct-2008 03:01
Great colors and the photographers provide the dimensionality. -v
Jean-Luc Elias27-Sep-2008 20:29
Fantastic image!V
David Kinahan10-Sep-2008 03:41
Top shot!
Neus de Saavedra05-Sep-2008 11:09
Excellent work!!! You have got a really stunning compo, congrats! V
Alina04-Sep-2008 09:53
Beautiful colors and comp! v
ellen_morgan25-Jul-2008 00:54
I know this picture has lots of comments already but it is perfectly amazing. From the thumbnail I thought it was a children;s crayon drawing.
Giancarlo Guzzardi02-Jun-2008 05:42
simply great composition
Joost Bossuyt24-May-2008 13:09
Wonderful. V.
Karthik Raja08-Apr-2008 04:10
Been a while but decided to come back for one of my favorite shots in Pbase. Wow!
Jerry Clement31-Mar-2008 14:20
Nice shot
TS. Bok30-Mar-2008 08:51
Amazing shot.
Bill Robinson25-Mar-2008 02:45
Wonderful abstract landscape and the silhouettes work !
Fernando Conde21-Mar-2008 20:01
Graet! (V)
olivier bruning21-Mar-2008 16:13
awesome shot! very beautiful indeed...V
anuschka15-Mar-2008 01:15
A grand image! V.
marita toftgard05-Mar-2008 08:12
Lamar Nix20-Feb-2008 15:36
An exceptional image! Big vote here.
Katie Chew13-Feb-2008 03:17
Outstanding work! V
John Potter21-Jan-2008 02:52
Just about perfect. Vote
Ilene Nova12-Jan-2008 00:36
This is stunning!! Wish I'd been there! v
Kimberley Hannaman Taylor24-Dec-2007 04:49
Spectacular composition and light. V.
NeilG08-Dec-2007 09:01
Amazing photograph. Voted!
thomas05-Dec-2007 18:35
an outstanding picture! V
endre novak01-Dec-2007 18:31
spectacular! v
Sofia Solomennikova28-Nov-2007 14:12
This is JUST GORGEOUS! Huge vote!
tony_england14-Nov-2007 17:44
Looks like a wonderful spectacle Robert. v
John Adler12-Oct-2007 00:33
Fantastic colours and composition!!
Yves Pinsonneault. Photographe11-Oct-2007 13:30
I just hope you read these comments people write to you.

This is a fantastic image, one of my favorite on this site and this is only to say that there are thousands of fantastic images here.

It is in my top 10.

Guest 11-Oct-2007 03:33
Wow! This is amazing!!
an nguyen07-Oct-2007 00:36
Magic art work. V.
Raúl Semoloni22-Sep-2007 13:03
A great reward for carrying A big 500mm Telephoto,Stunning Capture.Big Vote
Gar Cropser20-Sep-2007 00:28
Wonderful lighting and comp. Voted!
Petros Labrakos17-Sep-2007 06:55
remarkable scenic
excellent composed
Xavi Moya16-Sep-2007 05:53
great compo. V
Douglas Law07-Sep-2007 19:33
Great image.
Guest 01-Aug-2007 22:13
Simply PERFECT! ~V
Sandi Whitteker22-Jul-2007 22:32
Super shot. Better with the people. :) Voted
Brent Andersen23-Jun-2007 12:54
Great image!
doron nissim05-Jun-2007 02:47
Ron Horloff23-May-2007 17:00
Very dramatic, with excellent composition and soft colors. Bravo.
Julie Bird21-May-2007 01:25
The placement of the people in this image really demonstrates the vastness of the landscape. I love it!
Neil Paskin18-May-2007 21:57
Wonderful composition Robert, a super image!
Paul Keates08-May-2007 21:34
Brilliance at its best....
TimA08-May-2007 07:07
Spectacular! Voted.
Bernard Bosmans08-May-2007 04:08
Those photographers did do you a big favour, as they added another dimension to your stunning shot. The colours are so beautiful, wonderful to be able to share the view through your exiting image.
Martha Albuquerque07-May-2007 00:20
*Gorgeous in all ways*

Brian Baker01-May-2007 22:10
Stunning shot! just reward for the effort and commitment to your photography.
Thanks for sharing it.
Aivar Mikko18-Apr-2007 17:00
Superb composition. V.
tglass18-Apr-2007 06:47
Yup, good stuff!
Guest 11-Apr-2007 04:04
A masterpiece! This shows also that the most interesting scenes are not there were everyone would expect them and that exploring and looking for other approaches leads to more original and exceptional images, well done ! V!
Zane Paxton07-Apr-2007 17:52
Terrific image. I was there recently and noticed that the compulsion is to race to the top of the highest dune. But like you I started to realize is that to express height most powerfully, one needs to be at a relatively low spot in the dunes...

Reflections by Ruth07-Apr-2007 12:53
WOW, If I could vote 10 times I would :)
this would win any contest you submit it to :)
Extraordinary lines and textures, the photographers on the top of the sand dune just add more interest.
Kim06-Apr-2007 13:52
One of the most amazing photos I've seen! Very very good eye! It's great that you didn't lament the fact that they were "in the way", but took advantage of the situation and captured a great one! V
caveman_lee10-Mar-2007 16:10
Wonderful shot with very nice composition and lighting. Impressive capture. GMV
cindyd22-Feb-2007 03:55
I had the same experience. At first I was bummed there were people in my fov . . .then I realized it was actually a photo op! This is a great capture! Cindy
Ken Smith18-Feb-2007 21:58
What impact. A stunning image without a doubt.
Petter Hamnes15-Feb-2007 22:48
Great capture! Love the composition and perspective.
Guest 11-Feb-2007 13:07
Fantastic composition!
Ron Horloff09-Feb-2007 00:35
Superb lighting and composition. Well done!
coaster07-Feb-2007 01:07
Fantastic! V
Marj Shockley06-Feb-2007 20:47
Amazing capture! V
Matt Latham03-Feb-2007 20:33
Awesome shot
Andrew Cornick01-Feb-2007 19:08
Interesting slant on the scene. I imagine lots of cloning by lots of photographers around death valley!
Autumn Sky31-Jan-2007 23:51
Superb (v)
Susan Craig30-Jan-2007 05:20
Another vote. Awesome.
Donald Verger29-Jan-2007 16:13
Sheila27-Jan-2007 15:10
Ironic you perhaps went for the sunrise but got the most interesting photo, :-)
laine8225-Jan-2007 15:58
Now that's something your not likely to forget...a bit like seeing the sun go down on " The Rock " though I've not done so, Robert.
Simon Mulvaney24-Jan-2007 19:31
wow stunning shot using the long focal lenght to dramatic effect, lovely tones to the sand
dan dunn21-Jan-2007 23:49
I wanna go there
Jason Ankers20-Jan-2007 16:36
Looks totally surreal totally awesome composition. V.
Luca Zanoni20-Jan-2007 10:25
Fantastic Pre-Expressionist Pic "a la Munch". V
Steve Ainsworth20-Jan-2007 05:11
This is unreal--the colors are out of this world! I've never seen a color combination like this in a landscape. The silhouettes are icing on the cake. Great catch! V
Azlin Ahmad18-Jan-2007 08:17
This is stunning work, Robert, and my favourite of the gallery. The crowd makes all the difference and gives perspective to the whole scenery. I love the rosy colours and the layers of texture. Big vote!
Christina Conroy18-Jan-2007 06:57
I'd say you got one of the best photos! Excellent compo!
Karthik Raja17-Jan-2007 20:46
Simply perfect.
Gérard Koehl17-Jan-2007 19:14
Grandiose, la composition, les teintes, tout est parfait. Vote
Michel CORBOZ17-Jan-2007 12:23
Trance17-Jan-2007 05:24
Yves Rubin16-Jan-2007 22:43
Superb! Beautiful soft tones and great sense of scale!
Matthew Jellings16-Jan-2007 19:18
Love the sense of scale and composition, and especially how the colour tones blend in together. V
Guest 16-Jan-2007 17:08
this is superb!
galarneau16-Jan-2007 16:39
Now this is a cool image... great capture. v:-)
Robyco16-Jan-2007 14:38
Not only a great view also great colors you catched here in this beautifull morning.
ltolksdorf16-Jan-2007 06:51
Great comp. Vote.
dawn15-Jan-2007 23:39
what a wonderful image! v.
x by x15-Jan-2007 19:02
this shot takes my breath away. the composition is "other-worldly." i've voted. what more can i say. amazing work in your galleries.
Marcos García15-Jan-2007 16:15
This is breathtaking! VOTED!!!
jypsee15-Jan-2007 15:34
An excellent example illustrating why it's imoportant to have something human in a photo to attract a viewer.
Terri Steele15-Jan-2007 03:28
Wow! This is such an incredible image! voted.
olivier bruning14-Jan-2007 02:45
fantastic image! surreal! ~V~
Lloyd & Sandy Spitalnik14-Jan-2007 00:46
Stunning composition and colors. VOTE
Brad Troy Photography13-Jan-2007 23:56
Very unique appearance in this shot. This has an abstract feel to it. Well done.
Guest 13-Jan-2007 21:53
Wow! Surreal quality to it. Those people help put it all in perspective.V
Rory Trappe13-Jan-2007 20:38
Nice one.
Camilo Cano13-Jan-2007 19:58
It is just out of this world... Beautiful image
Richard Calmes13-Jan-2007 19:32
A very nice statement and composition! V
Barbara Heide13-Jan-2007 10:36
great textures and colours...creative composition! fine Art...gmv
jude12-Jan-2007 10:51
Wow. And you picked the best composition and sight - the photographers as an important part of the scenery. Well done.
maximzar12-Jan-2007 06:43
Love the curves and men's silhouettes! Voted
Natasha C11-Jan-2007 21:32
Another wonderful shot, beautifully composed. v
Beverly Wickersham10-Jan-2007 12:35
Beautiful shot. Great pastel colors.
Terje Hamnes10-Jan-2007 11:53
Very nice comp. and the colours are wonderful! V
Ann LT10-Jan-2007 02:49
Wow! V
Claudio Viezzoli09-Jan-2007 16:15
beautiful shot and excellent gallery altogether!
Susan Leigh09-Jan-2007 11:25
wow, stunning..from the thumb it looks like a painting. Great capture!!
Joanne Kamo09-Jan-2007 07:22
Fantastic lines and color tones! V
EB09-Jan-2007 02:12
wonnnnderful :):):)
Absolutely stunning!
Wenche Aune08-Jan-2007 23:45
Wonderful image. V
Kathy Thompson08-Jan-2007 23:35
What an amazing place this would be at sunrise. Love the way you have composed the shapes of the dunes and the inclusion of the people is perfect for scale and added interest!
Sean Sparbanie08-Jan-2007 23:01
Great shot! That place is just surreal.
marie-jose wolff08-Jan-2007 22:32
wonderful view and great composition!
Thierry Lucas08-Jan-2007 22:11
Beautiful light and excellent composition.
Guest 08-Jan-2007 21:34
Excellent composition, both lovely and in it's own way, funny. Somehow including all those photographers jockeying for position adds rather than detracts. v
Brinn MacDougall08-Jan-2007 18:49
I think you captured the most interesting view.....v
akleja08-Jan-2007 16:10
Fabulous comp! Excellent shot! Vote.
David Grundy08-Jan-2007 16:00
I love this composition (and the colours - but not having been there I have no idea whether this is a literal or a liberal interpretation). I don't know whether you were disappointed by not getting the highest dune, but I'm glad you got the opportunity to make this picture!
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