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Leica M10 Monochrom

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Making of “Solo Hiker near Summit of Eureka Dunes” (Leica M10 Monochrom)

This image is all about shape and form in nature, with subtle elements of scale that tell their own stories, with the human form particularly compelling. These extra elements turn it into something special over and above a pleasing abstraction, which would otherwise be fairly banal (I’m hardly the first person to make images of sand dunes!). Plants and animals make their home here, and human visitors are a passing part of an age-old landscape. One moment in in which little has changed since the last major ice age.

Subtleties were very much on my mind here: the snake and pack rat and crow tracks in the sand, the small bits of dead vegetation, etc. When I saw the hiker beginning to appear, I worked quickly to time the shot just-so. I think I nailed it—part preparation, part previsualization (I knew the hikers were coming), and part luck (being on that portion of the dunes at just the right time. All of these come to together to make the image what I would call an “abstract documentary” image, a favorite genre of mine, but quite hard to execute very often, or successfully.

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Solo Hiker near summit of Eureka Dunes
f11 @ 1/45 sec, ISO 160; 2020-12-21 13:25:54
Leica M10 Monochrom + Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH + filter B+W 091 Dark Red
ENV: Eureka Dunes, altitude 3350 ft / 1021 m, 60°F / 15°C

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