Shadow Dancing

Early sunrise in Glamis Dunes Ca - Yuki in red dress with a textured sand dune background. Her shadow dances with her.

Early sunrise in Glamis Dunes Ca - Yuki in red dress with a textured sand dune background. Her shadow dances with her.
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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken at Glamis Dunes in California. It's South East of the Salton Sea just west of the Arizona border.
We left San Diego at 3:30AM to get to the dunes by sunrise. We rolled up just as the sun was coming up creating red sand dunes and amazing long shadows.
The hazy clouds and low sun cast a golden hue on the dunes and popped the texture of each ridge with dramatic shadows and high contrast.
I shoot with a Canon 5D IV and used a 24-70 mm at f5. The natural light was perfect. No tripod needed.
This was a planned shoot. We wanted Yuki, a professional and award-winning ballroom dancer to be photographed in a formal gown in a unique place - outside the traditional ballroom. We decided we wanted sand dunes and early morning natural light. We wanted a dress that would pop in the desert. Having shot in Death Valley in early morning I have seen the dunes go blue. The clouds and haze in this shoot caused the warmer light which I think works better that if they had been a cool blue. The sand textures long shadows were the icing on the cake!
I try to do very little post processing. A little color correction and some minor lighting fixes (hand under the umbrella and face area)
In my camera bag
Wow - I have a big bag. 5D IV body with 50mm, 35-70mm, 24-70mm, 24-105mm and a 100-300mm. I also have a Fuji XT-3 converted to infrared and shoot with a 18-135mm utility lens. Love my neutral density filters as well for long exposure opportunities.
Plan. It's fun to just go out and shoot, but if you sit down before and try to plan out a scenario - even if it doesn't go exactly as planned, I feel like you tend to get better quality shots. Be loose though - open to little surprises, backgrounds, poses, activities that weren't part of the original idea. Have fun!

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