Colorado landscapes: Great Sand Dunes - Zapata Falls

Zapata Falls 1  

During midday the sand dunes may not be the No.1 place to be in and around Great Sand Dunes National Park if you look for photography opportunities. There are other alternatives and being just at the foot hills of the Sangre de Christo Mountains you don’t have to go very far. Zapata Falls is an interesting place and a welcome “cool down” opportunity if the temperatures are high. I have never been so wet during a shooting as in the canyon that leads to Zapata Falls high up in the mountains. There is no way to enter the narrow canyon that bares the water fall without getting at least your feet wet. Keeping the camera and lens out of harm in the spraying mist of the falls is a good idea but nearly impossible. While quickly shooting the lower part of the water fall the mist in the air made it almost impossible to get a clean sharp image of the upper part. Only my first click is sharp enough to be shown here. The water drops on the filter in front of the lens made for an interesting blur, but that doesn’t mean I liked it. :-(


Zapata Falls 2


I knew from reading about the access to the falls that there would not be much light and so I took of course the tripod with me. Another factor is the glare from the wet walls in the canyon and that’s why I mounted the Polarizer to the lens. It turned out to be a good idea, adding it later wasn’t really an option because of all the water spray in the air. Acting fast was key for success in this matter. The photos were made around noon hour and having the light from almost above lead to some images that reveal the beauty of Zapata Fall, at least in my humble opinion… More to come…