A single line of footprints crossing the wind-shaped Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park, California.
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Death Valley National Park, California

One of the great challenges of photographing sand dunes in a national park is finding a composition without footprints. The dunes are always changing- sifting, undulating, transforming under the wind- but nothing breaks the artistry of these natural processes and patterns like a random line of tracks slicing through; and it's difficult to avoid this in these heavily visited sites.

When shooting at Mequite Flats in Death Valley, I like to try and trek out as far as I can get from the roadside parking area in search of unmarred terrain. Such was my approach on this morning, and as I ventured further from the road and the dunes began to open up I took to following the lines of others, as not to defeat my own purpose. Glancing behind, however, from a point where the only visible track had converged to a path of just my own footprints atop those of a few others, the metaphor felt too powerful to ignore.

No matter our path through life- if it's one common of the masses, shared by but a few, or a track that's all our own- time still takes us all. Our impacts and impressions will be blown over, swept under, as we ourselves become tiny bits of matter mixed with all from this ancient world before. We will be forgotten, yet timeless all the same.

This work is part of my Collector's Special Edition series, with production limited to 28 large format pieces in total. Once this benchmark is met, the image will be retired forever- significantly increasing its value for the small group of people who hold it in their collections worldwide. Please visit my Fine Art page for additional information on Edition types, Provenance, and Artist's Proofs.

Photo © copyright by Josh Meier.

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Related Galleries: Collector's Special Edition