Recent Trip to Mars


Recently I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Mars errrr or was that Lancelin?   I think the effect was the same.   This was shot on the same day that Neal, Kirk and I went up to Lancelin and went crazy and shot all the sand dunes.   The thing I remember the most about the trip was getting excited about all the sand dune effects but getting really stressed out at all the sand getting into my gear and car.   I think when shooting on the sand dunes a polariser is almost an absolute must to take the glare off the sand and look for lots of dark shadows as they can create some crazy patterns.    I also learnt as I went up the following week that if there is heavy cloud cover don’t even bother shooting the sand dunes as you get very little contrast because there are very few shadows.   Also you need a good plastic bag to cover your gear whilst you aren’t shooting so sand doesn’t ruin your gear.   I’d love to get out to the sand dunes near Eucla and try my hand at them, I know Beau took some pretty cool shots out that way.

Has anyone else got any cool sand dune shooting tips at all?

Jamie Paterson

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  1. Charlene March 16, 2009 at 9:03 pm #

    Whoa awesome color. Did you do much post processing to get it?

  2. Flemming Bo Jensen March 17, 2009 at 1:08 am #

    I like this simple composition very much, just 3 elements, moon, sky, sand dunes and brilliant colours. Very Mars like!

    A few ideas. A bit more sand dune would be nice, they do sit very low in the image. Get down really low so you can heighten the horizon and still get the moon in the shot. Two exposures blended together would ensure the moon isn’t burned out so you can get detail in the moon, one shot exposed for the moon, another shot for the rest of the scene.

    A polariser is great for this, just remember you cannot use it for stitched panos! Your sky will be uneven and will never blend properly. A polarizer only works at 90 degree angle to the sun so it’s best at midday or 90 degree side angle sun light (will give you uneven sky though).

    I’ve only seen pure white Lancelin sand, where’s the red sand up there?

  3. jamiepatersonphotography March 17, 2009 at 6:07 am #

    @ Charlene,

    The great thing about this was there was very little post processing. Mainly a creative crop to give it a pano format rather than standard format. There is no saturation of colours or anything else like that. It was just one of those magic nights.

    @ Flemming I actually have a whole stack more sand dune in the original photo, I was just playing with a 3:1 format here. The cool thing about this photo is that the sand is actually white but that night (this was taken approx 9pm at night) there was a weird strong pink light being thrown over everything which just gave the sand this pinkish glow. It was really impressive to see when we were standing there. 🙂

    Thanks for passing on the polarising tip to everyone! It all helps.

    Jamie Paterson

  4. ecomuseimages March 17, 2009 at 7:29 am #

    Im going to go out on a limb here and say…try for a crop WITHOUT the moon. I find the moon a bit distracting in the current crop. I think I would prefer the clean two toned look of just the sky and the dunes (perhaps add a little more dune).

  5. spoolphotography March 17, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Very cool Mr Paterson … I agree about the moon and have the same situation with mine, so I have not posted till I get a nice big ass moon shot to drop in 🙂



    Shooting season is about to begin … Hope your ready 🙂

  6. Stephen Williams March 17, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    very cool Jamie.
    i like this quite a bit!
    you guys got some amazing shot’s from your trip there

  7. Christian March 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    like the composition Jamie, would like to see the dune white though, just my preference as blue and white look so nice together. If you shoot the moon wiht a longer focal length then you can add it later. It will be bigger and exposed correctly, see my Roi Tinto shot. Cheers

  8. jamiepatersonphotography March 17, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

    Hi Neal,

    Oh yes shooting season, I thought you were referring to my trip up to Karijini next week, but now I know what you mean. Yes I am ready for shooting season!!!

    Jamie Paterson

  9. jamiepatersonphotography March 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    Hi Guys,

    Point taken about the moon.

    Christian I decided to keep it white because I can get white sand dunes up there anytime, I thought it was something different having a pink glow over them. My Zen Master Photoshop skills aren’t up to changing colours on a scale like that yet. LOL.

    Jamie Paterson

  10. Flemming Bo Jensen March 17, 2009 at 8:01 pm #

    That’s spectacular, that it’s white sand but now a deep red from the dusk glow. Must have been a pretty special night. Would never have guessed dusk light could colour it that much. Looks great, I prefer the red sand.

  11. ecomuseimages March 17, 2009 at 9:26 pm #

    Hey Jamie…I might be up around Karijini toward the end of next week doing a shoot for a magazine. Keep in touch…

  12. michaelolive March 19, 2009 at 8:11 am #

    Nice shot Jamie, kind of makes me think of Star Wars.


  13. Clint Baker March 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

    great shot mate…. i think i really need to get up to lano !!

  14. Tony Middleton March 19, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    Another cool shot Jamie ! I like the fact you have captured/witnessed the rarer light the image a documentive edge I think (though I get what CF means about the colours white/blue as well).

    Keep up the fantastic recent work !

  15. Simon Blears March 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    Jamie, nice shot! I’d agree that there needs to be a little more sand though, but can see that that might not have been possible with that crop.

    Gee, looks like we’re all heading north soon! I’m off to Kununurra for next weekend, bought a new tripod, pan/tilt head and 8GB card in preparation. I look forward to seeing your results.

  16. William Ophuis March 22, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    Nice shot mate, simple but effective.

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