Dunescape Trees

Submitted by Member Steve Shor


Along the northern edge of Indiana and along the Western Michigan coastline are a multitude of sand dunes. Two areas noted for prominent dunes are the Indiana Dunes National Park and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park.  I have visited both of these  national parks numerous times over the past twenty years.

The trees have a tough life in these dune areas because they are desperate for water.  Also, the soil is always moving, often exposing their roots, and preventing the roots from getting  a good grip on the soil.

I started photographing these trees in infrared because I think it shows off the trees better than rendering them in visible light.  This is especially true when the surrounding vegetation is green as the tree itself stands out dark against the white glow of the vegetation.

Several of the pictures I’ve included show exposed roots, while others show trees in their dune landscape.  One photo shows just the top of a tree that has been almost completely buried.  It is an eerie landscape, but one that I find fascinating.

When shooting in infrared you have to decide whether to convert to black and white, convert to false color,or leave it somewhere in between.  I find that I like to work with all three depending on the image.  Since many infrared images have a surreal look to them anyway, I figure it does not matter that much if the colors are not real.

If you are ever in this area of the country, check out the dunes for yourself.  See the maps below for the park locations.




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