The Dunes





TheDunes2This is one of my favourite places. There is a little sliver of Lake Ontario in the first image, and the sand and dunes you see here are part of the worlds largest freshwater sandbar. I remember clearly the first time I put my feet in this sand. It was the summer I was 16. That’s a while ago.

© Karen McRae, 2013

62 thoughts on “The Dunes

    1. Thank you, Helen. I confess I’ve sort of tweaked it to infrared, but it makes it feel like being there for some reason. Perhaps it’s more like a memory this way…

  1. Wow these are beautiful! You know Karen they kind of remind me of an old Western film.

  2. I had to ask myself where? I had heard there were sand dunes near Lake Ontario but have never seen them and I am from there! These are so dramatic; even ominous. I think the first three and the last are the most powerful. The first one is so mysterious, leading you in, way in. Gorgeous.

  3. Incredible heightened drama…like Ansel Adams on infrared or something! Reminds me of Silver Lake off Lake Michigan…dunes 100 feet high that bury all but the tops of the poplars. We used to go Dune Scooting as kids with a tour buggy outfit that’s been in business since the 1950s. 4 generations of my family have done this!

  4. Otherwordly for sure. It reminds me of that TV series, Thunderbirds. I don’t know why – it’s as if I expect a puppet to walk out and see a space ship in the background 🙂

  5. You certainly know how I admire your vision of the world and your photos! But these – especially the first 3 (and I can not agree with others) are simply too dark and depressing for me, especially for pleasant memories… But even so: beautiful images. Number 3 and 4 are phenomenal! 🙂

    1. Yes, I guess there is something a bit ominous in them, but I don’t find them depressing in any way – I suppose my associations might cancel that out. It’s interesting to hear your reaction – perhaps I have over processed them! : )
      Thanks for your comments, Jan.

    1. It’s a really beautiful place. I’d like to photograph it in winter.
      There is some interesting history about this place too – about how over 100 years ago all the trees/vegetation were removed from the dunes and the surrounding farmland was swamped with sand. It took decades to re-stabilize the sand dunes!

      1. Now that is not surprising, they they would get on the move again if no longer anchored by vegetation.

        I have recently been working with Lidar images from a heavily forested environment near a northern river. Lidar works via a phenomenally dense array of laser beams projected from an airplane. The beam reflections are measured which gives a map of the vegetation but also of the ground where the light reaches through. If you are not a forester, then you strip off the vegetation data leaving a very high resolution map of the ground under the forest. Anyway, in this area, near the river and near the edge of a glacial lake there are all kinds of sand dunes visible on those maps under the forest. If they were exposed again, they too would start to move even though anchored for thousands of years.

  6. Beautiful images, Karen – and I can take as much mono as you can put out! I particularly like the 3rd picture down – a very striking landscape. Adrian

  7. CONtrast! Images three and four remind me of a Twilight Zone episode I watched once. Three could be right out of a B&W version of Lawrence Of Arabia.

  8. The B+W changes the mood totally. I expect in colour they would be happy sunny shots, but instead they are very dark and moody, almost threatening. Very interesting effect.

  9. the first and second one are really expressing ,for me at least , dunes. They are original and beautiful made.The second one does less presents dunes but more a place I hesitate to go. I like the second one more , more tension , more content into it. Of course this is only me , grt bart

  10. I love it that your blog can take us from the intimacy of a seed head to the grandeur of these landscapes. I really like the epic sweep of these. Beautiful in black and white.

    1. Dearest Gigi,

      You are a sweetheart. : ) Yes, not much has changed really in that 4 years, although, I suppose the dunes are resculpted by the winds daily.
      In the 1800’s they had a bit of a disaster because so much of the vegetation was cut out of the dunes the sand started swamping the surrounding farmland. At least that’s what I’ve heard – certainly I wasn’t there in the 1800’s anyway…

  11. What incredible images! Very surreal quality to them and huge amount of depth. The style reminds me of the half-light used in older films to give the impression of night (day for night) but with enough light to actually see what’s going on. : )

    1. Hi Matt,
      That’s true isn’t it, there is a touch of half-light. I wonder is there has ever been a film made here, I’ll have to check! : )
      Thank you!

  12. Beautiful photos, Karen…love the drama in the sky and the way you finished/processed the images…like taking us back to the time when you first saw them….

  13. Wonderful images, Karen. Beautiful tones and stunning location. The first time I saw Lake Ontario was in 1987 when sailing on the Great Lakes – something I will never forget. (There’s a few photos in my HMS Fife set on Flickr). Thanks for posting this beautiful b&w work 🙂

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