Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Ripples in the sand

with 18 comments


On October 25th the pleasant ripples in the desert sand along Interstate 15 near Baker, California, called out to me to photograph them and I granted their request. I’m so obliging. In fact I obliged more than once.


© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 17, 2016 at 4:54 AM

18 Responses

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  1. I do the same with beach sand. Patterns made by minerals that wash up. Sometimes there are dragons! One time there was a woman. Each day a different abstract. I love your sand ripples.


    December 17, 2016 at 6:16 AM

    • You’re fortunate to have access to beaches. On my three biggest trips of 2015 and 2016 I took advantage of access to beaches in New Zealand, along Lake Michigan in Illinois and Indiana, and on the Pacific coast of California. I saw plenty of abstractions but never the woman or dragon or other figures that you did.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 17, 2016 at 9:31 AM

      • They seem to appear during low tide as the sea water oozes out of the sand and heads back to the ocean. Such patterns emerge.


        December 18, 2016 at 6:51 AM

  2. I was caught by the sand’s texture, which seemed unusual for beach sand. Then I read your text, and discovered you weren’t at the beach. It would be fascinating to spend a day at the same spot, and record the changes in the tiny ‘dunes.’


    December 17, 2016 at 8:28 AM

    • That’s an excellent project you’ve proposed. I can imagine a time-lapse video showing the changes in one place. I wonder how long it typically takes for a pattern to change to something that no longer resembles the starting state. Probably not long when the wind is blowing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 17, 2016 at 9:34 AM

  3. Ripples have a subtle power, a quiet power; they are repetitive yet each one is unique— combined they can be hypnotic and calming….

    Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    December 17, 2016 at 11:28 AM

  4. Love these images. Excellent shots.

    Isabel F. Bernaldo de Quirós

    December 17, 2016 at 4:28 PM

    • Thanks, Isabel. These ripples in the sand gave me a chance to play with abstractions, which I’m a big fan of.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 17, 2016 at 5:08 PM

  5. Great detail. Images like this always remind me of waiting for my print job to be done (not photographs but business cards) and fooling with the little Zen sand garden on the counter.

    Steve Gingold

    December 18, 2016 at 1:35 PM

    • I’ve never heard of a Zen sand garden on a shop counter. I remember finger painting in elementary school.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 18, 2016 at 5:05 PM

      • Just a miniature of the real thing for patrons to occupy themselves while waiting for the job to be completed. Bunch of rocks, a tiny rake and, of course, sand.

        Steve Gingold

        December 18, 2016 at 6:52 PM

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