Sands of Time

dune skeletons

Dune Skeletons, Silver Lake State Park, Michigan | Nikon D800, 24mm f/1.4

I find it interesting the things that come to mind when I am editing my work. In this sand dune image, I was cleaning some dust spots off and noticing how the horizon line was slightly blurred. I remember it was quite windy this day, the persistent wind off of Lake Michigan that is known for sculpting many of the dunes on the west side of Michigan. On this horizon, there is a lot of blowing sand. Just a thin sand “atmosphere” of sorts.    I remember being pelted with those bits when crossing the various ridges here.   When looking closely at the bark of these tree remains, you can see the toll the blowing sand has taken on them. The bark is pitted, worn, and raw in spots.

Many consider the phrase “Sands of Time” to be sand falling in an hourglass, the fleeting time that we are all on this planet. It is much harsher than that. The sand is not encased in a protective enclosure just steadily falling away. It is out in the open, blowing and colliding, slowly ripping away and sculpting the surfaces it meets. Ultimately it ends up consuming and burying those things, perhaps creating something new.   That seems much more representative of life.


  1. Beautiful image Mark, I think you are absolutely right on the analogy to life that this represents, seems like all the experiences we have in life sort of sand blast and shape us !!
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  2. On the other side, Mark. If you stay out there just long enough, you’ll come back with really smooth skin. :) I guess what I like most about dunes, and I wish that I had some nearby, is their constant, easily seen changes on a day to day basis.
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  3. Beautifully stark image, and some nice poetry to boot :)
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  4. Stunning image. Lots of power to it. I also like your analogy to life. Nature has a way of teaching us of we attend class on a regular basis. You do that, Mark!
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  5. I do prefer your analogy over the regular analogy associated with “Sands of Time”. Much more insightful.
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  6. Those magical details are often what makes an image special. I was recently cleaning dust spots on a photo and realized that the sky was loaded with snow geese that i didn’t see with my eyes.

    I love the “sands of time” reference, Mark…very appropriate for this photograph.
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    • I agree Tom. I wish the blowing sand was more prominent in this image, but I think that would have taken some pretty harsh wind conditions to be photographing in as well.

  7. Mark, this is a truly beautiful image in many ways. I absolutely love it. From the color contrast, to the starkness, to the meaning and representation behind the image….truly wonderful

  8. Love this capture! Reminds me of Dali’s ‘The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory’ for some reason, even though it’s quite unrelated.
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