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  1. #1

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    Lookin for info on Oceano California dunes

    Hello photgs in California. I am Edward from Ontario, Canada and looking for anyone who lives in or near Oceano, California. I would be interested in corresponding about the best time of the year to visit to photograph the dunes at Oceano or Guadalupe-Nipomo area. I can be reached directly at teastman@thewritingfactory.com or simply post a reply. Also interested in places to hang my camera bag and tripod for about 7-10 days. Any info will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    Search over at the largeformat group. Someone over there used to live in Oceano. Oceano is a tough spot to get good weather for dunes for a week. If it is foggy, then no shadows. If it is clear, then often still and the number of foot prints will be great. I think you can still ride horse in the 'no drive' preserved area. It is not a very large area. When they are right, they are wonderfully sculptured sand.

    There is lots of camping along the coast, if that is what you need.

    If you just want dunes, then Death Valley has 5 sets and the Devil's Playground (south of Baker at Kelso, Calif) is probably the largest patch of sand dunes in North America.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

  3. #3
    Curt's Avatar
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    The last time I saw Oceano I felt sick that it was in such a mess. If you go there bring a 4x4 to block the tripod so you don't get hit by an offroad cycle or vehicle. It's a sorry situation. Death Valley would be much better, or White Sands.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  4. #4
    Curt's Avatar
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    http://www.desertusa.com/magjan98/dunes/jan_dune1.html

    Edward, look at #5 on this list. I remember Brett Weston mentioning Westgard Pass and Owens Valley in the DVD BW Photographer by Art Wright. This could be the dunes in the video.

    Curt
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  5. #5
    Robert Oliver's Avatar
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    Born and raised there.

    You won't deal with 4x4's if you shoot the north end of the dunes or head South of Oso Flaco from Main Street. My favorite time is in the winter. much less foot traffic and a much higher concentration of sunny days. People on the central coast of california wait for winter so they can warm up. Even in the winter it's tough to find an untrampled dunescape on the north end of the dunes, but you will not find car tracks.

  6. #6
    eric's Avatar
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    A few years back, I got all my gear stolen. All my Hasselblads and 35mm gear at the water park east of the dunes. I was depressed. But it is georgous place to go. I did tent camping at the dunes.
    Yah, do watch out for the 4 wheelers. Fun crowd, fills up all the drinking establishments. I think there are dunes areas where they can only drive so don't take your cameras there unless you are photographing them. You don't want to get hit (I mean run over, they are nice folks). My boss is a 4x4 buff and that's one of his favorite places to go.

  7. #7
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Alas, more and more we seek the few places yet unspoiled. But only to find out that the reason we even know they once existed is because it's been "discovered".

    And having been discovered, they've been "spoiled".

    Doesn't seem as if there are many places left on the poor planet to "wonder" about anymore, does it?

  8. #8
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copake_ham View Post
    Alas, more and more we seek the few places yet unspoiled. But only to find out that the reason we even know they once existed is because it's been "discovered".

    And having been discovered, they've been "spoiled".

    Doesn't seem as if there are many places left on the poor planet to "wonder" about anymore, does it?
    So right George. There is one place on this island I used to love to photograph at. No more, it is now one of the dirtiest places on the island.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  9. #9
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague View Post
    So right George. There is one place on this island I used to love to photograph at. No more, it is now one of the dirtiest places on the island.
    Every Sunday the Travel section of the NY Times has at least one article about some new "undiscovered" place.

    And you think "cool", until you remember that about two million other folk are reading the same article that day - and that it's already been blasted all over the internet too!


  10. #10
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    I have been to the Guadalupe dunes several times. The best time is from February threw October. The dunes are closed during the other times of the year due to bird nesting. You need to get there before the ranger opens the gate at about 6:00am. Follow him in and go to the end of the road to a parking area. From the parking area head south/east out from the lot about 2-3 miles and you will find some spectacular dunes. Every time I have been here I have Never seen another soul out on the dunes! I usually go mid week. You may run into an occasional film shoot or wind. Be prepared for the wind in the afternoon. Start early and with the low light of winter you should have have great success. Now you know one of my secrets. Damn, why am I telling you this, guess I'm not so bad after all. I have made some of my best images here. Good luck.

    Jim

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