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National park photo ops: In Death Valley, hit the dunes early

National park photo ops: In Death Valley, hit the dunes early
Bathed in early morning light, a photographer crosses Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley National Park. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

A photographer on a sunrise walk is dwarfed by the scale of the Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley National Park. The light right after sunrise really shows off the hues of the golden sand.

By arriving before sunrise you will be walking in the dunes while it is still dark -- so bring a flashlight and a towel to protect your gear from the elements.

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You won't be alone; many devoted photographer make the pre-dawn trek.  If you can, scout your path the day before.

Always take water, sunscreen and a hat.

In honor of this year's National Park Service centennial, the Travel section is posting 100 park travel ideas and tips based on trips staff travel writer Christopher Reynolds has taken, along with photo-op advice from Times photographer Mark Boster. We'll post one per day through Dec. 31.

Follow Reynolds on Twitter: @MrCSReynolds

See travel videos by Reynolds from around the world.

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