The size of a sand dune can be hard to grasp from a single image. These are featureless landscapes and as such could be small ant hills or massive mountains. Footprints and the lone hiker help to speak to the size of this dune in Great Sand Dunes National Park. The silhouette of the hiker making his way up in the footsteps of those who went before gives this dune scale and makes its size tangible. What isn’t seen is that this is only the top portion of a very large dune.
The shadows give you an idea of how steep the section is on the right side. The spacing of the footprints is more spread out because fewer people take this way down, but the spacing of the steps also reveals how steep the section is because people are running/hopping down rather than walking. Hiking up hill in sand is an arduous journey, but the down hill can be pure fun and exhilaration.