I had only an evening, a day, and a morning to photograph White Sands. How could I convey the essence of the place, I wondered. The first evening the light was dramatic for only a few moments and I was fortunate to come away with a frame or two. I was still familiarizing myself to the park.
The park didn’t open until 7am and it closed again at 8pm during the time I was there. The sunrise was about ten minutes before 7. I was glad I’d asked the ranger the first evening about camping, as I learned the airforce base about 3 miles away allowed for free camping. It was basic, a patch of ground with a latrine I assume some soldiers had dug. It would work just fine for me. That allowed me to awaken, stuff the tent, get to the gas station for coffee and those mini-donuts (you know, you want to be healthy on the road) and be at the gate about a quarter till. I did my best to stay at the speed limits as I hurried through the park to the place I’d selected to photograph.
There are lots of footprints on many of the dunes. I opted to go the opposite direction from which I’d seen tourists and hope for the best. I was able to find the scenes I’d imagined. The first morning was still overcast, but that allowed for a couple of dramatic moments.
The second morning broke crystal clear so I worked to get the low angle of light across the dunes. I guess I was a week or so late for the Soaptree Yucca blooms, but I found that I really liked them in their post-bloom, dried condition. I found them to be somewhat artistic. I really liked the picnic tables too, and could almost dedicate a post just to them. They had a very retro 1950’s feel to me.
I also did my best to pause, soak in the silence, and enjoy just being in such a beautiful place. I hope you’ll enjoy the work I did there.