Saturday, March 26, 2011

White Sands, NM

_DSC7775_DxO nx topaz 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.
Donna and I passed through White Sands National Monument last July. White Sands is located in southern New Mexico and is the largest natural deposit of gypsum sand in the world. We had a tough time getting light in the golden hours during our visit. When we arrived late afternoon, a thunderstorm blew in and quickly dashed hopes for the shadows I had envisioned. Not wishing to become a lightning rod on one of the dunes we were forced to leave just as the light was starting to get interesting.

Not knowing when, or if ever, I'd be able to return to this fascinating place again I got up early the next morning and was first in line at the gate waiting for the Park Ranger to let me in. Just as the sun started to crest the mountains to the east, a bank of clouds moved in and blocked the light. Skunked again!

I found it is better to try for late afternoon as the park is open to sundown, as I recall. The white dunes are quite flat looking once the sun is up off the horizon much at all. In the morning, the gate is opened not that early in relation to sunrise in the summer. From the front gate, one has to drive several miles to the dunes and then hike a ways to get into position. So allow about 45 minutes from passing the gate after purchasing your ticket to get back to the dunes. Best to have your ticket purchased in advance if you wish to try shooting in the morning.

It is a place I hope to return to some day. Certainly worth a visit if you are in the southwest region.

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