Friday, April 10, 2015

White Sands, New Mexico | Shifting Light

Earlier this past winter I had some business out west. Naturally, if I was going to the trouble to travel I might as well add some photography time. My first stop was visiting friends east of Albuquerque, the McCalls, to see recent additions to their pumpkin farm. Afterwards, I had planned to visit the NW corner of the state for some photography. Alas, it was not to be as one of several storms tracked across the Southwest dumped heavy snow in the region and the sites I had planned to visit were closed. Plan B was to head south where the precipitation was rain and the system was moving out to the east. Gray sky and rain accompanied me the entire drive. When I arrived at noon, it was still raining. I decided to don the rain gear and head out to the Sands and see what happened. The weather improved as sunset drew closer.


There were a fleeting moments when the sun broke through the clouds, as in the leading image. The lower image was taken minutes apart from the first one. After walking and standing in the gypsum dunes for hours the shifting light made for an exciting experience.

I have to relate about the one that got away. Just as the light was looking like it might be a phenomenal sunset, I could hear the Park Ranger in the distance announcing it was time to exit (he had quite the loud speaker on his vehicle). After walking out to the car I began the several mile drive towards the gate. Sure enough, in the rear view mirror the sky exploded in a fantastic sunset. I stopped briefly along the road with only enough time to watch as the sun dropped below the mountains. That is what is called a "neurochrome".  Perhaps someday we'll be able to print those. Until then you'll have to take my word for it.



  1. Fantastic clouds. If this was before sunset, I bet that 'neurochrome' is absolutely spectacular!

  2. Thanks Howard! I think the way to get sunrise or sunset at White Sands is to camp overnight in dunes.