Category Archives: White Sands National Monument

New Mexico & Arizona Highlights 2014

photoventuresEarly December saw me travelling to the USA for the second time in 2014. The primary purpose of the visit was photograph White Sands National Monument and Bosque del Apache. However, as has been the case on past visits we spent the first  three days travelling along Route 66 between Albuquerque (New Mexico) and Holbrook (Arizona). The trip was organised by Roger Reynolds at who has travelled to these locations on many previous occasions and knows the area very well. The route map as recorded on my trusty Garmin eTrex Vista GPS device is shown below.

The weather conditions varied quite a bit, which made some of the locations a lot more photogenic than was the case when I made a similar trip in late December 2010. This was especially the case when we visited the Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook. It had been raining heavily just prior to our arrival.

Kachina Point, Painted Desert

Kachina Point, Painted Desert

After the Rain, The Tepees, Petrified Forest National Park

From Holbrook we travelled across to Bosque del Apache. Along the way we stopped to photograph the Very Large Array near Socorro. Again, it had been raining just prior to our arrival.

Truck in the Rain, Plains of San Augustin

Radio Telescope, Very Large Array, Plains of San Augustin

We spent four very productive days at Bosque del Apache. As always there were plenty of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese, but two my favourite photographs from this part of the trip are shown below.

Red-tailed Hawk, Bosque del Apache

Sandhill Cranes and Moon, Bosque del Apache

More photographs from the trip can be seen the gallery.

All photos were taken on Canon EOS 5D MkIII or Canon EOS 7D MkII. Post processing was carried out in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC 2014.

Day 7 and 8 – Arizona and New Mexico Photo Shoot

This is our second day at White Sands National Monument and what a great two days we’ve had. We actually arrived late in the afternoon on the 28 November, but very strong winds prevented any photography, That being said, the wind had cleared all of the foot prints left by earlier visitors, so we had virgin sand to work with.

White Sands is a U.S. National Monument located about 15 miles Southwest of Alamogordo in the state of New Mexico. The area is in the mountain-ringed Tularosa valley area and comprises the southern part of a 275 sq mile field of white sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals.

As with Bosque del Apache, this was my second visit to White Sands and was one I had been looking forward to for some time. On this occasion I spent a lot more time within the interdune flats than on my previous visit, but I didn’t neglect the dunes altogether.

Photographing the white sand dunes and plants is best done an hour or so either side sunrise and sunset as the lighting casts long shadows and adds colour where virtually none exists. The following are a small sample of images taken over this past two days.

Yucca and Shadow

Yucca and Dune Grasses

Dune Grass and Shadow

Evening Light in Dunes

Sunset Cloud Patterns and Dunes

Dune Grasses

Morning Light in Dunes

Cottonwood Tree in Dunes

Twilight in Interdune Flats