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Tuesday, July 22 2014 @ 03:19 PM EDT
White Sands National Monument
 
By Hank Pennington
 
Any time of day it pays to keep an eye out for closeups. Whether a strand of grass gently stroking the sand in a breeze, a beetle marching, a lizard, a small rodent, or a bird snacking on beetles and rodents, the tracks make great photos.
 
Look Close
Photograph © Hank Pennington
Captured Mon Mar 29, '10 09:06PM
Posted Thu Feb 10, '11 07:33PM
Views 482 / Comments 0
 
When you find a dramatic vista like this, stick with it for a while and wait for the light to change as the sun falls, then slips behind the San Andres Mountains. Plan on long exposures and hiking in the dark, but often the most dramatic lighting occurs after the sun disappears from view.
 
Evening Light
Photograph © Hank Pennington
Captured Sun Mar 28, '10 08:36PM
Posted Thu Feb 10, '11 07:33PM
Views 500 / Comments 1
 
As the dunes move they expose the "hard pan" beneath.  The hard pan provides excellent walking surfaces along with texture for dramatic contrasts with the dunes. In this view the shear left sides of the dunes are quit soft, while the gently sloping right (or "back") sides are firm enough for easy walking.  Wherever possible climb the dunes from the gently sloping back sides.
 
Hard and Soft
Photograph © Hank Pennington
Captured Sun Mar 28, '10 10:59AM
Posted Thu Feb 10, '11 07:33PM
Views 472 / Comments 0
 
Solitary yuccas are scattered through the dunes, presenting great compositional opportunities and challenges. Depending on the time of day and light angle, the nature of the photos will change dramatically.
 
Lonely Yucca
Photograph © Hank Pennington
Captured Sat Mar 27, '10 07:35PM
Posted Thu Feb 10, '11 07:12PM
Views 715 / Comments 1
 
Low angle light in morning and evening adds dramatic shadows to the dunes, ideal for showing off dune forms as well as textures in the sand.
 
Dune Shadows
Photograph © Hank Pennington
Captured Sat Mar 27, '10 07:32PM
Posted Thu Feb 10, '11 07:12PM
Views 531 / Comments 0
 
Gypsum dissolved from the surrounding mountains forms selenite crystals (foreground) as Lake Lecero dries, and as those weather they provide the "sand" to form the dunes in White Sands National Monument
 
Selenite Crystals
Photograph © Hank Pennington
Captured Sat Mar 27, '10 12:28PM
Posted Thu Feb 10, '11 06:49PM
Views 513 / Comments 0
 
Any time of day, tracks of animals, birds and insects can provide excellent photos, both as subjects and as highlights of larger views.
 
Tracks in the Sand
Photograph © Hank Pennington
Captured Mon Mar 29, '10 08:29PM
Posted Thu Feb 10, '11 06:49PM
Views 500 / Comments 0
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