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White Sands Sunset Part 1

White Sands National Park near Alamogordo, New Mexico, had to have been one of the most challenging locations I’ve ever shot. As the name implies, it’s all white sand. There isn’t much color. It’s also very crowded. People can and will ruin your shot. Not intentionally. They’re just doing their thing and not paying attention to you. Fortunately, I’m pretty good at shooting around a crowd, but it wasn’t my only challenge. It’s a sand covered desert. People leave footprints in the sand. Photoshop helped some, but it too has its limitations. In the end, I just wasn’t happy with the results.

I returned to White Sands not once but twice. My second experience was much better, but I still wasn’t completely satisfied. I came on a clear day, and soon realized my shots would have been more interesting had there been some clouds in the sky. I also came in the early afternoon. I would have had better lighting had I come late in the day.

The third time was a charm. I waited for the perfect partly cloudy day, but it was also quite windy. The winds were both good and bad. They created beautiful ripples on the sand, which quickly covered up tracks. Unfortunately, blowing sand isn’t exactly pleasant. It’s also hard on camera equipment. I spent most of my time in a little picnic shelter, giving me a base to work from.  I also stayed until sundown. Sunset is the magic hour for photography, and I’m more than happy with the results.

To see more of my photography, including other photos taken at White Sands National Park, please visit my other website at

Gayle Martin


Gayle Martin Photographer is written, edited, and maintained by a real human being. It does not include content generated by AI (Artificial Intelligence) software of any kind. No part of this blog may be used or reproduced or transmitted in any form, or used in any matter by AI, without the express written consent Good Oak Press, LLC. Requests for permission must be addressed to Good Oak Press, LLC, P.O. Box 51244, Denton, TX 76206-1244