Located in Southern New Mexico, White Sands National Park is one of the most beautiful and bizarre landscapes in the Southwest. It also happens to be the largest set of gypsum dunes in the world. The fine white sand makes for dream like photographs that are unlike anywhere else in the world.
What To Expect
During this small group workshop, we'll spend two and a half days photographing some of the most beautiful sand dunes in the world. In order to take advantage of the best light, we'll be entering the park with a special use permit before the gates open in the morning. This will allow us to get into position for sunrise which will happen before the general public is allowed into the park. Sunrise and sunset is a remarkable experience in White Sands as the sand reflects whatever color is in the sky.
We'll be hiking an average of three to six miles a day over rolling dunes in order to shoot the best locations within the park. On this workshop we'll photograph Yuca plants, abstract textures, sweeping vistas and more. Each full day of the workshop will consists of a morning shoot as well as an evening shoot. The middle of the day will be reserved for rest, lunch and post processing.
The Weather in White Sands can be rather unpredictable in the Autumn. Daytime temperatures average in the mid 60's while the lows can drop below freezing in the night. It is important to come prepared for the heat as well as the cold since we'll be out in the elements before the sun rises. Rain is pretty rare in November but it is important to be prepared for it in the rare case that it happens. Rain jackets can be very good at blocking the wind should we experience a wind storm during our time photographing the park.
While we're on the topic of wind, I highly recommend bringing goggles and a camera rain jacket in case of a dust storm. The sand at white sands is very fine and you don't want it to sandblast your eyes. Not that I know that from experience or anything. Wink Wink... We will head into the dunes and shot even in a dust storm. While the experience can be intense it can also be very rewarding photogenically. Some of my favorite images were taken in dust storms.
Lodging & Transportation
Our home base for the course of the workshop will be in the nearby town of Alamogordo New Mexico. The Holiday Inn Express is a quick 15 minute drive from White Sands National Park which will allow us to access the park at any point should the light get dramatic in the middle of the day.
Each participant is responsible for their own transportation to and from the park. If you are comfortable carpooling, participants are more than welcome to share rides to and from the park. We'll discuss carpooling during the orientation so folks can pair up.
Orientation at the Holiday Inn Express in Alamogordo New Mexico
Break & Post Processing
• Professional Photographer & Guide: You will be guided by a professional photographer who has a good understanding of how light and weather interact with one another. I’ll be at your disposal for any and all questions regarding camera settings, composition, and more.
• Post Processing Session / Image Review: On Sunday, I'll take some time to cover some of my favorite post processing techniques as well as answer any questions that you might have about your images that you captured during the workshop.
• Light Snacks: I'll provide trail bars for a little bit of sustenance while we are out shooting in the field
What's Not Included
• Air Fair and Ground Transportation: Participants are responsible for getting themselves to and from Alamogordo and White Sands. Carpooling is an option for those who prefer to share rides to and from the park.
• Meals: Each participant is responsible for their own meals. The Holiday Inn Express provides a continental breakfast but I cannot guarantee that we will be back in time to catch it.
• Park Entry Fees: National Park and Senior Passes allow free entry into the park
• Accommodations: Each participant is responsible for their own lodging.
Sometimes life can get in the way of a good a thing. Hopefully that doesn’t happen during this workshop, but if it does the following cancelation policy applies.
• 90 days or more – Full refund minus a $200 cancelation fee
• 60 days or more – 50% refund
• 60 days or less – no refund
Should you have to cancel and I find a replacement for your space, I’ll refund your full payment minus the $200 cancelation fee.
This workshop is open to photographers of all skill levels.