on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Trip the Light

Adventures in White Sands

“In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you,
but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.”
- Rumi

My photography is based in the American Southwest and my motivation to explore a new location is simple curiosity. My interests in hiking, camping and backpacking and the various information resources I peruse on a daily basis keep a steady stream of luscious landscapes, descriptions and images constantly feeding my imagination and sense of adventure. Living in the Sonoran Desert, I've fallen in love with the history, geology and the complex environments of the desert.


Technically speaking the dunes are not sand but a 275 square mile white gypsum dune - the largest gypsum dune field in the world.
White Sands National Monument located in Southern New Mexico between Las Cruces and Alamogordo has long been on my radar so I recently made the trek. Technically speaking the dunes are not sand but a 275 square mile white gypsum dune.  It is the largest gypsum dune field in the world.  It is the result of an ancient lake that dried up millions of years ago leaving the mineral deposits behind.

As I head into any new location I'll first check the National Weather Service reports to see what I may expect for my skies. Unfortunately, heading in I knew I'd encounter completely clear skies so I had to formulate a game plan. Rarely do my landscape images ever hold an empty sky. My first time visiting a new area I'll keep my expectations low. I arrived at the dunes in the late afternoon to get a feel of the monument and where I wanted to shoot the next morning as I'd be coming in, in the dark.

You can se more of Valerie's photography and writing at http://valmillett.blogspot.com.

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