White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument

The majestic wave-like dunes of gypsum in the White Sands National Monument are unreal. The monument consists of miles upon miles of beautiful rolling hills that sparkle and provide unique contrasts for out-of-this-world photographs.

 White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

Beautiful untouched dunes create the best shots, but you need to hike for a considerable distance to get to them.

 White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

 White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

 White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument

Using the backpackers trail, you can follow red land markers deep into the dunes without getting lost. Make sure you keep an eye on each marker because it is extremely easy to get turned around.

 White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

The best time of day for photographing White Sands National Monument is, of course, during golden hour. The challenge is that the park doesn't generally open early enough for you to catch the sunrise, and if you visit after the time change has occurred in October, you will not be able to catch the entire sunset.

The best way to avoid this is to camp! You can pick up permits at the ranger station and head out into the dunes to catch some great night shots if the skye is clear. You can also capture the sunrise and sunset without having to worry about getting to the front gate before it closes.

At this park, and with all national parks, do not forget to simply stop every once in a while to take in the beauty. The best part of going deep into the dunes is to lay on the side of one and stare off into the distance. I've enjoyed listening to music while doing so. It's one of the more relaxing things you can do.

Travel Tips:

  • Bring warm clothes if you visit the park closer to winter time. It is a desert, so the weather will be  either extremely hot or cold.
  • Follow the markers if you are venturing out into the sand. Be wary that the markers can look the same but have small differences on them to dictate which cast off point they will lead you back towards. 
  • Don't get caught out too late. If it is past the time that they are closing, they will close the gate on you or call search and rescue, either of which you do not want to happen. 

Photography Tips

  • Try camping for the best shots.
  • Get creative with the contrasts. 
  • There are some great leading line shots here with the way that the sand is formed. Try and incorporate them into your shot for a great photo!

Gear

  • Canon 5DSr
  • Canon 6D
  • Canon 24-70mm ƒ2.8 L II
  • Canon 70-200mm ƒ2.8 IS II
  • Canon 24mm ƒ1.8 I

If you're looking for gear check out BackCountry (Link Below) anything that I need I end up grabbing from them

Nonprofit Highlight

The Western National Parks Association  is a nonprofit education partner of the National Park Service. They currently support 67 parks across the west, developing products, services, and programs that help enrich the visitor experience.

The initial purpose of the WNPA was to produce books and educational materials for the parks that they served. The Association has since evolved into more holistic storytellers for the parks. The WNPA works to bring the "parks to the people" by engaging visitors through a variety of activities and programs, thus garnering increased knowledge and interest. 

Since the organization's inception in 1937, the WNPA has raised millions of dollars of support from their stores, most of which you can find located within national parks. 

Shanghai & Zhujiajiao

Shanghai & Zhujiajiao

þingvellir National Park & The Golden Circle

þingvellir National Park & The Golden Circle

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