photography from the ground up

Archive for January 31, 2010

Yucca Sunset

Sunset at White Sands National Monument. A lone yucca silhouetted against the darkening sky with the San Andres Mountains in the background. This is the last image I made on my last trip to White Sands. Soon afterward, the light was gone, and I began the walk back to my car.

The white sand that makes up the dunes is actually gypsum crystals that are left when gypsum is eroded from the nearby San Andres Mountains. Over millions of years the dunes have grown into a moving ecosystem–the more active dunes can advance more than 30 feet per year! Plant and animal life must be able to adapt to this movement or perish.

Equipment: Nikon D200, Nikon 17–35 mm f 2.8 zoom lens, Bogen tripod.

Camera Settings: f 20, 1/25th sec., ISO 250

Processing: Contrast, clarity, vibrance, and saturation adjustments in Adobe Lightroom, curves adjustment, and RAW conversion in Photoshop.