White Sands III


Situated in New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin, between two 8-9,000′ mountain ranges — the San Andres Mountains to the west and Sacramento Mountains to the east —White Sands, unlike most desert sands made of quartz, is composed of gypsum and calcium sulfate. Unlike sand found on most beaches, white sand is cool to the touch, due to the high rate of evaporation of surface moisture and the fact that the sand reflects rather than absorbs the sun’s rays. At an average 4,000′ elevation, the estimated 275 square miles of White Sands’ dune fields is known as the world’s largest surface deposit of gypsum.

Equally fascinating is how low-angled winter light casts diverse color onto the bright white gypsum sand. Shadowed low and flat light casts blue when shooting west toward last light, while early light casts an orange glow on the gypsum sand.

This is my third visit to White Sands. Each time I see it differently, and each time I come away with images that greatly excite me. A little over a year ago I hung a show at Las Cruces Museum, eleven images from my three visits including three from this series.

West into San Andres Mountains<br>White Sands III - 2013 West into San Andres Mountains II<br>White Sands III - 2013 Early Light<br>White Sands III - 2013 Early Light II<br>White Sands III - 2013 Wind Tracks<br>White Sands III - 2013 East into Sacremento Mountains III<br>White Sands III - 2013