White Sands was as magnificent as I’d hoped. Every six months the rangers take photographers on a sunrise shoot. I’d built my vacation around that date. Although my vacation almost got ruined by the government shutdown, they reopened White Sands National Monument in time for me to visit.

The ranger was going to take us to an area closed to the public that was mostly cottonwoods. At the last minute she changed the location to the big, dramatic dunes at the back of the park, where many movies have been filmed. It was the right choice. Dawn was wonderful, despite people cluelessly and carelessly tromping all over the most perfect dune that was right in front of us and would have had sunlight on one side and blue shadows on the other. In addition, I spent two sunsets at the park and went back on my way out of town to get textures and more yuccas.

I had hoped the clouds would have been more dramatic, but I did get some lovely sunset clouds and of course the dunes cry for abstractions.

One of the things I love about the dunes that I hope some of these photos demonstrate, is that two shots of the same location at different times changes not just the light but the color of the dunes and the sky. I hope these are less repetitious than they are interesting.