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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

White Sands

December 24th, 2011 · No Comments

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I went to the White Sands National Monument to take pictures of yuccas.

Now, yuccas have been a part of my life since growing up the San Gabriel Mountains as a kid when I sat down on one by mistake. A mistake that I for some reason have never forgotten.

So, I am not particularly fond of yuccas. And I don’t normally think of yuccas as being particularly photogenic.

But a professional photographer can make yuccas interesting. Russ Burden is that sort of photographer. He showed me and three other photography students how to photograph the soaptree yuccas of White Sands.

Mountains and Yucca

Mountains and Yucca

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But, of course, we saw much more than yuccas. We shot the white gypsum dunes and surrounding mountains in all their patterns, shapes, and textures.

Morning at White Sands

Morning at White Sands

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Morning at White Sands

A Sharp Ridge in the Dunes

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Moon over the Mountains at Sunset

Moon over the Mountains at Sunset

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“To think that plenty of people would pay not to be here!” Jaime, one of my fellow tour members, exclaimed one morning. To capture the early morning light on the dunes on most days we had to get up before 5 a.m. Early morning temperatures were sometimes below zero. And on our long hikes through the dunes we carried our heavy tripods and cameras.

But the beauty of the yuccas, dunes, and mountains of White Sands combined with what we learned from Russ made it all worthwhile.

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Posted in: New Mexico

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