White Sands Dunes at Night

Purchase Image Download:

White Sands National Monument, near Alamogordo New Mexico, is famous for the bright white gypsum which makes up its dunes. The sand is so reflective that it’s cool to the touch, even in intense summer sunshine.

In this piece you can see the rolling gypsum dunes of White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, with the beautiful Sacramento Mountains in the background. This photograph plays a bit of a trick on you. The moderate brightness of the dunes, coupled with the dark sky, seem to convince the viewer that this is likely a nighttime photograph. But in reality, it’s not. It’s the only photograph where the title is intentionally misleading, in order to further the ambiance of the image. In reality, this photograph was taken at near midday, with the sun almost directly overhead. The gypsum is so reflective, that the dunes were far brighter than even the desert sky. Thus, exposing for the sand yielded a dark sky. You can tell orientation of the sun by looking at the dunes, where the shadows are only present on the vertical wall of sand.

Purchase “White Sands Dunes at Night” Fine Art Print: