This week, I have been looking back at some of my photographs from New Mexico. Here, I will be showcasing a few of my favorite images from White Sands National Park and some of my favorite forest scenes from the Santa Fe National Forest.
White Sands National Park, in southern New Mexico, is one of the newest national parks. It was upgraded from a National Monument to a National Park in 2019. The scenery is unique for its namesake white sand. It is white because the sand is made of gypsum. Gypsum is different than the more common and beige colored silica sand.
The colors around sunrise and sunset can be incredible in the dry desert air. White Sands is best when the sun is low and just over the horizon. At this time of the day, the sunlight really accentuates the ripple patterns in the sand.
As the sun rises, the black and white photography can also be interesting here.
Further north in New Mexico, the mountains get higher and the forests become denser. One of my favorite trees to photograph are aspen trees. Aspens are plentiful between roughly 8,000 - 10,000 feet above sea level in the mountains of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Late September and early October are typically the best times to photograph the yellow aspen trees in this region.
I did an off trail hike through one of the most beautiful aspen forests that was located a short distance from the Santa Fe Ski Area. Not only was this pristine forest near peak color, but it was loaded with golden grass. Backlight (like in the picture above where I am looking into the sun) can be often be difficult to photograph, but it can lead to dramatic scenes. I love the backlit golden grass and the shadows in this picture.
One of the joys of hiking off trail is stumbling upon scenes that few people get to see. Here I came across a lone evergreen tree standing out among the aspen forest.
I still need to work on one more set of pictures from my trip to New Mexico last year. That involves some heavy editing with the annual eclipse that occurred on October 14th. Hopefully I will have that up soon and might be the subject of my next blog post.