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This is an image of the Soap Tree Yucca taken at White Sands National Park in the middle of January several years ago. The soap tree yucca is the emblematic plant of the White Sands National Park and pretty much everyone travels to the southern end of New Mexico for those early morning or late evening shots of the white gypsum sand which includes 275 square miles of desert, the pink horizons of winter, nice blue sky and the warm yellow/brown of the soap tree yucca along with the nice horizontal lines. Simple isolated compositions of the yucca, sand edges, the blue sky and their shadows are all hallmarks of White Sands NP.
Shooting in White Sands National Park is quite serious business as it is so easy for people to get disoriented and lost. The park makes it a point to advise travelers to bring plenty of water as well as a compass, whistle and map to supplement their electronic devices. when they venture by foot into the sand dunes. The Park advises that it is so easy get disoriented and lost within the park. After a while it all looks the same.
This particular trip was quite important to me as it was the very first outing with my new Sony A7r and it began a love affair with Sony’s bodies and lenses that continues today. Yet, the beginning was quite rocky and I learned the lesson of not taking a new camera body on a photo trip until one knows the camera’s short comings. For those of you who may not remember, its shutter slammed shut so hard that it would vibrate the camera unless it was really secured to a tripod. This was particularly problematic for longer exposures and as a result, I had a fairly high failure rate on my images. But when successful it produced wonderful images like the one presented here.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor