Awakening, White Sands, New Mexico by Laura Zirino

I met a very unique photographer on a workshop that I took by chance (a friend had signed up and suggested I do as well, but I knew nothing about who was leading it). It was an intense experience, and afterward I contacted this photographer about working with him one on one. He agreed, and for the next 6 months I applied his methods of approaching photography, which included being completely present in the scene, with all senses. I traveled to White Sands National Monument to shoot, and on this morning I hiked into the dunes in the dark, concentrating on being present-feeling the cool sand under my feet, the wind blowing, etc. I climbed to the top of a high dune just as light was illuminating the horizon. The desert was awakening. I took many shots, but this one resonated the most. I processed it using this photographer's insights, with the intention of presenting what I felt as I watch the desert awaken. Now, one year later, I see this was the first photo that I created with an intent to convey my experience, what I felt as I stood there. The awakening was also mine.

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