White Sands NP, Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA by Earl Robicheaux

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Picture Story

This is an image of the Soap Tree Yucca taken at White Sands National Park. This particular image is quite important to me as it was one of the very first images I took with my new Sony A7r and it really 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, it’s 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. Consequently, I had a fairly high failure rate on my images.

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 images with the white sand, pink horizons, nice blue sky and the warm yellow/brown of the soap tree yucca. Shooting in this National Park is quite serious business as it is so easy for people to get disoriented and lost. It is imperative that photographers and others bring a compass, whistle, water, etc. when they venture by foot into the sand dunes.


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