White Sands National Monument Photography Workshop

New Mexico, USA

White Sands photography workshop © Nikhil Bahl

Dreamy landscapes come to life at White Sands National Monument, a unique and creatively challenging destination for landscape photography in New Mexico.

Sparkling Sand Dances in the Light at the World’s Largest Gypsum Sand Dunes

Here, expansive dunes of gypsum sand resembling the form of waves engulf 224.6 mi2 of desert, creating the world’s largest gypsum sand dunes. Cool to the touch, this unique dune field is composed of gypsum and calcium sulfate, providing a serene backdrop for beautiful landscape photography. Each visit to the dunes is visually different every time!

White Sands National Monument is a U.S. National Park, preserving a major portion of the dune fields along with the plants and animals that live there. The backdrop of the mountain ranges to the east and west makes the location a scenic delight with surreal photographic opportunities for image making.

Pastel sky © Nikhil Bahl

Creative Landscape Photography Challenges

White Sands National Monument is a great location to visit because of its special set of creative challenges. This is a perfect location to strengthen your landscape photography skills! Using light and shadow, composition and creativity come to the fore when interpreting the dune fields. Nikhil will help you hands-on in the field and push you to think outside the box with your photography.

Early in the morning and late in the evening, white sand reflects color from the sky which is the perfect condition for creating beautiful photos. There is not much plant life at White Sands National Monument, but yucca plants are present and a great way to add anchors of interest to photos at this remote area.

White Sands mountain range © Nikhil Bahl

What You’ll Learn on this White Sands Photography Workshop

Capture Dreamy, Intimate Landscapes

  • Creative landscape photography and working with unique challenges
  • Special focus on capturing fine details and intricate patterns
  • How to balance light and the angle of the sun
  • Working with shadows and contrast
  • How to create the perfect composition
  • Black and white photography
“Nikhil’s enthusiasm, guidance, and assistance made this workshop a real learning experience for me. Nikhil was willing to share his knowledge and always had our interests as top priority.” –Lynn B.

White Sands mountain sunset © Nikhil Bahl


First Evening

During our first evening together, Nikhil will give a presentation on what to expect during your White Sands photography workshop. Everyone will get to meet each other, discussing strategy and creative photography during the upcoming days.

Daily Sunrise, Sunset, and Classroom Sessions

Every morning before sunrise and evening for sunset we will take trips into the field to focus on creating images. During midday we will have classroom sessions at our host hotel where Nikhil will work with you on your images and teach you new photographic techniques so you can create your best images ever.

December 13, 2017

7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Orientation meeting and presentation at the hotel

December 14–15, 2017

5:45 AM–9:30 AM
Sunrise field trip

10:00 AM
Return to hotel for breakfast

10:00 AM–1:00 PM

1:00 PM–2:30 PM
Classroom session

3:00 PM–5:30 PM
Sunset field trip

6:00 PM

December 16, 2017

5:45 AM–9:30 AM
Sunrise field trip

10:00 AM
Return to hotel for breakfast (end of workshop)

This itinerary is subject to change based on weather conditions and other factors. Participants should be comfortable hiking 1–1½ miles round trip into the dunes.

Leaf and sand pattern © Nikhil Bahl


  • All photography instruction in the field
  • All classroom instruction
  • Private board room for daily critiques, image editing, and classroom instruction
  • Early entry into the park

Does Not Include

  • Lodging; discounted lodging has been arranged. Our group code will be provided upon registration and receipt of deposit.
  • Transportation throughout; we will encourage carpooling to and from the refuge as it is a 30 minute drive from our host hotel.
  • Meals

Plant life © Nikhil Bahl

Traveling to New Mexico


Participants should plan to be at our host hotel before 7:00 PM on the first day of the workshop. Make sure to allow plenty of time to eat dinner prior to our orientation meeting.


This photography workshop ends after our sunset field trip on the last day, so plan on departing any time after that.

Local Airport

El Paso International Airport
6701 Convair Road
El Paso, Texas 79925

Code: ELP
Telephone: 915-212-0330
Web: www.elpasointernationalairport.com

Where We’re Staying

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
100 Kerry Ave
Alamogordo, New Mexico 88310

Telephone: 575-434-9773
Web: www.ihg.com

If you would like to register for this workshop, please fill out our registration form. A non-refundable deposit (listed above) is required to reserve your spot. Please refer to our workshop information section for our cancellation and refund policies.

Workshop Information
  • Dates: Dec. 13-16, 2017 (1 openings)
  • Cost: $795
  • Deposit: $400
  • Participants: 8

Nikhil Bahl

Nikhil Bahl

Nikhil Bahl is a full time professional photographer, author, educator, workshop instructor and environmentalist residing in the Washington D.C. area. Drawing inspiration from nature, Nikhil adopts novel approaches and seeks meaningful interpretations: to create photographs that transcend the commonplace, reflect deeper insights, and convey an enchantment of the subject's beauty.

An offshoot of Nikhil’s fine art photography and love of nature is his documentation of wildlife behaviors and habitats. Continue reading »

Nikhil's enthusiasm, guidance, and assistance made this workshop a real learning experience for me. Nikhil was willing to share his knowledge and always had our interests as top priority.
Lynn B.
Bosque del Apache and White Sands - New Mexico