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White Sands Photography Workshop

New Mexico, USA

White Sands photography workshop © Nikhil Bahl

On a White Sands photography workshop, dreamy landscapes come to life at White Sands National Monument, a unique and creatively challenging destination for landscape photography in New Mexico. Learn how to work with light and shadows to capture creative compositions at these expansive and sparkling dune fields.

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.

Sand dune pattern at sunrise © 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.

Plantlife mountains © 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.

Sunset dunes © Nikhil Bahl

Itinerary

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 9, 2018

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

December 10–12, 2018

5:45 AM–9:30 AM
Sunrise field trip.

10:00 AM
Return to hotel for breakfast.

10:00 AM–1:00 PM
Break

1:00 PM–2:30 PM
Classroom session.

3:00 PM–5:30 PM
Sunset field trip.

6:00 PM
Dinner

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.

Sand dune white layers © Nikhil Bahl

Includes

  • 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

Yuca plant sand pattern © Nikhil Bahl

Traveling to New Mexico

Arrival

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.

Departure

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. 9-12, 2018 (1 openings)
  • Cost: $795
  • Deposit: $400
  • Participants: 8
You may also be interested in Nikhil’s Bosque del Apache photography workshop the preceding week.
Leader

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 »

Testimonials
I had high expectations when I signed up for the workshop, based on NatureScapes' sponsorship and Nikhil's photographs and eBook. Those high expectations were fully met. Each outing was well planned, with adequate time allowed for hiking to alternate locations when footprints went farther out than hoped. All the locations were superb. Nikhil's coaching has me looking for balance and seeing layers everywhere I look.

White Sands is a dazzling, unique area, and Nikhil took us to spectacular locations within the park. His teaching method of illustrating a composition or technique and then encouraging each of us with our own compositions, while pointing out the details we need to take care with to make our photos better, works really well for me.

We also had a terrific group of people. It was so much fun to meet new people, get to know them a bit, and see their photos. Where else can you meet other people who think it's fun to hike 2 miles in the dark when it's 12F?
Christopher S.
White Sands National Monument Photography Workshop - New Mexico
It was a wonderful experience and White Sands is a beautiful location to shoot. Nikhil is a fantastic and kind leader who made everyone feel comfortable and relaxed. He is an enthusiastic teacher and his style is intuitive. I enjoyed the interaction with Nikhil and the other photographers as well as the learning experience of shooting at White Sands.
Chris R.
White Sands National Monument Photography Workshop - New Mexico
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