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Friday, April 5, 2013

Contender Jeanne Frasse


American Landscape contest Contender Jeanne Frasse quickly found herself nose to earth to capture the clean ripples of White Sands National Monument, NM

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Photographer: Jeanne Frasse

Location: White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

When did you take the photograph? December 2 2012

Equipment:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L lens, SLIK pro 713CF II tripod, Giottos MH-1000 ball head, polarizing filter

Describe how you got this photo.
Unseasonably warm winter temperatures in New Mexico brought numerous crowds, very little wind and lots of footprints to White Sands National Monument last December. Hikers and dune riders had disturbed most of the dunes. The lack of wind at night prevented the erasing of the prints and renewal of the ripples. When I came upon this clear shot of clean ripples leading to the Yucca at sunrise, I was instantly on my belly waiting for the warm glow of the morning sun to illuminate the scene.

Did you use any special techniques?
Getting down low allowed me to get the best angle. Photographing at f20 with the stick in the foreground, the mid-scene low vegetation and distant mountains added depth to the image. With the sun at 90 degrees to the line of focus I could use my polarizer effectively to emphasize the blue of the sky.

Why is this scene of American Landscape special to you?
This was actually my first trip to White Sands National Monument. I was struck by the natural beauty of this otherwise barren desert landscape. According to the park information, the glistening white grains of gypsum sand create the largest gypsum dune field in the world. Many visitors come armed with plastic snow saucers to ride the dunes. Equipped with only my camera equipment, it was the desire to find an untouched surface of ripples that brought me out before dawn. With 115 square miles of dunes in the monument, this is a place where I will definitely return to further explore.

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