Congratulations to Tim Williams for winning the recent Dry and Sunny photo assignment with his image, “Desert Dynamics.”
“White Sands National Monument averages 330 days of sunny skies per year,” says Williams. “That’s a pretty solid bet for those craving sunlight! Just don’t forget to bring the water—and plenty of it. Nearly all of this desert’s scarce rainfall occurs during the ‘monsoon season,’ spanning generally from July through October. This is a period coveted by photographers wanting dramatic weather and cloud interest to be an element in their images of the ever-shifting dune-scape. But, this weather didn’t translate into me having to deal with rain while shooting; over the course of a week, I hardly felt a drop. However, the daily passing of VERY isolated thundershowers did provide one dramatic side effect—occasionally severe wind.
“This image features one such sandstorm, with a wall of airborne gypsum glowing in the sunlight against the mountainous backdrop. While many of my images from the week were captured with menacing skies, I appreciated this photo for the element of blue sky and light, billowy clouds. The late afternoon, low-angled light streamed in to provide wonderful dimension to the soft contours of the varied sand forms. I composed the shot to be anchored by a strikingly pyramidal dune and went wide to give a ‘big desert sky’ feel. A 3-stop soft grad ND filter was used to control the bright sky. A memorable location, and one whose drama I hope to experience again!”
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