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White Sands, New Mexico, USA by Francesco Carucci

White Sands Monument Park, in New Mexico, is the largest desert of its kind in the world, made of gypsum sand and white dunes all the way up to the horizon, the glistering whiteness looks like snow, almost tricking your senses into believing you are in front of a winter scene.

But it's indeed a desert. A beautiful desert.

I spent five days in White Sands and I had the chance to shoot four sunsets. Every evening I chose a different direction and walked into the desert until I found the composition I was looking for.

The average trip was about thirty minutes long and thirty minutes more to walk back.

The wind was very strong for three of the four days, making shooting a challenge. The second day was particularly challenging: despite my best efforts to stabilize the tripod, half of the exposures came out blurred.

Walking back to the main road against the wind felt like one more challenge to overcome in the quest for the One Image, a challenge I was more than happy to take on.

Every sunset I chose a different scene and worked the new location thoroughly until I was satisfied with my composition.

For my images, I was mostly looking for simple, but original compositions. I was very attracted by the graphical curves of the dunes, where the side away from the sun was immersed in a beautiful turquoise color caused by the diffuse of the sky on the white sand.

I was also after at least one wide panorama to immerse you, my viewer, in the same environment where I was spending my evenings. I believe I captured a worthy one.

Only in the last day I moved to shooting the iconic yuccas. Yuccas are beautiful and iconic, but I didn't want to be just another photographer shooting yuccas in White Sands.

At the end of the week, I went back home with four images, one per day, that I'm satisfied to share with you once I'm done working on them . It's more than I expected: surely I must thank the amazing location for it.

Camera Sony A99II
Lens Sony Zeiss 24-70ZA f/2.8
Aperture f/11
S/S 1/60sec
ISO 100
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About Author 


For more than fifteen years Francesco has been working as graphics software engineer, mostly creating computer graphics for videogames: as a blend of creativity and technology, his job fostered not only his engineering side, but also his keen artistic sense by having been in constant contact with amazing creative people. Francesco originally picked up photography more than ten years ago to be able to understand the artists' minds and language, which is not the language of math, but that of colors and forms. Through mastering the technical aspects of photography, along with improving the artistic vision, Francesco's photographic work has been constantly growing since: started as commercial stock photographer, his work has been represented by stock agencies such as Getty Images, Shutterstock and Alamy. It has been featured on several travel magazines, books, advertisement campaigns and used by companies such as Apple, Google and Hilton. Francesco places great importance on constantly improving his technique and tools, each collector deserves the best quality that can provided in his images and the emotions they convey are enhanced and strengthened by clarity. His work is unfolding towards conceptual Fine Art Landscape Photography. Where landscape photographers traditionally shy away from including the human element in their work, Francesco often embraces it: many of his images show how men have a positive impact on the landscape they touch, modify, enhance, balance. The human element, being the main subject or marginal, is present in Francesco's images to remind the viewer that we are here to stay, and we can stay with beauty and grace.

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