|White Sands with Starburst ©Lynne Buchanan|
When I arrived at White Sands, it was late in the afternoon. The ranger groaned when she saw me and said, "Oh, you're a photographer. You're the ones that always get lost out here. You always get so caught up in taking photographs that you forget to look where you came from." I promised I wouldn't do that, and then I went out wandering through the dunes. At first, I kept looking back, mindful of her warning and not wanting to be a further embarrassment to my profession. Then the sky started to do what it is doing in the image above (the color version is at the end of this blog). The sun was heading lower and lower into the sky and I knew it would hit the mountains and make a wonderful starburst. I started running with my tripod, to get into a position where I could frame a composition I liked with the yucca, dunes, mountains and clouds. I was practically hyperventilating and I completely forgot where I came from. I'd also gone over many dunes to get past where the footprints were, so the only ones I saw were mine and I couldn't find the ones that had led me to this place. It was going to get dark soon and I had no idea what was out there. I consoled myself by noting that I'd left the grizzlies back in Montana and Wyoming. It couldn't be that bad, could it?
Fortunately, as I was wandering back, I ran into a couple from the air force out walking their dog. I told them my story of getting lost and they laughed and led me in the right direction back to my car, allowing me to save face this time. Still, there is something so freeing about realizing that you have gotten 100 percent lost in the moment; that all you are doing it reacting to what is and celebrating it with ever fibre of your soul.
|The Way of the Ridges ©Lynne Buchanan|
|White Sands with Full Moon ©Lynne Buchanan|
I only stayed until the late morning, because I knew I had to get out of there. A giant storm was brewing that chased me all the way across the country from there to Florida, and I still had to get through the mountains of New Mexico, so I could make it to Texas and had head south.
I am sure it was the storm that had created the amazing clouds the night before and which continued to add drama to the sky. The image below is the starburst photo in color. The sky was so colorful, I actually had to tone it down a little bit. When it was all happening, I couldn't believe my eyes. Who can blame me for getting lost. Which image do you prefer, color or black and white?