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Old January 11th, 2012, 07:05 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Location: Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA
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Default The White Sands of New Mexico

Our route into Alamogordo, New Mexico is via US 82. It climbs lowly up the east face of the Sacramento Mountains to the little ski village of Cloudcroft, New Mexico ((8,600 feet/2,600 m), and then descends at a terrifying grade to intersect US 70 just north of Alamogordo (at about 4300 feet).

About 1/4 of the way down the road goes through a short tunnel, and just beyond is an overlook - a spot where one can park at the side of the road to take in the view.

The is a little path that goes to a small rock ledge about 5 feet below the parking lot. Carla went down to it. She reported that at its edge there was a sheer drop into the deep valley. Not for me.



Douglas A. Kerr: Carla on the Tunnel Overlook ledge

Here is the view (320 mm full-frame 35-mm equivalent focal length) from the overlook:



Douglas A. Kerr: View from the Tunnel Overlook

At the bottom of the view through the notch we see the northernmost fringes of Alamogordo. But beyond (near the top of the frame - almost looks like a cloud layer) we see a small part of the vast expanse of the White Sands Dune Field. (The near edge is about 12 miles beyond the buildings we see.)

The sand here is not the familiar silica sand, but instead comprises small spherical particles of gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate, CaSO4·2H2O). (I'll discuss the process of formation in a later report.)

The entire field has an area of about 275 mi˛ (710 km˛)

Just south of Alamogordo is the White Sands National Monument. It includes an 8 mile (13 km) road out into the dunes.

I don't have any shots from our first visit that really show groups of dunes - I'll do some of that later. But here we see Carla on one of the dunes near the road:



Douglas A. Kerr: Carla on a dune

Often kids slide down the dunes on plastic disks or even sheets of cardboard. Here we see one dune, not too far from the road, that has recently seen a lot of that action:



Douglas A. Kerr: Slide tracks

It's a fantastic, other-worldly place.

We'll do a lot more there when we get moved in.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old January 12th, 2012, 09:44 AM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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Location: Panama
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Default

Hi Doug,


These are exciting sneak peeks of your new homeland and Carla looks fantastic, as usual.

Great photos, specially this one:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post



Douglas A. Kerr: Slide tracks


Regards,

Ruben
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  #3  
Old January 12th, 2012, 12:31 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Doug,

This picture is indeed fun and interesting.



Douglas A. Kerr: Slide tracks

Have you tried local sharpening to remove veiled lack of contrast? I'd consider unsharp mask at 6-12% and 20-60 pixels wide. Also a slight S-curve.

Asher
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Old January 12th, 2012, 07:24 PM
Rick Otto Rick Otto is offline
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Default

Hi Doug....

I love the desert, and the color of that sand is outstanding !! - I'm sure that there will be MANY opportunities for photographs with that sand as a background, or subject - depending of the light of day.. Have a ball, and post often...

r
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  #5  
Old January 12th, 2012, 07:48 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Location: Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA
Posts: 6,254
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Hi, Asher,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Doug,

This picture is indeed fun and interesting.



Douglas A. Kerr: Slide tracks

Have you tried local sharpening to remove veiled lack of contrast?
I was doing well to get my ass out of town on time after posting this in a hurry with about 20 seconds processing.

What you suggest sounds worthwhile. I'll give it try when time allows.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
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