— Tom Charles, First Custodian, White Sands National Monument, 1938
Join Eloquent Light for an unique opportunity to visit one of award-winning photographer Craig Varjabedian’s favorite places to make photographs – White Sands National Monument. Understand for yourself why Craig has been returning to these beautiful dunes over and over again and why he was compelled to create a book dedicated to them: Into the Great White Sands.
THE WORKSHOP |
Explore the dramatic and fairy–tale like terrains of White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico, while fully immersing yourself in the legendary allure of rolling sand dunes and the stark beauty of landscape and sky. White Sands is a place that will not only leave you breathless, but also most certainly will inspire a whole new energy and passion within you while taking your photography to the next level.
THE PLAN |
Our incredible journey will be based in Alamogordo in south central New Mexico, as we spend five days at White Sands National Monument exploring the rolling white sands. The challenge of this workshop will be in capturing the high-low contrast of this remarkable landscape. At this time of year, we expect to see yuccas in bloom—the New Mexico state flower with its towering white blossoms. The intrepid photographer will be rewarded with indelible images of dream-like scenes and lost eras when a different aesthetic prevailed. Craig will provide hands-on one-on-one guidance in the field as needed.
During the workshop, we will be out photographing in both morning and evening light. As we have time and upon request, during mid-day hours we can be look at images on your laptop computer to provide feedback and further your progress.
Southern New Mexico is known for its great nighttime skies, especially for photographers. One evening we will be out late on the dunes photographing the night sky, weather permitting.
Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world's largest gypsum dune field. White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this unique dune field, along with the plants and animals that live here.
SKILL LEVEL |
This workshop is a terrific for all digital photographers who are essentially familiar with their cameras. You should be able to download, edit and manage images on your laptop computer. You need to be able to carry your own camera gear and tripod and be capable of walking and light hiking on sand, rocks and somewhat varied terrain. You will need to know, before you get here, how to set and use auto bracketing on your camera, if your camera has this feature.
HOW TO PREPARE |
1. Bring your laptop computer loaded with your favorite image editing software to work on your images. We do not provide computers or monitors. Bring removable media like a hard drive to back up your images.
2. Bring your digital camera with lenses, a tripod and polarizing filter. We recommend a camera backpack which works well for field workshops
3. During the workshop, we will be out photographing in both morning and evening light at inspiring locations. As we have time and upon request, during mid-day hours we can be look at images on your laptop computer to provide feedback and further your progress.
4. Bring something to take notes with. For some a computer keyboard works well. Others use pen and paper and/or audio recorders.
5. Write down a a one-sentence statement about what you would like to accomplish during the workshop.
6. Expect to meet interesting photographers, who share similar passions and interests, who will see things from new and different perspectives.
7. Come with an open mind. This is probably the MOST important thing to bring to any workshop.
8. It is our wish that this workshop will exceed your expectations and that you will leave us feeling more focused, confident and inspired.
We highly recommend you purchase travel/trip insurance just in case. There are several companies and credit card companies that provide this service. We recommend Roam Right for trip insurance.
ANY QUESTIONS? |
Have any questions, suggestions or concerns? Feel free to contact us any time—we will be more than happy to help! Call Workshop Manager and Director of Karmic Activity Cindy at (505) 983-2934 or email
“I’ve just returned from my second workshop with Craig at Eloquent Light Workshops. I love the small intimate groups which give many opportunities to work one-on-one with Craig and his assistant.
Craig’s extensive knowledge of White Sands National Monument made the vast landscape manageable as he guided us to the ideal locations at the perfect light to compose and capture its beauty. He shared his viewfinder to teach and train our eye to compose pictures with impact and interest.
The results were beautiful images that expressed the feeling and grandeur of White Sands to me. Craig has renewed my love for photography and taught me a new way of seeing light’s play on the land. I look forward to more. Thank you.”
― Leslie H., VA, 2017 Workshop Participant
Craig Varjabedian is an award-winning photographer who explores the back roads of the American West, making pictures of the unique and quintessential. He shares awe-inspiring stories of the land and the people who live on it—one photograph at a time.