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White Sands, Wintering Birds and Desert Skies

The Best of Southern New Mexico In Early Winter

Photograph blazing winter sunrise and sunsets on a White Sands private photo tour © Michael DeYoung

AT A GLANCE

Instructional based combination of backcountry landscape and action photography (starts & ends in Albuquerque)

WHEN

Dec 7 – 13, 2024
(6 SPOTS AVAILABLE)

Dec 6 – 12, 2025
(6 SPOTS AVAILABLE)

FEE

Single: $2,695
Double: $2,145 each

DEPOSIT: $500

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WHO

Adventurous nature and outdoor photographers of all levels who want to advance their skills and vision

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

Moderate ⓘ

Walking up to 4 miles a day on firm sand
Multiple 50’ to 100’ elevation gains and losses

Portrait of your trip leaders, Michael and Lauri DeYoung. A veteran-owned, small business.

TRIP LEADERS

Michael DeYoung
Lauri DeYoung

About Your Guides

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 7 nights accommodations
  • All ground transportation from Albuquerque in roomy van
  • Early entry permits to shoot sunrise before the park opens to the public*
  • Relaxed informative presentations on:
    • Mastering landscape photography (Light and design)
    • On-location workflow (Get the right shot every time)
    • Post production tips (Getting the most from your RAW captures)
    • Using windy.com weather app to find the best clouds and light

* White Sands National Park early entry and late stay permits are subject to staff availability and sporadic military testing closures.

WHAT CLIENTS SAY

“Michael is a fantastic teacher and helped me understand exposure compensation and aperture priority and that a faster shutter speed helps freeze motion from camera shake when shooting long lens without a tripod.”

“On cold mornings waiting for the sun to rise Lauri would hand me a cup of hot chocolate….what could be better?!”

– Ivy S.

WORKSHOP DETAILS

WHERE: Starts & Ends in Albuquerque, NM

ON-LOCATION: White Sands National Park & Bosque del Apache NWR

GROUP SIZE: 6 Max

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • All transportation provided to and from accommodations in Albuquerque in a 12 passenger van.
  • 7 nights accommodations – each room with 2 queen beds and a private bathroom.
  • Open Early/Stay Late permits
  • Constructive image critique sessions with post processing instruction and guidance.
  • Michael and Lauri as your guides and instructors.

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

  • Transportation to and from your home to Albuquerque, NM
  • Meals
  • Travel Insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
The juxtaposition of warm and cool colors that occur at White Sands in New Mexico. © Michael DeYoung

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Sep 1 (of tour year)

DESCRIPTION

White Sands is one of the best places to perfect your skills and vision as a landscape photographer. All the magical ingredients to craft beautiful landscape imagery are almost always there.

The brilliant and white gypsum dunes create a surreal and otherworldly landscape that’s constantly changed by the wind. The bright dunes reflect light in a remarkable way often creating beautiful light and skies. The simplicity of this vast landscape, rich with patterns, textures and flowing shadow/highlight lines offers a serene visual experience.

Winter crowds are minimal and firmer winter dunes are easier to walk on. With luck, a rare snowfall adds a special dimension to the landscape. There is no better way to boost your creative juices than walking out on the dunes, away from tracks, in the cool invigorating desert air to hone your creative skills and experiment with new technique.

A perfect complement to creative landscape photography is the quick thinking and mastery of motor skills required to capture the grace and beauty of wildlife in motion. After all, photography skills are often transferable from one genre to another.

Taking advantage of the thousands of wintering waterfowl in the Rio Grande Valley, we turn our cameras to the exciting world of action photography, photographing sandhill cranes, snow geese and other birds as they fly to and from nightly roosting grounds to feeding locations in nearby fields. The same ethereal New Mexico light we see in White Sands often takes place here as well. Roosting ponds afford great opportunities for reflections and amplifying colorful sunrise and sunset light.

Click on any image for a larger version to display

ITINERARY

(Subject to Change)

DAY 1: MORNING PRESENTATION + STAY LATE SUNSET SHOOT

Meet in Albuquerque hotel conference room at 8AM for initial presentations. (The previous night’s lodging is included in tour fee. ) Afterwards, we travel to Alamogordo and check in to accommodations eating lunch along the way. Visit White Sands National Park for our first stay late permit. Overnight in Alamogordo.

DAY 2: EARLY OPEN SUNRISE SHOOT

Early entry sunrise shoot. Mid day presentations on forecasting for colorful clouds and light. Return for afternoon/sunset shoot. Overnight Alamogordo.

DAY 3: EARLY OPEN/STAY LATE SHOOTS & IMAGE REVIEW

Repeat of day 2 with early entry shoot followed by mid-day critique and post processing session. Return for afternoon and sunset stay late shoot.

DAY 4: BOSQUE DEL APACHE SUNSET SHOOT

Morning starts with a 2 hour classroom session and constructive image critique, followed by checking out of hotel, and transferring to Socorro. Check in Socorro hotel then head out to the refuge for sunset and birds in flight.

DAY 5: BIRDS, BIRDS, BIRDS!

Sunrise and morning shoots of birds in action. Mid-day break and critique to reinforce action technique and practices. Return to refuge for sunset.

DAY 6: FINAL SUNRISE & END OF TOUR

After our last sunrise shoot, we check out and head back to Albuquerque where the workshop will end around noon. Lodging in Albuquerque.

Blazing skies over White Sands in New Mexico. © Michael DeYoung
Greater sandhill cranes in flight. © Michael DeYoung

GETTING HERE/EXTEND YOUR STAY

Lodging from Dec 7 – 13, 2024 and Dec 6 – 12, 2025 is included in your workshop fee. If you plan to arrive earlier and/or stay later you will need to make your own additional reservations. We will provide to you the group reservation information if you wish to stay at the same hotel.

The Albuquerque International Sunport Airport (ABQ) is a busy, visitor-friendly airport with plenty of flights daily. Some of the major airlines that service to Albuquerque include:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta
  • Jetblue
  • Southwest

There is a 24-hour shuttle service from the airport to the first and last night’s accommodations. Details on arranging airport shuttle service will be provided to participants in the welcome letter.

Photographer captures sun star as the sun sets over San Andres Mountains. © Michael DeYoung

PAYMENT & CANCELLATION POLICIES

PAYMENT TERMS: A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space. Required deposit amount is $500. Final payments, which can be made in installments, are due 90 days prior to tour start date. Invoices for final balances will be emailed to registered participants approximately 120 days prior to tour start date to allow time to spread out making payments.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

When a participant cancels a reserved spot in a regularly scheduled (i.e., non-custom) photo tour, it takes time and effort to fill the vacancy. Please be sure to check your personal schedule well ahead of the dates of the trip to make sure there are no conflicts. If you discover that you will not be able to attend we would very much appreciate knowing this as soon as possible.

The following fee schedule applies:

Because of the unique nature of this workshop, If your cancellation is received more than 120 days prior to the beginning of a tour or workshop, we will refund your registration fee less a 5% of your initial deposit. Any fees paid up to this point, less 5% of your initial deposit, can be applied to another scheduled tour or converted to a private photo tour or private photography instruction session.

As other vendors we book with have limited refund policies, if your cancellation is received less than 120 days prior to the beginning of a tour or workshop, we will retain the entire balance paid to date unless you are able to locate someone who will fill your position.

If the photo workshop or tour is full and someone from the waiting list can take your spot, we will refund your entire balance paid to date less 5% of your initial deposit.

No refund of any fees will be made for cancellations after the tour begins.

TRIP INSURANCE

In the event that a tour must be cancelled due to inadequate enrollment, all registration fees received by us will be refunded in full or, if you prefer, your registration fees paid up to this point can be applied to another scheduled tour or converted to a private photo tour.

We are not responsible for reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets or lodging arrangements you made in the event of a tour cancellation. Please do not make any travel arrangements until you have received notification that the tour has met its minimal participant requirement which will be known at least 90 days prior to the start date OR consider the purchase of trip insurance.

We highly suggest TravelGuard® or similar travel insurance policies to assist you in case of last minute plan changes and emergencies.

 

Have a Question About This Tour? Send us an email.

DeYoung Photo Workshops, LLC