El Paso, We Have A Problem
That's not dawn in the distance, that's apparently the light pollution from El Paso, Texas which is about 70 miles distant from White Sands National Park near Alamogordo, NM.
Ranger Kelly gave me some advice about where and how he would shoot this... advice I followed pretty closely except that he indicated he always shot "low" so the dunes would block the excess light pollution.
This is actually a quick and dirty blend of two photos, one taken near sunset, the other taken about 6 hours later using an intervalometer to delay start of exposures. Ranger Kelly did warn me that anything "unusual" found in the White Sands NM might be picked up since this is adjacent to Holloman Air Force Base and also in the area of the White Sands Missile Test range. But my location was far enough from roads that I felt fine leaving the camera out all night (having checked the weather forecast).
I drove back in and picked it up the next morning. Indeed, was queued up 20 minutes before the gates were unlocked.
Perhaps another way to do this is to A> Get a back country permit, or B> Get an early arrival or late departure permit. Though the latter option would limit your available hours to one or two on either side of the normal park hours.
Exposure info: Nikon D600, ISO 3200, 20 Sec, 24mm f/2 (night sky) and f/2 1/4000 sec, ISO 1000 for the bottom of the frame.
Assembled in Photoshop using a laptop with inadequate screen real estate... When I get to my desktop machine, I'll clean it up a bit.
Some Rights Reserved: 2019 Steven Christenson