new book

into the great white sands   |   PUBLISHED MARCH 2018



P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Into the Great White Sands
Photographs by Craig Varjabedian

With essays by Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Dennis Ditmanson, and Jim Eckles

Winner of the prestigious New Mexico/Arizona Book Award

SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT is like no other place on earth. Nestled in southern New Mexico, this fragile landscape consists of 275 square miles of white undulating dunes of gypsum sand. It attracts visitors from all over the world, and while largely a monochromatic sea, the White Sands landscape is at times ablaze with a kaleidoscope of color.

Award-winning photographer Craig Varjabedian has spent decades photographing the many moods of this magnificent and ever-changing landscape. His photographs reveal the snow-white dunes of gypsum, striking landforms, storms and stillness, panoramic vistas and breathtaking sunsets, intricate wind-blown patterns in the sand, ancient animal tracks, exquisite desert plants, and the people too who come to experience this place that is at once spectacular yet subtle. Craig Varjabedian’s evocative color images provide the reader with an almost palpable sense of this extraordinary place.

These photographs are enriched by several essays written by Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, noted poet and author; Dennis Ditmanson, retired White Sands National Monument superintendent; Jim Eckles, retired Missile Range public affairs officer; as well as Craig Varjabedian, the photographer who shares his insights and experiences of photographing this breathtaking landscape and offers tips on making better pictures of White Sands.

This is Craig Varjabedian’s eleventh book of photographs. His most recent UNM Press book, Landscape Dreams: A New Mexico Portrait, won the prestigious New Mexico–Arizona book award. Based in Santa Fe, he photographs throughout the American West and teaches at Eloquent Light Photography Workshops.

Published April 2018 by the University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.


The Museum of the Southwest in Midland, Texas debuts the “Into the Great White Sands” exhibition, opening November 10, 2018. The exhibition runs through January 27, 2019.