Blue Dawn at White Sands: How it was done

This photograph was taken at dawn, at the blue hour that precedes sunrise.

The sky was clear and still not tinted red by the sun.  The light on the dunes was only from the blue sky. The white sand dunes, being neutral in color, took on the color of the sky.  While the sand was white it looked blue to the camera.

My eyes did not see the blue color because human eyesight neutralizes colors.  To me the dunes looked white.  To the camera they were blue because digital sensors, and film to some extent, capture color the way it is.  Unlike human sight they do not neutralize colors.

During processing I altered the color slightly to create harmonious blue tones and make the scene aesthetically pleasing.  However the color was there to start with.



About Alain Briot

I create fine art photographs, teach workshops and offer DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. I am the author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available as printed books on and as eBooks on my website at this link:

You can find more information about my work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to my Free Monthly Newsletter on my website. To subscribe simply go to and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive 40 free essays in eBook format immediately after subscribing.

I welcome your comments on this essay as well as on my other essays. You can reach me directly by emailing me at

Alain Briot
November 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *