2 minute read

These images is of a morning photographing a single yucca plant, from dawn to sunrise in December 2007.

37 minutes and 24 seconds

A cold hard wind was blowing. It was December, and it was cold and dark, when I first met it. You could see it in the light from the flashlight. One lonely yucca sitting near the top of a sand bank in the middle of the White Sands desert in New Mexico, USA. Dawn, and any sort of photographic light, is still some time away, so I take a walk around the yucca to get to know the yucca a little better. It looks lonely, but friendly, so I decides to stay. I put down my backpack, set up my tripod, get the camera out and on the tripod, and then sit down to wait for the light.

Sitting down and waiting is good. You get to know the area without any stress, and can start to see possibilities. And you start to wonder and think more about the subject matter at hand.

What’s life like, all alone in a desert? What is a yucca any way? A tree? A flower? How old is this plant? How old can a yucca get? How long is possible to last for a plant in a dessert with moving sand dunes? Why is it here? What have it seen?

Questions is good. The more questions one have, the more answers can be found. And siting in a dessert in the dark it’s not possible to find any answers besides to try to find them in my own mind. Thinking. Resonating. Finding similarities to other problems, and to parallels in ones own life.

Dawn is coming and it’s possible to see better without a flashlight. Light is changing by the minute and it’s time to make some images of the yucca and get to know it even better, making it’s portrait.

At first the light is blue, as that is the only colour that comes over the horizon where the sun will rise. But as dawn is approaching more colours are coming, and just before sunrise the light is a warm read bathing the desert and the yucca in a soft light.

As times fly by and I make my images, I feel I get to know this plant a little better. Like all living things, it’s unique.

White Sands Landscape

White Sands Landscape
New Mexico, United States - December 2007

Then the first direct rays of the sun hits and the light is changing by the second. I work fast, trying to experience the yucca from as many possible compositions, angles and views as possible.

As the sun climbs higher in the sky, I feel that I have made a new friend, and made it’s portrait. he light is getting harsher and the magic of dawn is over for now.

It’s time to head back to the car, and a breakfast. And leave my new friend alone once again after about one hours company.

I suppose I will never see my friend again, as I’m a long way from home, but at least I have my memories and the images I made.

The images in this folio was taken during the timespan of 37 minutes and 24 seconds.


This collection of images is currently published as a folio in addition to single prints. The folio can be bought, and is a collection of prints in a presentation folder.

The images in the folio are also published as in a PDF documents that are free to download. The PDF documents show the images far better, and in higher resolution, than what is possible on the web.### What you get

  • Folio is 8½x11”
  • Images are approx. 7x10” (Landscape) and 9x8” (Portrait)
  • The prints
    • Folio text pages:
    • Title page
    • List of photograph titles in the folio
    • Colophon
  • Printed on archival paper with archival inks
  • Embossed art paper enclosure

To read more about what a folio is, go to my page Folios to read more and see all availabe folios.

Ronny A. Nilsen

9 images in gallery.