Sunday, May 10, 2009

Big Bend By Night


Big Bend is a spectacular park. I conservatively rate it as one of the top five National Parks. The views here are big and the landscape is amazing. From the canyons of the Rio Grande, across desert flatlands to the views of mountains, to heights of the Chisos-this park is someplace special.

It is a place I never tire of visiting and always find new images at. Another way to put it is every last person I have ever met who has been to Big Bend loves it and cannot wait to get back.

It is that kind of place.

It was that kind of big country I was ready to spend a week in and photograph.

One of the things I have been doing more of lately is night photography. I used to go out at night on occasion, but now it is a part of every day in the field.

A full moon on the landscape of Big Bend is amazing. Then again, even on a moonless night the sky is so amazing here, that you cannot help but want to stay awake 24 hours a day.

So on this trip my days would start at 4:30am under the stars. I would be out through sunrise and then all day to sunset. Even after dark I was still in the field, finally calling it a day at 11pm.
Only to get up the next day and do it again.

Man, I love that.
I arrived in the park right after the full moon. That meant that the moon would rise after sunset and get a little later every night. So over the course of the week I spent many an early morning under the light of the full moon, or many an early evening under the dark skies of night.

I was able to photograph the big landscape, old ruins, overlooks, the road, etc. A plus of night photography is that everything takes on a whole new look at night. You do not have to worry about clear skies either as the night sky looks equally good clear or cloudy.

Here are some of those night journeys.

The Chisos by the light of the full moon. I had always been to Sotol Vista for sunset. I found it takes on a whole new magic at night. The view with the stars. Wow.

I stood on the side of the road near Cerro Castellan and it looks great by moonlight.

The last one is a view of the Rio Grande by full moon light. The left bank is Mexico. the notch of Santa Elena Canyon is visible in the distance.

Click the images to see them a bit bigger so you can see the stars and the night.

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