Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Edge of the Llano Estacado

I had been driving across the open rangeland of eastern New Mexico for a few days and then need to turn for home I made my way back toward Texas. There I found the western edge of the Llano Estacado-the staked plains.

It is a pancake flat plain surrounded by dramatic 200-300' drop-offs to the rolling plains below.

Geologists will tell you it is not only the southern reaches of the Great Plains but it is also some of the oldest unchanged surface of the earth in North America.
Driving east on a two lane road (always the best way to travel) in the early morning light on a heavy overcast day I could see the the edge in the east. A hint of dawn light was sneaking through the clouds in the east giving that edge just a hint of color. So, of course, I stopped to get a picture.

I stopped on a regular basis and by the time I actually go to the edge myself the overcast was breaking up. Driving up to the rim I came across these three boulders. It was erosion in action since they had been part of the rim at some point in the past. Again, its picture time.

After another long stop with the camera I made my way to the top to take in the view into the distance. Decided the image would be best in b+w.

Looking back west the view is of the edge of the rim and off a great ways into the distance. Behind me to the east is nothing but flat. I am on top of the Llano Estacado.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Published Image-City of Dallas

My image of the Dallas Skyline at Twilight is cover of the 2011 Strategic Plan Report for the City of Dallas.

The image is here to the left and you can see the report here:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Open Range in New Mexico

The open range of New Mexico is another fantastic location. The Llano Estacado of the Texas panhandle and eastern New Mexico is flat and is farmed and ranched. However once one drops off the flat, it becomes ranching country and home to big open range.

I was driving through Harding County, which is north of Tucumcari. It is off the interstate and well off most travelers radar. That pretty much means you will not encounter many people, except for some of the local ranchers.

This is the type big open country I always have liked driving across and photographing. This trip was no exception.

I had camped ate Ute Lake and driving north at dawn I got a chance to see the way the clouds and distant color touched the sky. It was not the dramatic sunrise you think about but became one of my favorite photographs of the trip.

As the morning went on the clouds became less overcast and more defined clouds. It was about then that I first saw the Black Hills in the distance.

A small range of hills east of the mesas and on the flat. I liked the view and stopped at several spots to chase an image of hills and sky.

When I finally reached the edge of the mesa the clouds were breaking and blue sky was shining through.

Here was a chance to go really wide to try and capture it all. As I have probably written before, I love the open range and I am always frustrated in trying to capture it in an image. There really is no camera or lens that can capture the incredible sense of big that the sky has here

I was very impressed with the country out here, I have always looked at maps and thought I needed to spend some time in the mesa and open range country, get away from I-40 and explore. I wish I had done it sooner and it will be a return destination