Monday, June 20, 2011

Land of Enchantment

On the open road across the open range east of the Rockies I saw this sunset. If I had to describe the perfect sunset, it would pretty much look like this.

Open range. Big sky. Distant mountains.

I hit the trifecta that day.

One of the things I try to plan for in my photography trips is to be in the right places at the right time. That means I research my destination and try to scope out potential sunrise and sunset areas.

I also try to take it one step further and time my travels to be in interesting areas along the dive for my sunrises and sunsets. This one has some of that pre-planning in it.

After leaving photographing Arches National Park in the morning, having a last breakfast in Moab I started the drive home, winding down through Utah, cutting through the four corners area, and driving down US 550 toward Albuquerque. I knew that I would get there around 4pm and on a Friday too. Two things I do know about Albuquerque are to be careful about missing left turns and that traffic on I-25/I-40 in town is usually packed.

So to beat the second one, I turned left toward Santa Fe and went around Sandia. That put me on the plains east of the mountains at sunset setting up this image.

I was able to get the image and then finish up the last hour of my drive into Santa Rosa. I had the right destination and the right timing to make the most of a driving day. The clouds are luck, the exact location was not planned but the area was and it worked out like I had only hoped.

When that all came together, it was truly enchantment.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Travel in Winter

I have become a big fan of winter travel.

Most people and even most photographers seem to travel in summer. Simply put summer is crowded and it is often just to green to be interesting photography. Winter on the other hand.......

For years I would visit Big Bend in February or early March for the desert in bloom. I love that park and that time of year. However after back to back winter trips to Grand Canyon and now Canyonlands I will have a hard time going back to those parks in summer.

Winter is a whole new world.
Not only is visiting them in winter a whole new experience-even the travel to get there is a new experience.

In the days leading up to a winter trip I am constantly checking the weather report not just for potential clouds but also snow that might close a highway.

I even went as far to add the various state departments of transportation phone numbers into my phone so I could call for updated road conditions.

That came in pretty handy when I was making my way toward Wyoming back in October 09 as closed/icy roads had me reroute out to Maroon Bells and toward Craig. See those trips in the Colorado and Wyoming links on the right.
This trip went fine road wise. I even got a chance to make interesting images along the way. That is always a plus for me. Many people only plan a destination, I try to plan routes and times that take me past neat areas.

Here are a few from my drive home after a week in Moab. The top is a view of the Ute Mountains country west of Cortez, Colorado. The overcast ans sometimes snowy day was perfect in my book. Then some irrigation equipment awaiting spring. Finally nothing more than an empty field covered in snow.

You just aint gonna see this in summer. Ahhh winter.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Forge of Odin

The Forge of Odin glows under the night sky.

I returned to this location of a large boulder with a crack through it that I found and photographed a few years ago to try to do the image even better.

I worked on several long images while painting the rock crack with light from my headlamp. Again I was lucky enough to have some moving clouds to give it a sense of time.

After two attempts I have two images I like but still not sure if I have captured it to it's full potential.