Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Chisos

The Chisos Mountains are the heart of Big Bend.  A sky island in the desert, they are a higher, cooler, and wetter place than the low desert around it.  The mountains, have pines, maples, and the southern most aspens in the US.  The are home to rare birds like the Colima Warbler.  They even host a population of black bears.

It is a very neat range that is both fun to explore on foot as well as photograph from the surrounding desert.

Here are a few images I made on my fall trip to the park.  I arrived with big clouds and rain passing through.  It was refreshing and different.  The park has been a drought for a few years so the rain was much needed.  The clouds provided some great opportunity to photograph the mountains in a different light.

The norm here seems to be clear skies.  As I have blogged about before, it seems that if I visit here for a week I am going to get four days of severe clear sky.  That is actually one of the reasons I now plan my trips to coincide with the new moon as it gives me the chance to photograph Milky Way nightscapes when it is clear.

Although the day I arrived in the park the was only clouds to be seen.  I found some nice ocotillo that made a good foreground with the clouds passing by to make some images.  I kept going wider and wider with the view as it seemed to get better the wider I went with my lenses.  I started at 24mm, went out to 17mm, switch to the 14mm and ended up even using the fisheye!  If you can guess-I like WIDE lenses!

This is one of those very wide 14mm images up top.

Then later that same day, I was not too far down the road from this same spot-although the view was very different.  The sky was clearing so quickly these were the last clouds in the sky.  I could not shoot wide without getting a lot of blue sky.  So I went to my 70-200 and did some tighter crops and got a very different look of the Chisos in vastly different light.

Same day, different lens, and very different look.

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