Tuesday, December 8, 2015

El Capitan at Night

The Guadalupe Mountains end in a very dramatic fashion of a 1500' (500m) vertical cliff.  IT is actually a "V" shaped wedge of a cliff and is known as El Capitan as when viewed from above resembles the prow of a ship.  It is visible for many miles across the deserts of west Texas.  

It is also one of my favorite subjects to photograph.  It is photogenic from every direction, including standing on the summit of neighboring Guadalupe Peak (the highest point in Texas).

I had planned on camping on the summit of the peak for my September trip but ended up not doing so with the call for thunderstorms and was glad not to be there as the night I would have been on the peak it was in a severe thunderstorm.

So after camping west of the park and then on the escarpment, I made my way back into Texas to Guadalupe Mountains National Park for a chance to do some night photography of El Capitan.

GMNP is one of my favorite parks and a hidden gem of the NPS as visitation is low and even showing up in the middle of a holiday weekend, I still got one of the just 20 campsites available!


In the dark of the night I went out to set up a few images of different views of El Cap with the Milky Way high in the western sky, which was perfect to frame with the mighty El Cap.

I worked a few of the classic locations and found a couple of new spots to try images from.  There were a few clouds in the sky and they really worked to help give some additional elements to compliment the Milky Way.

Standing out there it was even chilly enough to add a fleece.  After the long hot Texas summer I always look forward to traveling west at Labor Day and I usually find I need a jacket.  That always makes me smile as I know fall is approaching.

After making several stops with different views of El Capitan and Guadalupe Peak, the night began to fade and soon sunrise would be upon us.  I called it a trip and began the long 500mi ride back to Cowtown.

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