photography from the ground up

Ojito Petroglyphs

These petroglyphs are the most extensive in the Ojito Wilderness. This is just one of several panels which are scattered along the edge of a mesa in the southeast corner of the wilderness. I had seen photographs of them, and heard about them, but research into their whereabouts was sketchy. It’s like an unwritten rule that you have to work a little to find them. That’s as it should be. When I stepped onto the ledge where they are inscribed, I felt a sense of accomplishment; I didn’t exactly stumble upon them, but no one showed me the way.

The petroglyphs are estimated to be about one thousand years old. I try to imagine an artist from that time using his tools to etch these stories into the rock. The landscape was probably not much different than it is today, and as I stood there looking out across the land to the west, I felt a connection to him. Through his drawings, I caught a glimpse of a fellow man long departed from this world.

Equipment: Nikon D200, Nikkor 17–35 mm f2.8 zoom lens, circular polarizer, Bogen tripod.

Camera Settings: f 16, 1/20th sec., ISO 100

Processing: White balance, contrast, clarity, vibrance, and saturation adjustments in Adobe Lightroom, curves and RAW conversion in Photoshop.

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