photography from the ground up

Archive for July, 2010

The Compass Stone

This is an image from my last trip to Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah. This eroded stone seemed to be pointing the way to something. I took the time while setting up this photo to get my bearings with my GPS and I noticed that the stone was pointing directly west. So, it became my compass stone.

The surrounding sandstone has been etched over the ages and in places seems to be carved by a human hand. I am planning another trip to Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah soon. It is a mystical place. It is also one of my Photo Tours locations.

I made this image using my Nikon D700 and my Nikkor 17-35 mm f2.8 wide angle zoom lens with a circular polarizer mounted on a Bogen 3021PRO tripod. Aperture was set to f22, shutter speed was 1/30th sec, and ISO was set to 100.

Ojito Fairyland

This image was made in the northwest corner of the Ojito Wilderness. I spotted this area while driving the back road to Cabezon. The next day a friend and I armed with cameras, tripods, backpacks, a GPS, and plenty of water set off in the general direction of what Robin calls the “yet to be reached mountain”. That would be the butte in the background of this image, and while we did not get there on this trip, it brought us to this wonderful place full of sandstone marvels that stopped us in our tracks. We spent the remainder of the evening exploring and photographing our new found fairyland.

I made this photo using my usual setup: Nikon D 700 with my 17-35 mm f2.8 wide angle zoom lens and a circular polarizer mounted on my Bogen/Manfrotto 3021BPRO tripod. I set my aperture at f22 for maximum depth of field and ISO was set at 100. I bracketed five exposures and did my initial processing in Adobe Lightroom. I then blended four of the exposures using the Exposure Fusion feature in Photomatix. Final processing was done in Photoshop

Cabezon-The Hard Way

Yesterday I took a little drive out through the Ojito Wilderness. When I reached the point where I usually turn around, I decided to keep going up the pipeline road which eventually ends near the village of San Luis and the volcanic neck known as Cabezon (Spanish for big head). The distance is only about twenty-three miles, but on a dirt two track with several stops to scope areas for future photo hikes, and to make a couple of exposures, the trip took me nearly six hours.

I was hoping to capture Cabezon bathed in the evening light, or lit by the sunbeams that were shining down through the breaks in the clouds, but this was the best light of the entire evening. I bracketed five exposures (-2, -1, 0, +1, and +2) and blended them in Photomatix Pro. This is the result.

Equipment: Nikon D700, Nikon 17-35 mm wide-angle zoom lens, circular polarizer, Bogen tripod.

Camera Settings: f22, 1/8th, 1/4th, 1/2, 1, and 2 seconds, ISO 100

Tranquility Falls

Here is another image that, for some reason, I overlooked on the first edit of my Ricketts Glen photos. I always make it a habit to go back after a month or so and take another look at files I have archived. In this case, I found four images that should have been picks the first time around, but had gotten lost in the shuffle.

This small waterfall is in Glen Leigh. It probably has a name, but I neglected to note it if it does. I named it Tranquility Falls for what I think are obvious reasons. The falls themselves have a very calm and peaceful look, and the plunge pool is so inviting. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect spot to sit and meditate on the beauty of the natural world.

Equipment: Nikon D700, nikon 17-35 mm f2.8 zoom lens, 3 stop neutral density filter, Bogen tripod.

Camera Settings: f 22, 2 sec., ISO 100