Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Subtlety on Terlingua Creek

Water is an amazing thing. That seems like such a simple and obvious statement, but it is true.

Especially for a photographer. Or when you are in the desert. Then water takes on a whole new meaning. .

In this parched land water is a precious gift. As a photographer I know water can lead me to magical locations, great scenes and reflect the big light of sunset.

In Big Bend the Rio Grande is the main body of water. It carved the majestic canyons, creates the border, and its big turn or bend gives the park its name.

Terlingua Creek is another such body of water. It flows clear, shallow, and simple down the western side of the park. It is probably ignored or forgotten by most people unless it is flooding and blocks the trail into Santa Elena Canyon.

This little creek intrigues me. I really like the thin shallow ribbon like quality of how it flows. I like the clear quality of the water. I like the fact others ignore it. I also like that throughout most of its course you can look south and see the imposing ramparts of the Sierra Ponce in the distance.
I was walking along the creek in the afternoon and found several nice dark streaks on the rock and decided that it could be the source of a nice image. The next day it was clear but I decided to try for the creek. I started walking in the dark with my pack, a shoulder bag, and two tripods. I found the spot in the dark and set up the big camera with the thought of getting a starlight image. .

After one long 15 minute exposure, I set to work on the morning image. As the light grew in the sky I made several images of the creek and rocks.

I was not working the huge scene as much as I was working with a simple ripple of water on rock in a shallow stream with a big wall beyond.

Subtle. Simple. Superb.

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