Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Chisos from Desert Mountain Overlook

My most visited viewpoint in Big Bend is the Desert Mountain Overlook.  I stop here every day as this is the closest view to where I camp at Cottonwood.  It also has a several possible compositions in different directions.  It has a great view east to the Chisos that is good for sunrise as well as sunset.  Across the road are a couple of views west and south along the Rio Grande and the Sierra Ponce.  Those varied possibilities make it always a place worth checking out.  

It also has a good view of the entire sky.  Meaning when I leave the campground every morning, I always drive here in the dark.  With a clear view of the sky I can judge what the clouds are and use that to help me decide my morning location.

There are several great possibilities within a 15 minute drive so by stopping here I can judge the light and then pick the best of several possible locations.  Sometimes that means driving a little, other times it means staying put.

This was an afternoon and it was a chance to photograph clouds over the Chisos in the afternoon light.  Again, that afternoon light offers a view with the Chisos front lit.  Add in some big sky clouds and you have a great shot.

This is very different from the morning view here with the back lit peaks that truly earn the name "Ghost Mountains". 

With the clouds like they were I went with both color and b+w, figuring each might be good.  The color was ok, but honestly the wider view I was able to make with my DSLR at 17mm was better.  However the b+w image had something the digital did not.

Here is that shot on Efke 25 with DR-5 processing.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tule Mountain

One of the unique mountains on the west side of Big Bend National Park is Tule Mountain. It is a solitary flat topped peak near the west entrance to the park at Maverick.  Geologists will tell you that it is related to the Burro Mesa which is just east of it and that faulting and blocking caused the space between the two to fall.

The result is a peak that stands alone and makes a great subject for the camera.

After spending the middle part of the day west of the national park along the river in Big Bend Ranch State Park, I stopped near Tule in the afternoon to try an image.

Being the afternoon and having another location for sunset, I decided to just do a black and white image of Tule.

The view is looking south, so I put on a polarizer to see if it would help the clouds pop slightly.  I also used the orange filter to see if that might help darken the sky a little.

Otherwise, it was simply metering and adjusting the exposure for the two filters.

Here is the result on Efke 25 with the DR-5 process for a b+w chrome.

I made two exposures to allow for a little safety in case I was off and then it was pack up and go for a sunset location.