Landscape and Panoramic Photography

Posts tagged “Desert

Bosque del Apache Sunset

Around sunset, geese begin to return to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge after spending the day in fields throughout the Middle Rio Grande Valley.

BosqueDelApache_Pano1_2019Bosque del Apache Sunset (#1), Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM (16″x39″)

BosqueDelApache_Pano2_2019Bosque del Apache Sunset (#2), Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM (16″x36″)


Santa Fe, NM Summer Clouds

Bulb exposure of gathering summer rain clouds over a sculpture at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Meow Wolf Sculpture and Summer Clouds, Santa Fe, New Mexico (12″x18″)


Cerro Bonanza, NM

While driving from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, I stopped to photograph the shifting evening light on passing clouds and Cerro Bonanza.

CerroBonanza_BW_Panorama_March2019.jpgCerro Bonanza and Evening Clouds, near Santa Fe, NM (16″x54″)

 

 


Looking North from Sun Mountain, Santa Fe, NM

The shapes of the clouds appeared to mimic the shapes of the foothills outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.

SantaFeClouds_BaldyPeak_Panorama_Spring2019Clouds over Baldy Peak and SF National Forest, near Santa Fe, NM (16″x54″)

 

 


Spring Clouds over Santa Fe National Forest

Late winter/early spring winds blow tumbleweeds against a fence as clouds pass over the Santa Fe National Forest near Route 16 and Peña Blanca, NM.

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Clouds over Santa Fe National Forest, near Peña Blanca, NM (16″x47″)

 


Tree in Slot Canyon at Tent Rocks National Monument

Erosion has washed away the rocks and soil under the ponderosa pine hanging onto the rock walls in the main slot canyon at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. One of my favorite trees in the world to photograph.

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Tree in Slot Canyon, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, NM (18″x12″)

 


Spring Rain Clouds over Slot Canyon at Tent Rocks National Monument

Spring clouds over a slot canyon composed of eroded layers of volcanic rock and ash from ancient pyroclastic flows in Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, NM.

 

TentRocks_SkyWall_BW_March2019Spring Clouds over Slot Canyon, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, NM (12″x18″)

 


Spring Rain Clouds over Sandia Mountains

Rain clouds pass over the Sandia Mountains and Cibola National Forest at sunset outside Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Spring Rain Clouds and Sandias at Sunset, outside Albuquerque, NM (10″x16″)


Monsoon Clouds 2017, NM

Last July, I had the pleasure of seeing this spectacular thunderstorm roll over the Sandia Mountains  while I was back in New Mexico for a conference. I pulled off NM SR556 to shoot a few single frame photographs and panoramas of the passing rainstorm as it dumped precipitation on Placitas.

MonsoonClouds_Sandias_2017_Panorama1_ColorMonsoon Clouds over Sandias (2017, Pano #1, Color), outside Albuquerque, NM (16″x65″)

 

MonsoonClouds_Sandias_2017_SF

Monsoon Clouds over Sandias (2017, SF #1, B&W), outside Albuquerque, NM (12″x18″)

 

 


Evening Shadows near Sheepshead

As we were hiking back to the car from Sheepshead, I stopped to take a few panoramas of the setting sun casting shadows across the grass and cliffs. Early morning and late afternoon are my favorite times of day in Cochise Stronghold because the grass turns a golden brown.

LastLookBackattheCliffsCochiseStrongholdLast Look back at the Cliffs, Cochise Stronghold, AZ (16″x70″)

SettingSunandCliffsCochiseStrongholdSetting Sun and Cliffs, Cochise Stronghold, AZ (13″x60″)


Shadow in the Grass

After climbing a multi-pitch route in Cochise Stronghold, we hiked back to the truck at sunset. I stopped to photograph the scrub oak trees cast long shadows across the high desert grasses.

OakTreeShadowinGrassCochiseStrongholdOak Tree Shadow in Grass, Cochise Stronghold, AZ (13″x44″)


Top of Sheepshead

After topping out on Sheepshead, we took a few minutes to eat a snack and snap a few photographs before walking off the back of the cliff and climbing more on the northwest face. Afternoon light contrasted with shadows and outlines of scraggly trees eking out an existence on the harsh clifftop. The air was surprisingly clear. Rows of mountains disappeared over the southern Arizona horizon.

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Pothole, Tree, Shadow on Sheepshead, Cochise Stronghold, southern AZ (12″x18″)

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Boulder, Tree, Shadow on Sheepshead, Cochise Stronghold, southern AZ (12″x18″)


Lightning over Tucson

While climbing on one of the fins at Windy Point (along the Catalina Highway outside Tucson, AZ) in August, I watched a monsoon storm rumble across the valley below. I took a few minutes to photograph the storm clouds as they approached us. After I drove home I realized that I had also captured a lightning bolt in the panorama.

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Lightning and Monsoon Clouds fromWindy Point, Coronado National Forest, AZ (26″x64″)


Monsoon Storm near Gage, NM

While driving back to Arizona in August, I pulled off Interstate 10 to photograph this monsoon storm cloud north of Gage, NM.

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Monsoon Storm Clouds north of Gage, near Gage, NM (16″x64″)


Railroad Tracks along Highway 26

I liked the abstract feel of the curving railroad tracks in the foreground, desert scrub in the landscape, and gathering clouds in the sky.

railroadtracksdesertskyhighway26nm

Railroad Tracks, Desert, Sky, near Hatch, NM (16″x50″)


Water Tower Along Highway 26, NM

I frequently drive between Tucson, AZ and Albuquerque, NM to visit family. While driving to Hatch from I-10, I always notice a lone water tower standing over the railroad tracks along Highway 26. Last summer I finally stopped to photograph the structure and the railroad tracks. An approaching monsoon storm had also kicked up a dust storm over the wind farm across the road.

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Wind Farm and Haboob, near Hatch, NM (16″x52″)

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Water Tower along Highway 26, near Hatch, NM (16″x32″)

 


Monsoon from Sentinel Peak

When I stepped off the plane from Nepal in late June, it was about 110F (~40C) here in southern Arizona. Fortunately, the monsoon started soon after I arrived. After work one evening I drove up to the top of Sentinel Peak (near downtown Tucson) and shot a few panoramas of the lumbering monsoon storms as they approached from the south.

MonsoonCloudsfromSentinelPeak2

Monsoon Storm from Sentinel Peak #2, Tucson Mountains, AZ (16″x74″)


Boot Hill Climbing

Routes on the north and west faces of the rock promontory above the Prison Camp area make for great spring climbing along the Catalina Highway on Mt Lemmon. I especially liked the shadows of the passing clouds on the hills in the background.

BootHillCliffsAndClouds

Boot Hill Cliffs and Clouds, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x39″)


Green Slabs Climbing

Just past Milepost 9.9 and the Seven Cataracts Overlook, the road cut along the Catalina Highway (General Hitchcock Highway) forms two vertical cliffs on either side of the road. The climbing cliffs just uphill from this pullout are called The Green Slabs. There are a variety of traditional (‘trad’) routes on the south face and sport climbing on the north face. Here are a few photographs from the area.

FocusOnTheRockGreenSlabs

Focus on the Rock, Coronado National Forest, AZ (12″x18″)

GreenSlabsCliffsandHighway

Green Slabs Cliffs and Highway, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x49″)


Milagrosa and Agua Caliente, Part 2

Here is a second series of photographs from my Milagrosa to Agua Caliente Canyon loop hike. I was amazed to see water flowing near the top of Agua Caliente (second photograph) even though we had received so little moisture for most of the winter.

LookingDownMilagrosaCanyon

Looking down Milagrosa Canyon, Milagrosa Canyon, AZ (16″x33″)

FallsinAguaCalienteCanyon

Falls in Agua Caliente, Agua Caliente Canyon, AZ (12″x18″)


Milagrosa to Agua Caliente Canyon

In March, I hiked up Milagrosa Canyon (I have posted climbing photographs from this canyon in the past). I exited the top of Milagrosa by scrambling up a series of stepped dry waterfalls. I then picked my way across a hill through the Sonoran Desert until I hit a trail that dropped back down into the head of Agua Caliente Canyon. After a brief swim at a lunch time pool, I boulder-hopped down Agua Caliente to where the two canyons join near the road. As I was sliding from boulder to boulder, countless thumb-sized, camouflaged desert toads hopped out of the way of my feet. Overall, the day was at least an 8/10 stars for fun- it felt rugged without ever being more than three hours from a trailhead.

SaguaroCactiMarchingIntoMilagrosa

Saguaro Cacti Marching into Milagrosa, Milagrosa Canyon, AZ (14″x16″)

AguaCalientePools

Agua Caliente Pools, Agua Caliente Canyon, AZ (16″x42″)


Homestead Climbing

Two hours north of Tucson along Arizona State Route 77, a small turnoff dumps you out onto a dirt road that winds up into the hilly desert. The southern Arizona climbing community has created a series of trails and low-impact camping sites so climbers can unobtrusively set up a tent and climb in the limestone canyon known as ‘The Homestead’. The limestone cracks and overhangs in this area are a fun alternative to climbing the granite and schist of Mt Lemmon.

HomesteadCanyonCliffs

Homestead Canyon Cliffs, Gila County, AZ (16″x54″)

FarOffTheGroundAtHomeSteadCanyon

Far off the Ground at Homestead Canyon, Gila County, AZ (16″x44″)


Window Peak Summit

After hiking to Ventana Arch, we scrambled up the rock towers of Window Peak. The approach to the summit took a few hours; we had to ascend at least 4,500 feet from the trailhead to the peak, but the views were worth the walk. The hike down to Sabino Canyon was also gorgeous- a few rainclouds blew over and spat a few drops of water on us as we passed the last ridge near sunset.

LookingDownFromWindowPeak

Looking Down from Window Peak, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x57″)

SaguaroandEveningCloudsSabino

Saguaro and Evening Clouds, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x36″)

 

 


Ventana Canyon and Ventana Arch

Early in March, I hiked up the Ventana Canyon trail to Ventana Arch and back down through Sabino Canyon. Here are a few panoramas I took on the way up to the Arch.

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Ventana Arch, Cliff, Hills, and Sky, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x53″)

MaidenPoolsRocksCacti

Maiden Pools Rocks and Cacti, Ventana Canyon, AZ (16″x50″)