Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 2017

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 2017

I finally made it to the annual balloon festival held in Albuquerque each fall.  It’s one of the biggest weeks of the year for the city and they put on a great show.   There were several hundred balloons lifting off each of the two mornings I went and it was a non-stop visual experience.  In additional to the photos I was taking, a put together a collection of video clips caught on my camera that gives you a pretty typical look at a morning’s mass ascension.

Advertisements

Quiet States

Farmhouse, North Dakota

Farmhouse at Dusk, North Dakota

“Nothing could be more lonely and nothing more beautiful than the view at nightfall across the prairies to these huge hill masses, when the lengthening shadows had at last merged into one and the faint after-glow of the red sunset filled the west.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt is big in the Dakotas.  And that’s not referring to Mt. Rushmore.  But when thinking of how I could describe North and South Dakota, “quiet” came quickly to mind.  After driving more than 2,200 miles in just over a week, the scarcity of development, people and changing landscapes are a constant.  There was sound- the wind and birdsong is always around, but it didn’t erase that quiet. Continue reading

Is Yosemite Overrated?

Now when looking at the great western parks for an autumn trip, Yosemite wouldn’t probably be my first recommendation.  It was a first time to the area, so I carved out a few days to camp and explore in late September, hoping to discover the type of iconic views made famous from the likes of Ansel Adams and many other talented photographers over the decades.

Valley View, Yosemite National Park

Valley View, Yosemite National Park

Continue reading

The Palouse

View from Steptoe Butte, Whitman County, Washington

View from Steptoe Butte, Whitman County, Washington

I’ve seen some nice photographs from the Palouse region in the past, so it’s been a location on “the list” to try and visit.  It’s probably safe to say that if you’re not a farmer or a photographer, the odds that you know where the Palouse is are not very high.  Located in the eastern portion of Washington into Idaho, it’s both a unique landscape and a very productive area for agriculture, particularly wheat. Formed by volcanic activity, wind blown silt became dunes which became the rich soil that underlies the heart of the Palouse.  For photographers, the light and varying colors of green and gold are often compared to Tuscany. Continue reading

High Road to Taos

After leaving southern Arizona, I crossed the border into New Mexico and headed north.  Just above Santa Fe is the High Road to Taos.  This scenic route, averaging an elevation between 7,000-8,000 feet passes through several small Indian pueblos and ends in Taos, as you might have predicted.

Trading Post, Nambe Pueblo, New Mexico

Sacred Heart Church, Nambé, built in the 1940s

Leaving Highway 285/84 just north of Santa Fe, the first pueblo I passed was Nambé.  This church is just off the main road and features the classic adobe style found widespread in the northern part of the state. Continuing north, you pass through some impressive landscape as you climb higher into the region.

High Road to Taos, New Mexico

High Road to Taos, New Mexico

 

Continue reading

Arizona Desert

On a recent trip to Arizona and New Mexico, I flew into Phoenix and headed south into the Sonoran Desert.  It was the beginning of Fall but still topping out at 106 degrees.   For this part of the desert, the roads through them are limited,  unpaved and vary in how easily a vehicle can access them.  I had to turn around a few times once I reached a washed out area or deep ditch, so photography was limited to where my rental car could safely travel.

Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Other than birds and lizards, the only other life occasionally around were border patrol agents.  There was  also a lot of littered water jugs and other trash from the people that passed through before.

Illegal Immigration Warning Sign, Sonoran Desert National Monume

Illegal Immigration Warning Sign, Sonoran Desert National Monument

Sonoran Desert National Monument, Southern Arizona

Dead cow, Sonoran Desert National Monument, Southern Arizona

Continue reading