On Location

On Location: Chaco Culture National Historic Park

Chaco CultureNational Historic Park

Chaco Canyon is the best-preserved site of early settlement in the United States. Located in New Mexico, miles from paved roads and service stations, the most exiting historic park does not receive the same amount of visitors as other parks. Unlike other spectacular locations like Canyon de Chelly or Mesa Verde, you can freely explore Chaco and even enter most of the sites. This makes Chaco Canyon much more desirable for photography. 

Eventually the park service will develop the road to Chaco and limit access to the ruins as more and more tourists will start visiting the park. Currently you can still have many places of the park to yourself. You do not have to wait a long time for a clear undisturbed view of the ruins, thanks to the relatively small amount of visitors compared to other places. 

Painting with Light - Understanding Light

Mobius Arch, Light Studyc

I photographed this series of Mobius Arch during my recent trips to the Alabama Hills. All six images show the same subject, with four images taken from nearly identical points of view. Yet all images look profoundly different from one another, simply by the different properties of the light.

The first row shows two images that I took during sunset. The last row shows two images I took during sunrise. The quality of light changes very quickly during this time. A few hours before sunset and a few hours after sunrise, the landscape looks flat, washed out, and the high contrast between shadows and sunlit regions gives your images an entirely different quality.

I painted the two images in the center row with a powerful flashlight.

Hybrid Off-Road Adventure with Rooftop Tent

Easter SUV Trekking through the Backcountry of Death Valley.

Ford Escape Rooftop Tent 

My 4WD Hybrid Ford Escape had already proven its worth on a 7,000 mile winter trip, crossing the Rocky Mountains twice in bone chilling weather with record snow falls. My sure-footed companion sips fuel like a compact car, yet offers the storage of a family van and enough ground clearance for backcountry adventures. Hybrids are fun, as long as you don't drown the battery in mountain spring water like I did. 

San Francisco Presidio and Golden Gate

Fort Point Military Band

We went to San Francisco twice last weekend, in anticipation of a big project I am working on and hope to complete before summer. 

I photographed the Presidio and Fort Point. I was very lucky, since Fort Point celebrated Living History Days with civil war actors in period customs. It was a lot of fun and while we were there, I also photographed some of the spectacular views you can find at the Presidio and the Main Post, from where the Presidio grew to its current spread.

I parked my car and walked across the Golden Gate Bridge to boost my Golden Gate Portfolio. 

Both locations are a lot of fun to discover and the pictures really turned out exceptional (all shot with the Canon 7D). Check them out and come back for more, the project is far from done.

Golden Gate South Tower

On location: Hovenweep National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument

One of my favorite parks on the Colorado Plateau is Hovenweep National Monument.

Hovenweep is a delight to photograph. Its remote location at the border between Utah and Colorado and its overshadowing neighboring park, Mesa Verde, make sure that this park receives only a trickle of visitors when compared to other places. It is very unlikely that you get much disturbance during your photo session and if you do, you can easily outwait everyone.

Dani finally analyzed my feelings correctly, after I stumbled through Mesa Verde with an average mood one day and suddenly lit up with delight when we visited Hovenweep the other day. Mesa Verda does not leave much to creativity. You hold your camera into the hole and that is that. Photos either look good or they do not, but your influence on the outcome is limited.

Hovenweep is different. You can have fun with compositions, go crazy with foregrounds and backgrounds, try weird twisted angles, and never tire of the limitless options that this small park offers.