Big Bend Extras

Last Friday, our DSL at home went out and I spent the following weekend without Internet access. I felt somewhat deprived, :-) but I spent some of my usual ‘net surfin’ time looking back at my Big Bend photos from last September.

Tornillo Creek near the Rio Grande
(click for larger image)

I found several photos that I’d not processed before, and I thought they’d be worth sharing. Nine new photos came out of this late post-shoot digging, and my three favorites are posted here.

Soil plates on the Rio Grande
(click for larger image)

One of my favorite moments from the trip was the cloudy, humid afternoon we spent near the Hot Springs. The confluence of Tornillo Creek and the Rio Grande River was nearby, and I found a lot of water flowing down Tornillo Creek. I didn’t expect to see so much water in the creek.

Terlingua Ghost Town Cemetery
(click for larger image)

The cemetery in the old ghost town is another one of my favorite spots out there. It is unique and rustic as the surrounding area, and adds to the otherworldly feel out there.

4 thoughts on “Big Bend Extras

  1. I love all three of these shots. I like the clouds on the ‘Cemetery’ they almost look fake! The’Tornillo Creek’ is just awesome! It has kind of an old style quality about it. Dare I say Ansel Adams… :-)

  2. Hey TJ, I wanted to comment on these back when you originally posted but just never found the time to write up a reply. I’m glad to see you continuing with your BBNP project, you’ve really shown just how much more a location like this can offer to the persistent photographer, beyond just the obvious shots that a first time or infrequent visitor will find. I like your choice of B/W here. BBNP has a somewhat limited color pallete when the flowers aren’t blooming, and removing the color altogether brings the other elements to the foreground, putting the empahasis on shapes, lines, and tones. I think B/W also leaves a bit more room for ‘interpretation’.If I manipulate a color image too much I feel like I’m cheating; but making tonal and contrast adjustments on monochrome images allows more room for creativity since the viewer doesn’t really expect a direct representation as with color.

    ‘Tornillo Creek near the Rio Grande’ – I like the full tonal range withot being overly contrasty; the darker tones on the sides also help frame and contain the image. The composition is good, with the river and shoreline leading your eye into the picture where you then find the rock formation and brush, with the open desert and mountains in the distance. The clouds are also an important element, if the sky had been just overcast white the image would not have been as effective.

    ‘Soil Plates on the Rio Grande’ – I love the graphic lines in the mud, they make for a great composition. And you’ve got another brooding, dramatic sky that adds drama to the image. Tonally there’s a slight imbalance to me between the darker on the far river bank versus the relatively flat midtones in the foreground. I wonder if it would be possible increase the local contrast in the foreground without it looking overprocessed.

    ‘Terlingua Ghost Town Cemetery’ I shot there one morning on my last visit to BBNP, and was thoroughly disappointed with my results; so I know this shot was probably more challenging than some might think on first glance. The concentration of crosses is what works well here for me, and the puffy clouds in the distance also add interest without turning the image too melencholy (the way darker, stormier clouds might have). Nicely done.

  3. Jeff,

    Thanks! Thanks for taking the time to look at these and leave me some feedback. I appreciate it.

    B&W is really appealing to me for just what you’ve said. You can get really creative with it and not worry about the color looking odd when lightening and darkening areas and also changing the contrast.

    I kick myself for not spending more time with those big, cracked soil plates. I wanted a more balanced composition there, and a better feature of those plates. They were really neat. I agree with your comments, right on.

    Yep, I took few pics in the cemetery and got frustrated with all the clutter. It’s a beautiful yet messy place :-)


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