Big Bend Badlands – Preface

I’ve been working on my Visions of Big Bend photography project for nearly five years now, and it’s a project that I’ll continue to work on indefinitely. But the project has been a little too broad in scope thus far, or at least that’s how I feel about it.

Big Bend National Park (and the surrounding region) is huge and filled with so many interesting things. I can easily categorize the photos I’ve taken into themes (e.g. mountains, desert, river areas). But still that’s too basic, and simply filing a photo into a category is like creating a photo project after the fact.

So, I decided to start focusing on very specific items of interest (well, stuff that interests me :-) ) within my project. My recent trip allowed me to kick this idea off by working on a sub-project about one, interesting feature of Big Bend.


Two years ago, I visited a small area of badlands near Indian Head Mountain, and it really grabbed my interest. The golden, cracked soil and blue skies appealed to me. The simplicity and openness of the landscape wasn’t exactly easier to work with photographically speaking, but it seemed easier to comprehend. Regardless, for whatever reason, the badlands just really appealed to my senses.

Badlands near Indian Head – March 2007
(click for larger version)

Ever since, I’ve been wanting to come back to that spot and explore it and photograph it more. After doing some research and also just driving around in the park, I’ve found many other areas of badlands. These areas are local and relatively small compared to the massive size of the park.

For my recent trip, I picked three areas of interest (two found using Google Earth and another spotted from Highway 118 just outside the park’s west gate) and spent one night in each. Each night required an overnight hike off-trail and cross-country taking me deep in the backcountry of Big Bend.

The next several blog posts will feature the photos I took. I hope you enjoy them. As always, I really enjoy reading your feedback, so please leave comments if you like. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “Big Bend Badlands – Preface

  1. WOW this is great on several levels, the path taking you in, the B/G combination and the few clouds that add dimension. Bet this is really beautiful BIG….

  2. Thanks, Mike! This photo (taken in March 2007) is what started my interest in badlands. It’s funny that I’ve received a lot of comments saying, basically, that badlands are hard to shoot and there’s not much interest there. I just don’t get that. I see so much interest and beauty in them! :-)

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