General Suggestions: Photographing New Mexico

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Darkroom317, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Any general suggestions on how to go about photography in New Mexico, including locations and techniques. I will be traveling to northern New Mexico in early July. Films will be Fuji Velvia and Kdak Tri-X. Cameras, Canon A-1, Canon AE-1 and Maymia RB67 Pro-S.
     
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  2. Derek Lofgreen

    Derek Lofgreen Member

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    One of my favorite places to visit and photograph is Bandelier National Monument. It is North West of Sante Fe. I has some great ruins and cave dwellings to shoot. Fantastic access and small crowds (if any). Conditions are usually very bright and contrasty with very blue skies. I would bring a polarizing filter and a graduated ND for sure. It is at high elevation and nice and dry so bring lot's of water.

    Hope it helps,
    D.
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    New Mexico has some of the most wonderfully varied landscapes. There are many nice things like Santa Fe and Taos, but personally I'd not want to be the ten zillionth person to take those shots... there are actually interesting sites all over the state. I'd go down to Alamagordo / White Sands. The drive down there through the mountains is really beautiful and full of contrasts. If you like kitsch then the area 51 stuff in Carlsbad might appeal (I was there during a UFO convention and it was hilarious!) and the caverns are quite fun to explore too. When I was a spacesuited 7-yr old kid, White Sand Missile Range was my mecca, you can get up close and personal with some very interesting hardware. The other things I remember were the meteor craters everywhere, and the ultra-clear skies in the high desert, where you could watch falling stars almost any night of the year (good place for star trails).

    Do be sure to check out the cuisine in the old town of Albuquerque!
     
  4. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Unfortunately I have only 5 days including travel time. As much as I am afraid that my photographs won't be that different than others, I am hoping that I can make the best of the area. Hopefully I can come up with something different than others. Conditions will be different and my eyes are different.

    Thank you for the suggestions though. I hope that one day, I can make it to those areas as well.
     
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  5. cloudhands

    cloudhands Member

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    check out tent rocks national monument. It's like 45min from Santa Fe, I think.
    Do a search on flickr for "tent rocks new mexico"
    Very cool. I keep meaning to head up there.
     
  6. skyrick

    skyrick Member

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    Drive the "High Road" from Santa Fe to Taos. North from SF on 84 to NM 503 to Nambe. North on NM520 through Chimayo. Stop at the excellent Rancho de Chimayo for lunch. NM76 north through Truchas and Las Trampas, two great photo ops for both scenery and architecture. North of Penasco take NM518 north into Taos. West of town there is the Taos Gorge bridge. Best views are on the picnic area on the west side of the bridge.

    Any room for a stowaway? Northern NM is my favorite place to be in the summer.

    Rick
     
  7. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    Get out of Santa Fe, Taos, Albquequre area. Lots of good stuff to the north Espanola, Chama area. Also different good stuff to the west through Grants, toward Gallup then back north toward Farmington. If you can get that far west the cemetery at Fort Defiance - just over the Arizona line - is something special in early July.
     
  8. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Chaco Canyon and Shiprock in the NW corner of the state.
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    ...and if you are up there, I'd hit Mesa Verde as well, rather than Taos. It is closer (and way more interesting, IMO). If you have some extra time, you might travel U.S. 550 between Farmington and Cuba. It is a beautiful landscape. There is also a dirt road, 126, that goes from Cuba eastward into the mountains west of Los Alamos. I tried to go that way on my recent trip (actually headed into Cuba, not away from it), but it was closed halfway in due to winter weather. I would like to go back to that road some day because it was so beautiful.

    As for general suggestions, don't break the speed limit by more than a few miles per hour on native reservations. I saw way more people pulled over on native land in NM and AZ than I did anywhere else on my cross-country trip. Wear a hat and sunscreen (neither of which I had last time, as it was winter and I was not spending a ton of time in any one place), and make sure you have plenty of water. Make sure you don't leave your film in a hot car.

    As for film, you might want a color film in addition to Velvia, but that is up to you. If it has to be Velvia, perhaps the think about the 100F, as it more easily captures a high-contrast range.

    White Sands is nice, but hardly northern NM!
     
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  10. nocrop

    nocrop Member

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    The area on the east side of the Sangre de Cristos mountains is beautiful. The town of Las Vegas is worth visiting.
     
  11. nocrop

    nocrop Member

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    I love eating there, too. But is it open yet after their fire?
     
  12. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Problem is, Mesa Verde is too far for the given amount of time.

    Really wish I could go there. Maybe another trip.

    How would you say Velvia 50 renders such a situation. I've already purchased my film. Any suggestions as to shooting this film in such locations?
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    We still don't know what part of northern NM you will be in, so Shiprock came up. Mesa Verde is very close if you are in Shiprock, is what I said in response to the person who suggested it.

    As for Velvia, it depends on the light. If it is contrasty light, and you expose for the lighter areas, you sacrifice detail in the darker areas. You can overexpose and pull process to lower contrast. I know from experience that this works very well with 100F. It should work with 50 as well, though I cannot say from experience.
     
  14. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Sorry about that. The area I am currently looking at is from Cimarron to Cuba and as south as Santa Fe.
     
  15. skyrick

    skyrick Member

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    Supposed to re-open in July. They're advertising in NM magazine.

    Rick
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Personally I think your trying tom place the chicken befire the Egg :D

    New Mexico is very varied, you should just go to the places you think are most interesting, the photographs are secondary. Then if the area sparks something creative youn start shootiong.

    Unless I've been to an area before I don't go with pre-conceived ideas it doesn't work. Just go, walk, OK it's the US so drive slowly, see what floats yer boat :smile:

    Ian