General Suggestions: Photographing New Mexico
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.
Last edited by Darkroom317; 06-15-2009 at 10:59 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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,
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!
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.
Last edited by Darkroom317; 06-15-2009 at 12:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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.
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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.
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.
Chaco Canyon and Shiprock in the NW corner of the state.
For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!
...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.
Originally Posted by Kirk Keyes
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!
Last edited by 2F/2F; 06-17-2009 at 03:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
The area on the east side of the Sangre de Cristos mountains is beautiful. The town of Las Vegas is worth visiting.