White Sands, New Mexico

One super cool place 2 explore is White Sands in New Mexico.  This past December we took a drive to Taos from Austin and on the way back I wanted to stop by and check this place out. I am glad we did!  It is about 45 minutes from Route 25. A boring drive, but out of the blue you start to see this white sand appear.  Enter in the park and you can see lots of small pull off areas to explore the dunes!    Start climbing and cool views are all around!!  Get back in your car and throughout the park you can see people riding plastic sleds down the dunes.  I saw a couple people take a digger…its not snow..but takes a little experience to get it just right.   The only downfall of this visit was that as soon as we got home from the trip…I had to spend about an hour vacuuming the tons of sand in the car!!  =))  If you ever get a chance…a must visit!!

Taos, New Mexio – Marriott Hotel (HDR)

On our little getaway weekend in December…we visited Taos to go skiing. My first time ever to ski…I was excited and did well!!  We stayed 2 nights and decided to stay at the lovely El Monte Sagrado (Marriott) in downtown Taos.  What a beautiful place to stay!!    We had booked a standard room…which was excellent!  But as I walked around the hotel..I can see some people checking into their rooms…I gazed inside and was amazed!!!  If you have the extra cash..I saw some super cool rooms!!  I checked the site and they call them Casita’s.  Wow!  Decorated in Southwest style and designed perfectly!  There are only 84 rooms..so check online if visiting.

It had snowed the day before and we built some snowmen out in this courtyard.  The view above was taken the next day from the courtyard.  I loved the little stream traveling through the hotel grounds.  Gotta love hotels like this.  I don’t make hotel HDR’s often…but this Marriott was deserving!  I would surely stay here again anytime!   We caught a shuttle to the mountains for skiing and had a blast!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • amera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 24.0 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/11
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Viveza, Photo Tools 2.6

Taos, New Mexico – Pixel Bender Infrared

From the plains of Taos, New Mexico…here is an Infrared photo with the Pixel Bender effect put on it!  Hope you can try this cool free plug-in from Adobe!  CS5 is needed.  Not sure if you can use CS4.  You may have to be a techie to figure that one out.  It creates this neat painterly look.  Can’t beat a free plug in!!!   Check it out here….Pixel Bender

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D70S (Converted to Infrared)
  • Infrared Conversion:  D70S modified by LifePixel
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 35.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/180 sec
  • Aperture:  f/13
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Silver Efex Pro, onOne Software Photo Tools 2.6, Viveza, Pixel Bender

Santa Fe, New Mexico – St. Francis Basilica (HDR)

From the lovely cute little town of Santa Fe, New Mexico…this is St. Francis Basilica.  One of the most popular spots in town to photograph.  Always lots of people around taking pics.  Luckily at blue hour only a few remained and I was able to grab the photo above.  The sky was a bit boring, so I added a texture into the sky to add life.  It was chilly this nite…about 20 degrees.  I do not shoot in to much cold weather, but after an hour my battery was draining fast!  I had a feeling this may happen, so I brought a spare!   I’d love to visit this town again in the summer…I bet it is nice to walk around and enjoy the art and people!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 F/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 12.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Viveza, texture

 

Santa Fe, New Mexico – Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis (Infrared)

From the lovely town of Santa Fe, New Mexico…the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis in Infrared.  A quick post today…Have a Happy New Year celebration!!    Be safe!  Cheers!  May 2011 be wonderful for you and your family!!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D70S (Converted to Infrared)
  • Infrared Conversion:  D70S modified by LifePixel
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 22.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/90 sec
  • Aperture:  f/13
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Viveza, Color Efex Pro

Taos, New Mexico – Rio Grande Gorge (Infrared)

This photo above is of the Rio Grande Gorge in Taos, New Mexico.  I woke my family up early as I wanted to take a drive out of town to see the fantastic sight!  Just only 15 minutes north of the town of Taos is this gorge.  I did not know what to expect.  I was windy and a bit chilly…so the walk out to the middle of the bridge overlooking this view was tough!  I held onto my hat and steadied my tripod.

I’ll have an HDR soon..but only processed this IR shot first.  In B&W..it looks cool!  Even that mountain range in the background is interesting.  I enjoyed our stay in Taos!  A cute artsy town and a great place to ski!  It is snowing all over the east coast today…hope you had a Merry XMas!

Info from the web:   The Rio Grande Gorge runs from northwest to southeast of Taos, New Mexico, through the basalt flows of the Taos Plateau volcanic field. The gorge depth is 800 feet just south of the Gorge Bridge, which spans the gorge ten miles northwest of Taos. The gorge is known for its world class white water (up to Class V), steep pocketed rock climbing, and many ancient and beautiful petroglyphs. Petroglyphs in the gorge have inspired many of the prints and patterns on trinkets, mugs, and t-shirts sold in local shops. At the bottom of the gorge, the Rio Grande is flanked by hidden hot springs and many ruins. The former Chili Line also ran here.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D70S (Converted to Infrared)
  • Infrared Conversion:  D70S modified by LifePixel
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 26.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/60 sec
  • Aperture:  f/13
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Viveza, Silver Efex Pro

Albuquerque, NM – Butterfly

Butterfly

NIKON D300, Nikon 105 VR Macro

This little guy was taken at the the Rio Grande Botanic Garden in Albuquerque, NM.   We are still having very nice weather in Texas now and just recently I have been seeing lots of butterflies…a Monarch was in our garden yesterday.   This may be due to the migration this year.   This guy is not a Monarch, but he may migrate like a Monarch as well!  The Monarch migration story is amazing!

Here is some info from the web on the Monarch:    Monarch Butterflies breed in the northern United States and southern Canada through the summer, but as fall approaches they migrate south to their traditional overwintering sites in California and Mexico. The adults who migrate south are not the ones who migrated north – they are their descendents, often several generations removed. They seem to be able to navigate using the sun and magnetic fields, and the migrating butterflies often use the same individual trees their ancestors used in the previous winter.  Monarch Butterflies need to make this long migration each year (as much as 2,000 miles) because the northern winter is too cold for the adults and the southern overwintering places are too far south for the milkweed that the caterpillars require.

Nature is amazing!  Enjoy!