Sunset Sunrise

Steven sat across from me at mom's table on a quiet late afternoon, looking out the patio door. "Let's go to Black Mesa and shoot a sunset," he said. I was in.

Black Mesa is the name given to a plateau to the west of Albuquerque, about 5 miles from my mom's. It offers a view of the Sandia Mountains to the east and a wide expanse of high desert grass to the west. It is an ideal location for a good sunset or sunrise.

We set up our tripods in a very cold wind. We compared a few notes on settings, etc. Then we waited. The sunset did not disappoint. When we got home we were shocked at the difference in our images. Were we at the same sunset?

First up.  Steven shot his with his Canon EOS 700D and a Sigma EX 10-20mm lens. The first shot was taken in back of us (east) towards my beloved Sandia Mountain. The next one wast taken to the north and seconds later he got a shot to the south. All were shot at ISO 200, f/14 and 1/30. Later, as I fell in love with his photos, I realized a subtle truth in composition.  I shot the sunset.  He shot the sky.


I shot towards the west.



Two mornings later I started my return drive to Phoenix and was treated to this sight as I turned the corner from my mom's. "I am going to miss my Sandia," was my first thought.  My second thought was to get my *** moving and check it out from Black Mesa!

As you can see below, the plateau hides most of the city.  I left in just a couple of lights so you could imagine where the glistening bowl of lights (jewels) were down in the valley.

By now it was looking pretty interesting. So I got out of the car but was still handholding, keeping my ISO high and using exposure compensation to keep my shutter speeds somewhere in the range of not quite sharp but OK. Did I really want to unpack my gear? Not yet!

How about my widest lens? Hmmm . . . Steven had fun with his 10mm.  Well, different, but a 24mm is not a 10mm!! LOL.

Getting lighter. More interesting.  One last shot with the Df.

OK, unpack that tripod, get the big boy D800 out. And hurry this beauty is not hanging around long.


You would not be surprised to know that I want to go back to this spot the next time I am in Albuquerque, which I hope will be real soon.