Trees, Turtles and a Cold Rolled Steel Crane

Steve and I took off this morning to scout locations for shooting sunrises and sunsets. We were also looking for good cottonwood trees. Some of these trees are already leafing out so our time is limited to get the great look that a naked cottonwood presents. A quick stop at the Rio Grande Nature Center, lunch and a visit to a camera store rounded out our day.

As the day progressed the sky became ominous and the wind really kicked up. We headed home, passing semi-trucks that had pulled over to wait out the wind.

Enjoy the photos.

Have you ever seen the flowers that the decorate the cottonwood in the spring?  Me neither.  Here you go.



Steve took full advantage of the dreary stormy skies, turning this black and white into a more sinister view than my first photo.


These turtles were sunning on a log just outside the windows of the comfortable viewing room at the Rio Grande Nature Center.  Good thing as the birds and ducks were few.



The statue of the crane, above, was one of the most difficult shots I have taken in a while. The background was just horrible for showing off such a wonderful creation. Steve fared better because he got in real close and then got tricky by placing an 8mm fisheye lens below the cranes making the sky the back ground. He has a huge backdrop curtain that he uses for shooting cars and we may just try putting that behind the statue tomorrow!


Sadly, the local camera shop did not have anything that we needed or wanted. Bummer!! But, we saved some money and came home happy campers from a great day of companionship, photo talk and learning new things.

Hope your weekend is shaping up just as you wanted.

Cottonwood Trees

I mentioned the cottonwood forest or "bosque' in my last post. Well, they really thrive along the Rio Grande River banks. But, they can be seen all over Albuquerque and in the winter they stand out because their trunks, branches and just a few committed leaves are just so gosh darn interesting! They are particularly good in black and white and can be made to look moody, scary, other-worldly.

Tom and I went with my brother, Steve, to see some of the oldest ones that Steve has noticed over time. It turns out that if you have a very old cottonwood on your property you actually need permission to cut it down!! Now I know why it appears that some building newer buildings look as though they have been built around a tree.

I want to go back in this coming spring, summer and fall and photograph a couple of these trees again. We share the winter 'look' with you.





ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/500 at 80mm with Canon EOS 700D and 80-210mm lens. Shot with tungston WB and then processed in Nik Silver Effects Pro.



Tom, with a little composition magic and a fisheye, can actually make a huge old cottonwood seem a bit small. So, I am thinking he can make me tall and slim!!

Tis all folks. We left hundreds of trees there for you to photograph and each is just as interesting (or more so). It is interesting that when you bring up the topic of photographing these trees with locals they quickly direct you to their favorite tree, tell you how old they think it is and how long they have 'known' it.