Picture of the week

Jan 1, 2017

Bisti Badlands in the fog

Strange World

Car park location for Bisti Badlands "wings" locationBizarre rock formations of the Bisti Badlands in New Mexico.  Photographed under foggy conditions on an early December morning.  Explorations that day felt like we were on a different planet.  The erosional patterns here are quite unusual, with harder cap rocks forcing a more vertical erosion to layers of softer sandstone and bentonite clay below.  As a result, travel here can be tricky if it is too wet due to extremely slippery conditions.  On this particular visit temperatures were below freezing, in a way making it easier to get around, given recent rains and snow.

Heading out to this area in the dark from Farmington under foggy conditions, I was not sure what to expect photography-wise.  Even finding the unmarked dirt spur road that I have used in the past was extremely difficult to find under these conditions. Fortunately I was able to use waypoints I had marked from my last trip to guide myself and two other friends (John and Tucker) to this other-worldly location.  The weather ended up being useful to capturing images with a more mysterious mood than the more typical photographs shown of this area (see some other images from my gallery here).  Toward the end of our planned time, the sun started to burn through, creating additional lighting opportunities. Thus I was not disappointed that we had no golden light for this particular shoot.  If anything, it has motivated me to consider trying to seek out this type of weather for other locations, or at least not abort expected plans.