Wilderness

Balanced Rock - Big Bend National Park
Balanced Rock – Big Bend National Park
Balanced Rock is one of the iconic spots to visit in Big Bend National Park. A short twenty to thirty minute hike is required to see the huge bolder more than ten feet across balanced neatly between two outcrops. It is a sight worth seeing.

Most tourists take snapshots of the balanced rock by itself or with someone pretending to hold the great mass above their head. Nice souvenirs to be sure.

This photo was made just before sunrise with my tripod setup underneath the bolder. Tourists generally wait until after sunrise to hike Grapevine Hills because mountain lions and bears are active in the hours just before dawn. I’ve never had a close encounter except one time seeing evidence that a big cat crossed my path. It left scat full of javelina fur on the trail right where I’d walked an hour before. That is my real wilderness experience.

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The North America calendar
Weeks starting on Sunday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 45 – North America

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Phototrice Calendar No. 45 – International

Waiting for the Sun

Desert and Mountains - Big Bend Texas
Desert and Mountains – Big Bend Texas
Early morning light in areas with extreme elevation changes is often very interesting. This photo was made several minutes after sunrise on a clear morning but no direct sunlight is evident in the image. That is because the sun is rising behind a ten thousand foot high mountain range directly behind the camera. The elevation at the camera is about three thousand feet and the mountain in the image is little over five thousand feet high.

The difference in altitude and the position of the sun gave me an opportunity to shoot in soft light. In this case the desert floor acted as a giant reflector. The light is still directional enough to cast shadows but not harsh. A similar situation can occur at the end of the day. Sometimes it is possible to shoot in bright soft light with clear sky for an hour or more before the sun actually goes below the horizon. That presents opportunities to photograph wildlife and other subjects that emerge once the sun is not overhead. Something to keep in mind when out shooting in mountainous areas.

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The North America calendar
Weeks starting on Sunday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 43 – North America

The International calendar
Weeks starting on Monday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 43 – International

Yuccas Whisper

Yuccas Whisper Among Themselves

The Big Bend National and State Parks are treasures that are largely unvisited. They are remote with few amenities that people find necessary for comfortable vacations. Conditions are hot by day, cold at night with some of the darkest skies in the lower 48 states. It frightens some people because there are only moon and stars for light and the sounds of nature. That is exactly why you might want to explore the thousand square miles of parkland for yourself. There is no other place where you can hear the Dagger Yuccas whisper in the breeze.

Download the latest Phototrice calendar in PDF format. Direct download links – No signup required.

The North America calendar
Weeks starting on Sunday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 42 – North America

The International calendar
Weeks starting on Monday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 42 – International