Fall Colors & Starry Skies Of The Southwest

October 15, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

I recently drove out to Colorado and New Mexico to photograph some of the night skies and aspen and cottonwood trees that turn yellow in late September and early October.   

My first stop was to the Bisti Badlands of New Mexico. Bisti is a fascinating place of whimsical rock formations and hoodoos.  After a short night of car camping in the remote parking lot, I decided to head out in the middle of the night to photograph some of these unusual rock formations in a clear, starry night.  I wanted to reach the location I had in mind in the moonlight before the moon would soon set.  The picture below on the left is in moonlight while the picture below on the right was as the night sky was beginning to get twilight before sunrise. 

I also did some night photography in Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. Photographing the Milky Way is best between April and October in the Northern Hemisphere, when the galactic center is visible above the horizon at night. The "star" that you see to the left of the Milky Way is Mars. With the help of a tent and light painting from Glenn Randall, I also was able to do some cool captures of the landscape under the Milky Way.  

Milky Way at Great Sand DunesMilky Way at Great Sand Dunes


I also did a hike in the La Plata Mountains near Durango, Colorado. The aspens were close to their peak when I was there.  

Before I left, snow began to fall in the higher elevations of the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico.  A dusting of snow accumulated at the top of Santa Fe Ski Area.  The changing of seasons is showing up!

While in the Four Corners region, I also went to the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations in Arizona. I will have a blog post on that trip later this fall. 


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