Nature & Wildlife

Southern Blvd Rio Rancho Sandia Mountain Views

Southern Blvd Rio Rancho Sandia Mountain Views

Southern Blvd in Rio Rancho Mountain Views

If you have never driven down Southern Blvd in Rio Rancho, New Mexico all the way west until it becomes a dirt road, then may I suggest taking a little road trip so you can be treated to views of the Sandia Mountains from the open desert.

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Ramah New Mexico Rural Land Real Estate Stunning Sunset HDR Photography

Ramah New Mexico Rural Land Real Estate Stunning Sunset HDR Photography

Golden Abandoned Corral of the High Desert

As soon as I saw the above old corral, I knew what shot I wanted to make once the sun went down a little more. I was out on a rural land photography shoot, very, very far off the beaten path, some 16 miles down dirt road, in an already remote area to begin with near Ramah, New Mexico. I like to wonder when I come across these abandoned things far from anyone things like, “when was this last actually used?” What do you think when you look at these photos? Let me know in the comments below. If you would like to have this view every day, prints on canvas, metal, or framed are available to bring the remote high desert to your home.

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Finally a New Mexico Roadrunner Bird photographed!

Finally a New Mexico Roadrunner Bird photographed!

Roadrunner in the backyard!

I have been waiting a long time to get a photograph of a roadrunner, the New Mexico state bird. In Florida, I regularly photographed birds. There are far fewer birds in easy sight in New Mexico, but in my new neighborhood in central ABQ, I regularly see, I believe, this particular roadrunner when out walking my dog. I do not tote around a 70-200mm lens on those walks usually, so I never get a chance to photograph this roadrunner.

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Last Green Leaves Before Autumn 2019

Last Green Leaves Before Autumn 2019

Wandering makes photos

If anyone asks me how did I learn photography, I tell them, by walking the streets of Tokyo for hundreds of hours with my very first DSLR camera, a Nikon D80. What is great about living in a city with wide spread public transportation is you can take a train to one area, walk randomly to where your eyes take you, then just hop on another train and get back home without having to worry about returning to where your car is parked. This is how I went about finding one of my more famous photos, at least in Japan, which I titled, “Last Green Leaves Before Autumn.” I submitted it to Metropolis Magazine (the largest weekly English magazine in Japan) and they featured it in the Photo of the Week section. Picking up a copy of the magazine the Friday afternoon it came out and seeing my photo featured inside, I was stunned and even stopped strangers passing by to say (in English), “that’s my photo!” It was a moment of exhileration I have rarely ever felt again.

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Agave Desert Sunset New Mexico Fine Art Photography

Agave Desert Sunset New Mexico Fine Art Photography

Landscape enemy saved by agave!

A third trip in 6 weeks to Valencia County, New Mexico where I met the enemy of the landscape photographer, i.e. a cloudless sky. However, these agave plants volunteered to be in the foreground of my photo to add some visual flair to what otherwise would have been a mediocre HDR sunset photo. Want to look at this view at your home? Use the buttons below to get a fine art print. Want to own this view and build a house on this land? Check out Hemingway Land Company.

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Wheat colors in the high desert

Wheat colors in the high desert

Getting Low and Close for Desert Flora Photography

When I have some downtime on rural land photography shoots waiting for the sun to get lower in the sky, I put on my macro lens and see what the desert might be hiding. Such was the case on a recent shoot in McKinley County, New Mexico. I had gotten all the traditional photos I needed, wide landscapes, and was waiting to make my signature HDR sunset shots. So I took a stroll around the property, not looking far and wide, but low and close. I have told photography students in the past, if you show me in a photo what I can see from my own eye level, that is one way to make merely a snapshot. To make a photograph I used to say, show me something I cannot see with my own eyes at my own eye level. Thus, by getting low to the ground, to the eye level of this desert flora, and using the very shallow DoF abilities of the macro lens to create a creamy bokeh, I can show the viewer something she/he cannot see merely by standing in the same spot.

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Sandia Mountains Picnic Area Sunset View New Mexico True

Sandia Mountains Picnic Area Sunset View New Mexico True

Sunset View from the North Sandias

Looking for a destination to end a drive at while scouring Google Maps, I saw Juan Tabo Picnic Site nestled in the norhern end of the Sandia Mountains and thought, let’s try this. I assumed it would have a nice view, and it did, though not as sweeping or panoramic as I thought. Hustling to get my tripod out and my camera mounted on it, I got the last peak of the sun over the foothills to the west. I liked having the boulders for the foreground, rather than just a distant shot of the horizon and sky. Once off of Tramway, the road to this spot would be a good driver’s road, if it were a closed road. The tight twists require the speed limit to be 25mph and then 15mph and the narrow road allows for no spirited driving with other cars and bicycles sharing the road. Still, it is a good spot to end and catch the sunset, even if slowly.

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