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Navajo Dam Lake HDR Sunset Landscape Photography New Mexico True

Navajo Dam Lake HDR Sunset Landscape Photography New Mexico True

Always stop to get the sunset at Navajo Dam Lake

I have now been to Navajo Dam more times than any other place in New Mexico for my rural land photography and drone video work, that is an overnight drive away from Albuquerque. In the first 6 months of 2019, I have been there 4 times already! At the end of my most recent trip, due to the land of the property being behind a hill and thus sunset coming earlier to it, I was able to leave the property in time to my surprise with the actual sunset still visible some 10 minutes down the road where you can see a large expanse of Navajo Dam Lake and the marina itself too. A real photographer never passes by a chance to stop and make a photo, so even thought I was tired, and all my photo gear and tripod were well put away, I got my Nikon out and hustled to the road’s edge to make theses New Mexico True photos to share with you.

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Elephant Butte Lake Marino New Mexico 4K Drone Video

Elephant Butte Lake Marino New Mexico 4K Drone Video

Sunset Butte Beauty

Almost exactly one year ago I first flew my drone over Elephant Butte Lake in New Mexico, over the aforementioned butte itself. This time, I flew over the marina at sunset (in very strong winds). The video shows how you can just pull up your RV trailer right to the lake’s edge and camp there! The boat ramp to the lake is the most massive and steep one I have ever seen! Lastly, you can see all the mesas and mountains surrounding the lake that would make it a beautiful place for a sunset cruise.

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Boating on Navajo Dam Lake Drone Video New Mexico

Boating on Navajo Dam Lake Drone Video New Mexico

On the lake in a boat with a drone

Navajo Dam Lake is probably my favorite area of New Mexico. This is my third trip to the area just this year and fifth overall. I have seen it in all seasons now. This trip was quite different however. I still went up to photograph and fly over a rural land real estate property. However, there was extra time and Jessica’s parents were on their way back from Monument Valley so we all met up at Abe’s Motel & Fly Shop (home of the best French toast in New Mexico) then rented a boat at the marina right on Navajo Dam Lake. I brought my drone with me out onto the boat and quickly realized flying from the actual moving object you are recording is quite a challenge! I would let the drone hover so I can frame the shot, but the boat kept moving, so you see me in the above video often looking at the control screen to make sure I am keeping the boat in frame and at the same time actually try and make the video a bit cinematic, even though this was just a fun video for family memories.

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Navajo Dam Lake Marina New Mexico Drone Video and Aerial Photos

Navajo Dam Lake Marina New Mexico Drone Video and Aerial Photos

In my second trip to the Navajo Dam Lake area, I was able to fly my drone more over the lake itself and make aerial photos with my DJI Mavic Pro drone as well!  The first time  was only able to fly over the dam, this time I got to fly out over the lake, even very low and fast to the water!  There is a surprisingly large marina at this lake, and not something one would expect to find in a land-locked, desert state that's for sure!  A head's up though, if you are thinking of renting any kind of watercraft, be there early!  Me and Jessica and the dogs were too late (even at 10am!) to get a boat, but that could not stop us from having fun!

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Drone Video and Photos of Elephant Butte Lake New Mexico

Drone Video and Photos of Elephant Butte Lake New Mexico

An oasis in the central southern desert area of New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake is in the town of Elephant Butte itself.  The lake is surprisingly large with small islands, many peninsulas and beaches, a dam and a marina!  I flew my DJI Mavic Pro drone further than ever before, as far as I dared, which is why did not circle Elephant Butte from very low.  I did not want to risk losing connection between the drone and the remote with a large, elephant shaped butte blocking the way!  Look closely in the drone photos for me and Jessica and the dogs in one of them!  If you eat to see ground level photos of Elephant Butte Lake, check out this photo gallery.

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Views of Elephant Butte Lake New Mexico

Views of Elephant Butte Lake New Mexico

On the way to Las Cruces, New Mexico for a rural land photography shoot, I got to make my second visit to Elephant Butte Lake.  This was actually the very first non-Albuquerque place I visited when I first moved to New Mexico in February 2017.  Therefore, this is my only "old memory" of New Mexico (technically, in 2000 I visited Roswell and Carlsbad Caverns and Bandelier National Monument too, but that's a whole other lifetime).  

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Last Sunset of 2017 Lake Tahoe First Sunrise of 2018 Sacramento

Last Sunset of 2017 Lake Tahoe First Sunrise of 2018 Sacramento

Since living in Japan, I have adopted their custom of viewing the first sunrise of the new year, which is often paired with seeing the last sunset.  For 2017, I was able to see one of the more epic views for the sunset, having climbed up to the top of Cave Rock, all of Lake Tahoe was spread out before me.  The sun dipped below dramatic clouds just above the horizon casting golding light on snow capped mountain peaks and reflecting off the lake itself.  It was even more special because of who I was with, my whole family made it to the top of the rock, Jessica (girlfriend), Kiki (beloved puppy), and Artie (Jessica's dog).  

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