[This is the third of a three-part series about a reunion photography tour in New Mexico over the Labor Day weekend. See previous posts (dated October 7 and October 10) for the first two installments and background.]
After two long days of travel and intense on-location photography, on Day 3 we chilled out during the morning, gathering our physical and psychic resources for a long afternoon drive to a shoot in the badlands of northwest New Mexico.
The sky was full of mixed clouds, and we had no idea what it would be like when we arrived at our destination. But we had no choice, as this was the last day we could visit this particular location.
When we arrived, the sky looked like this . . .
Not great light, but at least we had some clouds to work with. And periodically the sun would break through and give us some shadows and texture.
For me, this badlands area is a landscape photographer's dream. It contains weird piles of fragile, crumbly, light and dark shale and mud laid down 60 to 100 million years ago. Think of it! When this material was originally deposited, dinosaurs walked on it and human beings didn't even exist.
The formations are littered with more recent volcanic and conglomerate rocks that were transported to this dry area by erosion and water that no longer flows except in tiny rivulets from the occasional desert showers.
As we walked around the area, clouds were dropping rain, but most of it never reached the ground because the desert air was so devoid of moisture. This is a common phenomenon out here, and it's called virga.
But to our delight, there was enough rain and sunlight to create partial rainbows, and dramatic shafts of light, so we shot them every way we could.
Eventually, of course, the sun fell below the clouds at the horizon, providing some beautiful crepuscular rays.
In the east, the receding storm clouds caught the last light, and we headed home.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing images from our New Mexico photo expedition. If you would like to see these images and more in a larger format, please visit my photography website, Todos Juntos Photography, by clicking here.