Balanced Rock, Southern New Mexico, 2010

In 2010 I drove cross country for the sixth time. In this trip I drove out to Missouri, then followed Route 66 through the Ozarks, Oklahoma, Texas and then New Mexico.

Driving all the way to the border, I stopped upon a really neat outcrop of rock formations at the City Of Rocks National Reserve. This “city” is sort of like an island outcrop in the middle of an otherwise barren landscape.

There were all sort of formations that provided a wonderful array of compositions. One of my favorite is this balanced rock shot.

Balanced Rock, Southern New Mexico, 2010
Canon EOS 5D converted to Infrared, 24mm
ISO 100 : 1/250 at f8
This shot and others can be found on my westernspaces.com site

I believe a number of features lead to this shot being successful:

  1. There are two very strong depths of field- the rock in the foreground, and the background of the New Mexican desert to the left. Cropping out the left, and making the shot tighter removes that depth. That’s why you don’t see it here.
  2. The sky also helps enhance the depth of the shot. I just love high wispy clouds shot with infrared.
  3. The near black areas of the shot help contain the rock. Yet, as the eye scans these areas, we’re brought up and into the shadow areas of the rock. Ultimately, the mass of rock is appreciated- with wonderful mid-tones and some select highlights.
  4. The show has a number of diagonals and triangles. Which always helps with compositions. 

I can’t wait to go back and shoot at this location again someday.

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