David Alaniz Photography

Natures turn…….

Monthly Archives: April 2014

Dead Horse State Park

Dead Horse State Park is a beautiful overlook of a “gooseneck” in the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park.

The narrowest point as you drive out on the mesa is about 30 yards wide.  One legend tells of cowboys rounding up wild mustangs and herding them across the narrow land and onto the point.  The narrow part was fenced with branches and made a natural corral used by the cowboys to select the best horses.  For some unknown reason the horses were left without any water and they died.  All within site of the Colorado River.

I was focusing on the “gooseneck” in the Colorado River when I looked back to see my wife alone at the look-out point.  When I first showed her the picture she smiled.  I took it as an approval.

If you are ever in the area be sure to take a little time and go visit.  Best time would be sunrise.  Has the best restroom facility and only a short walk to the overlook point.  Worth the drive.

Nikon D800, Nikon 24-70mm @ 38mm, f/11, ISO 100, 5 shot HDR



Ghost Ranch

During a vacation trip we had the opportunity to stop at the Ghost Ranch located close to the village of Abiquiu in Rio Arriba County in north central New Mexico.  At the entrance sets an old log cabin with a coral close by.  The cabin had a large living area with two bed rooms.  In the living area was a very large stone fireplace.  Looking around it made me wonder what all took place long ago.  If only the walls would talk what a story they would tell.

As I was walking around and taking pictures my wife peered through the broken bedroom window.  I quickly took the picture as a special memory.  Because of the rustic look and great sky with low hanging clouds I decided to convert the photo to B&W.  The photo seemed to come alive as it was converted.  I believe a scene like this took place long ago as a wife looked out from a corner window to see her husband ride off.

Nikon D4, Nikon 14-24mm @ 14mm, f/11, 1/500’s, ISO 200



Your Path

We know where we have been but where are we going. I suspect we all have thought that at one point in our life. Follow the light. Happy Easter.

Nikon D800,  Nikon 24.0-70.0 mm @ 32 mm, f/9, 1/125’s, ISO 100


Different Look

You ever feel a need to deviate from normal processing?  This American Avocet was taken on Bolivar Flats.  I was laying down in the muck and enjoying every minute.  I liked the original capture because of the isolation, sweet early morning colors and the pose facing into the early sunrise.  After processing I decided to add a twist.  I chose to give it a different look or feel to the scene.  Several variations were tried but I kept coming back to this combination.  My deviated vision, enjoy.

Nikon D4, Nikon 500mm + 1.4tc, f/5.6, 1/500’s, ISO 1000


Another Look

ACT_3830webhIt was getting late in the day as we drove down a stretch of road.  It was a nice drive but didn’t have that gotcha landscape look.  We pulled into a little off road cut.  It offered some high rock formations on both sides of the road.  A railroad ran parallel next to this road offering some interesting possibilities.

As the sun started setting I looked down the cut road.  The colors on the rocks along with the sandy red soil were starting to come alive.  Some were through photographing but I felt there was a good possibility of it getting better.  Instead of putting up my gear I chose along with a few others to prolong leaving.  Shortly, as the sun began to set it brought a warm glow to the surrounding area.  Others who had misjudged hurried to set up and make some captures.  Another look became a photo moment.

Nikon D4, Nikon 14-24mm @ 18.0mm, f/22, ISO 100, 3 shot HDR


Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock is one of the most popular formations in Arches National Park.  It can be photographed from different spots giving a totally new perspective.  There are a number of rock formations that you think “is this it” as you drive in the park.  When you see it you’ll know for sure.

The colors change depending on time of day.  This was late afternoon.  The sky was good with interesting clouds.  Wish I had a Big Stopper filter to allow cloud motion.  The color capture was good but there are times when I’m partial to B&W.  I like the dramatic look.

Nice parking with good access.  Take your time and enjoy the other views.  Review, easy access, no oxygen needed.

Nikon D800, f/11, Nikon 14-24mm @ 24mm, 1/80’s, ISO 100, Ev +1


Mesa Arch

Recently made a trip to Moab, Utah.  One of the areas we visited was Mesa Arch.  I’ve seen hundreds of pictures of this iconic arch and always wanted to take “my” photo.  I read it was a short walk of 0.6 miles and rated as easy.  This had to have been a review for the younger generation and those who live in high altitudes.  This old boy lives at sea level where breathing is easy.  I huffed and puffed my way all the while hoping to get a good spot for my shot.

When I finally made it I was winded but determined.  Photographers were lined up or lets say they were laying down in position and ready for the sun rise.  I learned the first photographer usually sets the tone.  If he gets close, everyone does.  If he stands, like wise.  Thank goodness he was laying down because I needed to recover and catch my breath.  There is limited room up front for the iconic shot and I got the last one.  The photographer next to me was real nice about letting me squeeze in close.

All ready and waiting for the sun to pop in the distance.  It came out momentarily and then it hid in the clouds.  I just kind of shook my head as I could hear grumbling from others.  It was still nice and photos were taken by many.  After a very short period many had left and only a few remaining.  The clouds split and the sun came through.  I hurried to make a few captures.  I had to keep moving by inches as I tried to get the sun just right for a star burst effect.  It wasn’t perfect but it was “My” photo.  I knew I probably would never return and was one of the last down the trail.  My review, worth it and get there early.

Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24m, 5-Bracket HDR