Shooting the Taos Mountains

I just love mountains - aren't they incredible?

It seems to me that you can categorize people in two ways: mountain people or beach people.  For some reason, it seems folks lean heavily one way or the other.  It's kind of like The Beatles or Elvis Presley - one is favored over the other.  Or Coke vs. Pepsi.

While there are some beaches that I do love (like the Oregon Coastline), I am definitely in the "mountain lover" camp.  I just can't get enough when I am near them.  I want to photograph them, hike up them, clamber over them, dig around in them, bring home a few rocks and do whatever else to just hang around them.  They're massive.  They're beautiful.  They're awesome.

So on our trip to New Mexico this past summer, I was able to do all of that quite a bit!  We stayed in Red River, a nice little ski town which sits nearly 9,000 feet up in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.  This range extends from southern Colorado down through a good chunk of northern New Mexico.  There are a lot of peaks in the range, with Wheeler Peak at over 13,000 feet being the tallest and thus best known (though not visible in today's photos).

About an hour drive from Red River is Taos, which is fairly well known for it's ski valley, a thriving art scene, and of course the Taos Pueblo.  I just realized I need to process and share my photos from our visit to the Pueblo - it's a very interesting place.  It's the ancestral home of a Native American tribe, and has been around for over 1,000 years.  That's impressive!  So let me come back to that one - I have a lot from there!

Anyways, after a day in Taos doing some touristy things and taking a lot of photos (and a fabulous lunch at Michael's Kitchen!), we hit the road back north to return to Red River.  The Taos Mountains pretty much dominate the surrounding area (hence the popular ski valley) and literally feel like they just burst out of the ground, rising substantially in front of you.  It's awesome.

So I was taking some shots from the passenger seat, and at some point just couldn't stand it any longer.  I had to get out.  So we pulled over, and I was able to grab these shots.

The shape, the light, the shadows, the clouds - mountains have it all!

I saw a bumper sticker there that simply said "Taos is a four letter word for steep."  So true.

Below I did a little experiment, sort of like what I did in this post.  I took this photo below from the car, before we stopped.  I thought it would be fun to try out different software packages on this one, just for fun.  The software used on each photo is included with it.  Do you have a fave?

(click any photo to embiggen)

This was edited with Color Efex Pro.

Intensify Pro by Macphun was the software of choice here!

I used Topaz Simplify to turn this one into a painting.

And here it was Topaz Adjust.

Thanks for clicking by today!