Catching up after a day offline… it’s amazing how one long morning of shooting, and early checkout and no Starbucks for the free Wifi within 100 miles can mess up your plans to post photos!

On Tuesday, after the early-rise for the sunrise hike (see previous post), I drove from Phoenix to Alamogordo. This turned out to be a VERY long drive, but I wanted to be at White Sands for the sunrise the following day. The scenery on this leg of the journey was a lot of the same, so I didn’t stop a huge amount. But true to form, I did capture a few images worth sharing.

One of my first stops was at this fantastic old bar and windmill (or whatever these are actually called… anyone?) seemingly in the middle of nowhere. But as I pulled up, decrepit as this place may be, there were signs all over of new developments going in. Luxury housing in 110˚F.

The following few are just random stops along the way. The ground slowly turned green, the mountains less red. But it was still around 100˚F the whole way. Clouds came and went, but I never saw rain.

For those curious about the colors in these shots, and wondering just how much post-processing was done in Aperture, here’s the answer: surprisingly little. I know that’s hard to imagine, but look at the preceding two and following two shots. Each one of these are adjusted using the “Simple Film Look” preset from my own ApertureExpert’s Preset Pack #1, but here’s the dirty little secret… it’s just a Curves adjustment! The saturation pops when manipulating the curve as it is, and in fact on some of these it became so unreal that I backed the saturation down a little bit! The vignetting you see is not the Vignette adjustment; it’s natural vignetting from the 16-35mm f/2.8L lens (the one that BorrowLenses.com loaned me… thanks again guys, and please check out their services if you aren’t familiar with ‘em!). I’m really loving this lens, and am super glad I got it for this trip.

As sunset snuck up from behind, I dashed off the freeway looking for a vantage point. I found a great one, although a little later than I would have liked. Still, the photo came out quite nice.

And as I drove through Las Cruces, I caught the last vestiges of light reflecting off the Rio Grande.

By the way folks, GPS data is embedded in these shots. You can check the exact location in Flickr (just click any photo above to open). Unfortunately though my logger failed to record a portion of this trip, so the four “blue sky” scenics are approximations on the map.

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