One of the strange things (to me anyway) was how greed the Davis Mountains were. I don’t expect anything in west Texas to be green in late September. The area is at significant elevation (5000′ give or take) and late summer is the monsoon season in the desert here. I guess they had more rain than normal.
Part of the reason everything was so green (at least by west Texas standards) is the frequent afternoon thunderstorms the area has been getting. Sunset after I arrived promised to be interesting thanks to the boiling clouds.
I headed up to skyline drive (park road 3 along the ridge) for late afternoon and sunset photos. The light was very orange/yellow, I’m guessing due to dust. It created dramatic skies.
I have a thing going where I take pictures of the vehicle I’m in with a pretty background. I’m jokingly calling it “the most beautiful parking lots in the world” series.
Blue Hour Lightning
After the sun had set (from my point of view anyway), it was still shining on the top of the large thunderstorms. They also started producing a lot of lightning. I set up both cameras to make time-lapses of the storms in the hope that I could capture some nice strikes.
One of my camera had my 14-24mm f/2.8 lens on zoomed all the way out and I ended up capturing a pretty cool time-lapse of the thunderstorm and moon rise on that one.
The Trail Race
The entire reason I was out at Davis Mountains State Park in west Texas in late September in the first place was to photography the Spectrum Trail Racing Sky Island race held there each September.
The bighorn sheep were not running the race. They were just hanging out eating grass. Bighorn sheep were driven locally extinct in west Texas by the late 1960s due to unregulated hunting and irresponsible hunters. They’ve since been reintroduced through a captive breeding and release program. So, now you can bolster your self esteem by killing this majestic wild animal with a high powered rifle with a telescopic scope again. It’s sporting (and also expensive and irresponsible, but do what you gotta’ do to feel “manly”)!
Back to pretty pictures of runners:
One of the things I liked about photographing this race is the wide range of long sweeping backgrounds available thanks to the elevation and topography. I was able to capture runners up close, but also in much wider shots showing the landscape around them and the terrain they were running through.