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5 day itinerary for best photos

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Offline lauriec

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5 day itinerary for best photos
« on: September 06, 2016, 02:19:47 PM »
I am surprising my daughter with a trip to Big Bend for her 19th bday.  She is a budding photographer and has been BEGGING me to take her to Big Bend.  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that there is to do.  Would anyone have a good 5 day or so (could be 6-7 if needed) that really focuses on the photography opportunities in Big Bend.  We will be driving in from the Austin area.  Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!  I am planning on a mid-late October trip.  We are willing to hike, but it will just be the 2 of us.

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: 5 day itinerary for best photos
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2016, 02:37:19 PM »
There is so much to cover in big bend and photo ops are everywhere.
What type of vehicle will you be taking? There are some great things to see out on the back country roads, pretty much an SUV or something with high clearance will get you to most of the places.

Here are some easy to get to places
Santa Elena canyon at either sunrise or sunset
Boquillas Canyon
Castellon peak
Rio Grand Village nature trail
Hot springs
Pretty much anywhere in the Chisos basin
Sotolvista overlook for sunset
Sam Nail Ranch
Dougout Wells
Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive has some wonderful places to explore and real diverse geology right along the road.
Also Indian head spring is pretty neat.

Have a look at my big bend gallery and if you see something you want to show your daughter I will tell you where it is and what it is
jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark







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http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline alan in shreveport

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Re: 5 day itinerary for best photos
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2016, 09:47:12 PM »
scorpian has lots of great places - I'd just add that when you go to hot springs take the path up the hill that overlooks the spring, great views in both directions of the river with mountain backdrops and then you can loop around to the spring
and don't forget BB Ranch State Park - easy access to Closed canyon and the Big Hill among others

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Offline lauriec

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Re: 5 day itinerary for best photos
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 07:22:27 AM »
Thank you sooo much!  Just last night she was begging again to go to Big Bend...her bday is Saturday so I don't have to keep quiet much longer.

We will be in a 4 wheel drive truck.  I am debating on taking our pull behind travel trailer....or just staying in hotels.  My daughter has talked about "her" independent trip to Big Bend and she wants to camp.  I have read that people don't stay in one place long so I am deciding how feasible it would be to take it.  Don't want to spend all our time moving a camper around. 



There is so much to cover in big bend and photo ops are everywhere.
What type of vehicle will you be taking? There are some great things to see out on the back country roads, pretty much an SUV or something with high clearance will get you to most of the places.

Here are some easy to get to places
Santa Elena canyon at either sunrise or sunset
Boquillas Canyon
Castellon peak
Rio Grand Village nature trail
Hot springs
Pretty much anywhere in the Chisos basin
Sotolvista overlook for sunset
Sam Nail Ranch
Dougout Wells
Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive has some wonderful places to explore and real diverse geology right along the road.
Also Indian head spring is pretty neat.

Have a look at my big bend gallery and if you see something you want to show your daughter I will tell you where it is and what it is
jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark







Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Big Bend Chat mobile app

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Offline lauriec

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Re: 5 day itinerary for best photos
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 07:23:18 AM »
Thanks!!

scorpian has lots of great places - I'd just add that when you go to hot springs take the path up the hill that overlooks the spring, great views in both directions of the river with mountain backdrops and then you can loop around to the spring
and don't forget BB Ranch State Park - easy access to Closed canyon and the Big Hill among others

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: 5 day itinerary for best photos
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 09:09:23 AM »
With the truck you can see everything, depending on how big the trailer is will determine where you can park it. I beleive if it is over 22 ft you cant take it into the basin. The Basin camp ground is pretty cramped and not much room for trailers biger than a popup really.
Only Rio Grand Village has slots for full hookups, which is basically a parking lot converted to add the hookups. The Rio Grand Villlage camp ground can handle trailers, but no hook ups at all. At the cottonwood camp ground you can get a trailer in there, but no hookups either.
For back country car camp sites Rice Tank and Glenn Spring 2 offer some of the best wide open views. And are relatively close to the paved road. Its about 15 minutes drive to rice tank and maybe 25 or 30 minutes to Glenn Spring 2.
Then the Fresno site near Marisicle mine is great as well. There are a lot of photo ops at the mine, its pretty neat.
There are some nice sites near Pine and Juniper canyon that get you closer to the mountains.
There really is a lot to see and it can be tough planning your first visit because of all the options.
Its a big park and the speed limit is 45 so it can take you forever to get around, so plan wisely when you go from one side of the park to the other

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everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline fartymarty

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Re: 5 day itinerary for best photos
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2016, 11:46:16 AM »
I'm not one of the better photographers on this chat board, but I'm very experienced at looking at other's Big Bend photos. My advice is to take the distance shots (Vistas, mountains etc) during the early morning light or the late afternoon/evening light. During the bad light times (10am-2:30pm) concentrate on canyons, flowers, rock formations and other shaded and close up type shots. Of course, the right type of puffy clouds can change the bad light times into perfect light times but that's just luck.  Mid to late October into November is my favorite time of year in the park. You'll have plenty to shoot, but there are going to also be many times when she says "I wish we were in this spot earlier" or "I wish we could wait here for the the sun to get lower" or "I wish there were more clouds today".  ...also if she has the equipment capability (bulb, time exposure), she is going to want to get some night sky shots when she sees the night sky out there so be sure to bring her tripod (or get her one for her birthday  :great:)

The best part of this is that even if you do everything wrong, you're probably still going to have a great trip and then you can start planning how to do everything right for the next time while you are driving back home.
Fort Worth

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Offline lauriec

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Re: 5 day itinerary for best photos
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 07:45:55 AM »
Thanks!  Just want to make sure Rio Grade does have hook ups?    If I'm hauling it all the way up there I want to be able to hook it up to cook, etc.  And of course she is going to want to sit and edit pictures during the time she SHOULD be sleeping...


Only Rio Grand Village has slots for full hookups, which is basically a parking lot converted to add the hookups. The Rio Grand Villlage camp ground can handle trailers, but no hook ups at all.


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Offline lauriec

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Re: 5 day itinerary for best photos
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2016, 07:48:28 AM »
Thanks!!  She has a Nikon D3300 and an array of lenses..tripods...e tc  I am hoping to find a spot for some great night star shots!    I'm glad her bday is tomorrow and I can finally tell her about this and she can start doing some research and planning!!

I'm not one of the better photographers on this chat board, but I'm very experienced at looking at other's Big Bend photos. My advice is to take the distance shots (Vistas, mountains etc) during the early morning light or the late afternoon/evening light. During the bad light times (10am-2:30pm) concentrate on canyons, flowers, rock formations and other shaded and close up type shots. Of course, the right type of puffy clouds can change the bad light times into perfect light times but that's just luck.  Mid to late October into November is my favorite time of year in the park. You'll have plenty to shoot, but there are going to also be many times when she says "I wish we were in this spot earlier" or "I wish we could wait here for the the sun to get lower" or "I wish there were more clouds today".  ...also if she has the equipment capability (bulb, time exposure), she is going to want to get some night sky shots when she sees the night sky out there so be sure to bring her tripod (or get her one for her birthday  :great:)

The best part of this is that even if you do everything wrong, you're probably still going to have a great trip and then you can start planning how to do everything right for the next time while you are driving back home.

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: 5 day itinerary for best photos
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2016, 10:35:07 AM »
There are many places for star shots out there. It just depends on what type of scenery your daughter wants in the photo.
Getting casa granda in the shot is always a favorite. And can be shot from just about anywhete inside the chisos basin.
Another spot is one of several pull outs along the main park road where it junctions with the basin road. So you can have the milky way over the chisos mountains.
The hot spring area is another good one, it has an old hotel and a huge palm tree to use in the photo as well as the river.
Castelon peak from the road makes a nice one as well as santa elena canyon. Pluse down by the Santa Elena  canyon area is the old Dorogan House which makes a nice subject with the stars. Just a very short trail up a short ridge.
Bring a flashlight so you can paint the closer in objects with the light. If she is not familiar with painting with light, have her read up on it and maybe practice at home before the trip. Also she will need to learn the settings and appropriate camera settings to get the stars infocus and sharp.
This is a basic guide to the appropriate shutter speed for night time shots to help prevent star "movement" during the exposure

Focal Length  Seconds

10 -----------31.25
14 -----------22.32
18 -----------17.36
20 -----------15.63
24 -----------13.02
35 -----------8.93
50 -----------6.25
85 -----------3.68
100 -----------3.13
135 -----------2.31
200 -----------1.56
300 -----------1.04
400 -----------0.78
500 -----------0.63

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: 5 day itinerary for best photos
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2016, 10:38:59 AM »
There is a free $2.49 star program called Stellarium, its real helpful to help you plan night time star shots.  You can plug in the general location, set the day and time and you will see where all the stars and specifically the moon will be at so you can get more and better stars in the shot

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« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 08:53:48 PM by RichardM »
everything is better with bacon!!!

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Offline mr.bean5150

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Re: 5 day itinerary for best photos
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2016, 01:51:51 PM »
Thanks!  Just want to make sure Rio Grade does have hook ups?    If I'm hauling it all the way up there I want to be able to hook it up to cook, etc.  And of course she is going to want to sit and edit pictures during the time she SHOULD be sleeping...


Only Rio Grand Village has slots for full hookups, which is basically a parking lot converted to add the hookups. The Rio Grand Villlage camp ground can handle trailers, but no hook ups at all.


You're gonna want to check the campground for openings. I checked mid to late Oct and they said it was full.....
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