Long-Awaited Shots in Ojito

Stone mushroom in Ojito Wilderness

The Ojito Wilderness has been a bit of a tough nut to crack for me. It’s a fascinating area, trail-less and intricate with plenty of good nooks and crannies to find. But numerous visits over a period of years, while they gave me much pleasure and continuing fascination with the area, had yielded only one decent image.

A sweet desert tent site

On a visit to Ojito back in January, I found an area where I could see real potential, full of fascinating fins, pockets and hoodoos of the gold and white Dakota Sandstone. But the place really required good light, and I was unable to hang around for sunset that day. Last week I backpacked in, pitched my tent in a sandstone alcove out of the wind, and headed out with camera and tripod under thickening clouds. The dramatic spotlighting and lurid sunset I was hoping for never materialized, but I love shooting in gloomy conditions, and the storm light offered endless compositional possibilities among the sandstone hummocks. This corner of Ojito certainly has abundant potential for more visits as well; I’ve still only scratched the surface.

Cloudy morning in New Mexico's Ojito Wilderness

The pale rock formations took on a lovely glow as the clouds thickened and night fell:

Nightime storm in Ojito Wilderness

More to come!


2 thoughts on “Long-Awaited Shots in Ojito

  1. What really seems to make this landscape unique and special is the hoodoo country, like one might see in a badlands in Utah, interspersed with the piñon-juniper woodland that I still tend to associate with New Mexico. The impending feeling of “doom” in the sky really adds to these images. Finally, the light play on the hoodoos and formations themselves really make this an intriguing set of images!

    As we discussed briefly previously, I can sympathize with your feelings about having an area that you like but have difficulty making good images in. I’m happy to see you’re starting to succeed in the Ojito!


    • Thanks Greg! Yup, hoodoos in Pinon-Juniper is about the way of it, and it’s the vegetation that makes things challenging, as usual. There are also a good number of sweet bonsai ponderosas hanging on out there, and if you go a step down there are some nice barren little badland valleys of Morrison Formation. I’ll have to dedicate a visit to shooting the Morrison, though it’s hard to find good features to anchor a comp in that stratum.

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