art, equipment review, landscape, nature, photography, random thought, travel, wildlife, writing

rocky mountain high | road-trip 2013

I have never been to Rock Mountain National Park.  Yeah… seriously.

With all of the locations I drive to regularly in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, for some reason, I have never been.

It’s especially odd, now that I think of it, because of how (relatively) close and how stunningly beautiful I hear it is.

So, I’ve been planning to spend a week there at the end of June.

I will piggyback off a job I have in Telluride over the fourth, and a stock assignment in Big Bend National Park.

Adding in a few extra stops like Canyon de Chelley in Arizona, this thing has really turned into quite the road-trip…

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To top it all off, Canon is sending me a few lenses to evaluate, which I will review here on the blog… check back to see me put some exciting lenses to the test!

I am really looking forward to spending some quality time in phenomenally beautiful Rocky Mountain NP with Canon’s long awaited 500mm f/4L II and 24mm f/1.4L II.

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The closest I’ve been to RMNP was a backpacking trip a few friends and I took in 2008 to Indian Peaks Wilderness.

IPW is within Arapahoe National Forest and borders the southern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park.

I’ve been to a lot of beautiful places, but Indian Peaks Wilderness was certainly one of the most stunning.

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And then of course… like an old friend waiting for a long overdue visit… Big Bend.  Except for 2012, I have been at least once every year for the last 10+ years.

It’s a magical place.  With a character and an energy like no other place I’ve been, it has the ability to soothe ones soul.  It’s a perfect mixture of southwest desert and rugged mountains.

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Along with the lenses, I will be testing out some new filters, new techniques, and I hope it will be a rejuvenating experience.  And I want to share it with all of you…

So please, feel free to ask questions, give tips, make comments, and check back over the next several weeks for updates.  I will be sharing some of the secrets and tricks of the trade!

Cheers!

— andrew

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

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vermejo 2011

ah, vermejo park ranch, new mexico…

this place never seems to get old…and this year could have been the best yet.

this fantastic opportunity arose for me more than three years ago, and since then, i decided to start a new side of my business…

ranch HAND | photographic is a photography company that caters to high-end guest ranches, much like vermejo.

we provide stunning and unique imagery to fit the marketing needs of ranches whose income is generated by hunting, fishing, and tourism.

please check out the new website, and enjoy the 2011 vermejo images!

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2011

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*vermejo stars*

my obsession with star trails continues….

this year in vermejo, new mexico i really got after it.  and i’m pretty happy with quite a few of them.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2011

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preview: vermejo

i’m sorry for all of these “previews”, but i’m just very anxious to share some of my newest work before i have full posts ready.

as you may know from previous posts (see vermejo, nm, bear encounter: proof, vermejo again, and 4 weeks in vermejo), i have been blessed enough the last three years to have great friends and clients that hire me to go out to vermejo park ranch in new mexico for a few weeks every summer to shoot.  and last year, vermejo hired me to come out for another two weeks to shoot for them.

well this year is no different, and i’m back for two weeks in august.

i must admit, it is one of my favorite jobs of all time.  i hope it never ends.

so this year, with my new star picture obsession, i decided to try to capture the beauty of this place at night.

here are a few i shot last night…

i’ll share a lot more images when i get back.  the internet here is very slow.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2011

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4 weeks in vermejo

this summer i was hired by ted turner’s vermejo park ranch to photograph landscapes and wildlife.

and yes, i had to pinch myself every day…

vermejo is over half a million acres of mountain wilderness.  it is some of the most spectacular landscape in all of new mexico.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2010

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vermejo again

i was lucky enough to be invited back to vermejo last week for another shoot.

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the hummingbirds were very social.

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there are a few groups of ferrel horses on the property.  they don’t call them wild because at some point they were broken and used by humans.  but they are now ferrel because they have been released and are free to roam the 600k acres.

i came across a group of about a dozen on the road down to the main lodge.  i stopped the car and stepped out to snap a few shots.  two of the horses came right up to me and began sniffing.  they gently rubbed their long faces against me.

i had no idea what was going on, but it seems these powerful, wild creatures wanted to be friends.  perhaps they missed the strange bond that horses and humans share.

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one of them seemed interested in tasting my camera.

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i had a strong urge to hop up on one of their backs and see if they remembered what it was like to transport a human to and fro.  i decided against that idea.

it was really hard to get back in the car and leave my new friends…

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but i did.  after all, we had lots of great wine to drink…

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the next day, we set out for lower underwood lake to catch some trout.  i have never fly fished before, so i thought i’d give it a try…

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with the help of a fantastic guide, and a lot of luck, i got to land a 3 lb brown.  good looking fish!

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that afternoon, john and i headed for the streams.  fly fishing streams is a whole different game, and frankly, my confidence was high and i wanted to give that a shot as well.

the weather had different plans however.  the sky opened with reckless fury.  lightning and wind kept us from fishing the rest of the day.

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we set out at 6 a.m. the next morning to catch our flight out of amarillo.  on the way out of vermejo, we were treated to a spectacular sunrise.

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a great last memory to hold in my mind of this amazing place…

i sincerely hope i have the opportunity to return, some day.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009

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the long road home

i didn’t want to leave telluride and the cool, mountain air last week.  traffic, 100 degree weather, and “work” awaited.

luckily though, in between, i would have the chance to see the southwest u.s. through my windshield on a 19 hour drive back to texas…

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i’ve never been to great sand dune national park.  it’s not the best n.p. i’ve ever been to, but it’s an incredible natural wonder.  i’m glad i made the side trip.

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fortunately, i only have to be back in dallas for a few days.  then it’s back to vermejo park ranch, new mexico!

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009

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