Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cochiti Pueblo's Slot Canyon

After reaching the clearing on the Slot Canyon Trail in the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument (see yesterday's entry), I had a choice.

I could either continue on the trail, preparing for a most challenging climb (the 630 feet of elevation gain to the top of the mesa would reward me with a view that is outstanding),

or simply retrace my steps through the slot canyon (Peralta Canyon).

Without trying to explain the reason for my choice, I began to retrace my hike through the canyon.

The first two photos show the same place on the trail from the boulder on the ground to the top of the adjacent cliff.

While the path was the same, the views through the slot canyon were different.

At several points along the winding path, I found myself thinking about the warnings about how rapid flash flooding could occur in slot canyons. I could imagine how fast even a small amount of water could travel through these narrow spaces.

While taking the photos above, I was struck by the roles that sunlight and shadows played in creating distinctive images.

To highlight the results of this interplay, I turned to taking a few black and white photographs.

Once again, I'm taken with both the beauty of the shadows and shading of a scene and the difficulty of taking photos in black and white that can capture this effect.

This most recent attempt of mine shows the same scene in black and white (right) and in color (below).

I'll keep working on developing a better eye for the light-and-shadow interplay and the means to bring that difference onto the screen.

In the meantime, the joy of the 1.5 mile hike (roundtrip) past a portion of the tent rocks and through Peralta Canyon near Cochiti Pueblo (NM) will occupy a sizable amount of space in my mind.

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