The last evening of my 2010 stay in Big Bend National Park was filled with a landscape as spectacular as any I had photographed throughout the visit. And like so many other photographic efforts, capturing that panoramic landscape was a race with sunset.
Pictured above is one of the results. It is a massive and towering wall of rock comprising a part of the geology in the area of Indian Head Mountain. This is the southern region of the Indian Head area.
Perpetually “leaning,” this geological formation is 200 feet tall (or taller) and filled my entire field of vision. This particular angle—captured from a distance—doesn’t really convey the looming visual of an in-person experience as does the next image in this gallery. If you manage to catch this scene at sunset you’ll witness subdued colors becoming vibrant with fiery hues. To the southwest (behind were I was standing) is the town of Study Butte. To the south is Maverick Mountain.
In order to see this you must exit the northwestern edge of the National Park, drive through the town of Study Butte and turn right on a gravel/dirt road called Indian Head Road (as of this writing, a motel is on the right at that turn). Follow this unimproved surface for a mile or so and it will abruptly become a steep downward gradient, at the end of which the road ends. While perched atop the steep gradient you’ll have a good overview of the National Park’s fenced perimeter at the bottom of the hill. On your left (north) is the Indian Head Region and to your right (south) is Maverick Mountain. Between the two runs a trail through the desert from which you can easily stray when distracted by the awesome, monolithic geology.
The original image is a Tagged Image Format File (TIFF) with a file data size of 35.1 megabytes (MB).
For display on this web site the TIFF was duplicated and the duplicate re-formatted as a Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPG/JPEG) image with a file data size of 6.94 MB. To approximate detail visible at the time of capture the image was sharpened as necessary and resampled via the Photoshop Bicubic Sharpen algorithm. The re-sampling increases the image resolution from 300 Dots Per Square Inch (DPI) to 360 DPI.
Unless otherwise noted the image was corrected to offset color shift and balance. This restores black (shadows), white (highlights) and neutral gray (neutral mid-tones).
• An unnumbered image is the only one of the subject matter.
• A number corresponds to the sequential order in a subject-matter-related sequence.
• The letter “B” indicates color correction to approximate what was visible when the image was captured.
• The letter “C” indicates enhancement beyond an approximation of what was visible at the time of capture.