Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Chisos Basin at dawn

with 29 comments

Chisos Basin Dawn 0260

On November 23rd, our last day of the Trans-Pecos trip (these travel posts aren’t sequential), we went out while it was still dark in hopes of seeing a good sunrise. Though we didn’t get a fantastic one, we did see some pleasant early-morning colors from the Chisos Mountain Basin in Big Bend National Park.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 8, 2015 at 4:51 AM

29 Responses

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  1. Loving the Belt of Venus as I do, I’d say you were well-rewarded by your own early rising. This is one of the most unique captures of the phenomenon I’ve seen, with the valley floor limned by the same shadows that edge the horizon. Usually, I see this only as an atmospheric phenomenon. It’s amazing to see both heaven and earth involved, and quite beautiful.


    December 8, 2015 at 6:28 AM

    • I like the addition of the black border around the image, too.


      December 8, 2015 at 6:39 AM

      • I normally use a black border two pixels wide to differentiate the edges of my pictures from the white of the page (and this WordPress theme includes an extra little frame), but once in a while I use a broader black border when I feel it will add something.

        Steve Schwartzman

        December 8, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    • If I can mix metaphors, I’d say your opinion is that I’ve belted one out of the park with this sunrise photograph. The fact that the park was Big Bend means that I was playing in the National League.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 8, 2015 at 7:58 AM

  2. Very pretty Steve


    December 8, 2015 at 7:27 AM

  3. You don’t call THIS one fantastic!?!?


    December 8, 2015 at 8:08 AM

    • You raise a good point, Elisa. When we were still down on the desert floor, shortly before turning off on the road that took us up into the basin shown here, we saw a display of brilliant colors in the distance to the east, but it was a narrow band close to the horizon and therefore not anything I could get a good picture of. Compared to that, this diffused afterglow didn’t seem so fantastic. That’s why I described it with the word “pleasant,” which it was.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 8, 2015 at 8:18 AM

  4. A fantastic picture!


    December 8, 2015 at 9:16 AM

  5. Such drama and quiet…


    December 8, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    • It was still relatively quiet, although by then many of the campers and lodge-stayers at Chisos Basin were stirring and the restaurant had opened for breakfast.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 8, 2015 at 11:37 AM

  6. I can only agree with Linda on this stunner.


    December 8, 2015 at 10:44 AM

  7. Beautiful, breathtaking view and a great spot to witness sunrise! Great shot Steve!


    December 8, 2015 at 12:26 PM

  8. Bellísima imagen, una foto perfecta, Steve.

  9. Amazing view, the colors for the day are beautiful.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    December 8, 2015 at 1:54 PM

  10. Very nice landscape with the Belt of Venus, Steve…as noted above by that lover of Venus Belts, Linda. I like the subtle landscape revealed in the cleft of the mountains.

    Steve Gingold

    December 8, 2015 at 4:15 PM

    • It was the cleft that made the picture possible; otherwise there wouldn’t have been a direct view out of that basin in the Chisos Mountains. I may have photographed the Belt of Venus, but I wasn’t aware of it at the time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 8, 2015 at 4:46 PM

  11. Gorgeous!


    December 8, 2015 at 9:24 PM

  12. So strong, but so inviting


    December 9, 2015 at 12:05 PM

  13. Well, I’ve never seen a sunrise with those colours before. It may not be a spectacular burst of flaming orange, gold, red and purple but the colours are very appealing. Cool and mysterious… 🙂


    December 10, 2015 at 11:22 PM

    • So much depends on expectation. I was hoping for the spectacular type of sunrise you described, so this subtle one initially disappointed, but I’m still glad to have experienced and recorded it. People here have reacted well to it, even endowing it with mystery the way you have done.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 11, 2015 at 7:04 AM

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