Bluff Springs | New Mexico
Bluff Springs New Mexico
On January 3 2016 I visited Bluff Springs. It is located just off Rio Penasco Road Highway in the Lincoln National Forest in southwestern New Mexico. My visit to Bluff Springs was no chance encounter. I am very grateful that my good friends, who live in Alamagordo, offered to take my husband and me sightseeing for the day. They mentioned this small waterfall that was worth a look, I had no idea that it was going to be frozen over and absolutely stunning.
After slopping around in the mud and snow for a couple of kilometers, Bluff Springs came into view. I lost my breath for a moment, as it was a lot more beautiful that I had expected.
If you’re a photographer, you can sympathise with me on this one. I didn’t have a lot of time to get my gear out and set up a shot. When you are traveling with ‘non-shooters’ your time is limited, and I know you know what I mean. My fingers wouldn’t work, and I kept fogging up my viewfinder. Also, it was quite possibly one of the coldest moments of my life, but I didn’t care. After all I was standing in front of a beautiful waterfall in southern New Mexico.
What I learned Photographing Bluff Springs?.
My Bluff Springs experience taught me the fine line between choosing the right white balance settings and the wrong ones. I am new at photographing snow and I was surprised at how only a slight variation in these settings could drastically alter an image.
For example, using a number below 5000 on the Kelvin scale (a unit of measurement for temperature) will produce a cold and bitter feel to the image. Whereas using a number above 5000 Kelvin will warm up the image, whitening the snow.
Many photographers will apply their white balance settings during the editing phase. Although most people, including a number of photographers, are not aware that the Kelvin Scale can be found in the white balance camera settings menu.
Why use the Kelvin Scale when you can simply select a preset such as Cloudy, or Shade? Because it will give you more control over colour correcting your images, as it allows you to adjust your white balance one point at a time.
Below you will see my image ‘Bluff Springs’ at 7968 Kelvin (the setting I went with) , and at 5000 Kelvin. You will notice a distinct difference between the mood and feel of these images.
The Bluff Springs Recreational Area
I have learned a couple of interesting things about The Bluff Springs Recreational Area since my visit. One being, that while it can freeze over during the cold winter months, it can be overrun with lush green grass and colourful flowers during spring. Another is that it’s a recreational area.
The area has basic picnic facilities, a dispersed camping area, and a number of hiking trail options. For more information on the Bluff Springs Recreational Area visit The Lincoln National Forest Website.