Big Bend Camping Trip – Day 2

“Hot Springs” Big Bend, 2023

Our one full day in Big Bend was a busy one! After a quick breakfast and camp breakdown, we headed over to the Hot Springs. The water was clear and warm, and we took advantage of the cool river to alternate between hot and cold. The healing waters of the Rio Grande felt so good!

Next up was a hop over the border at the Boquillas Crossing for lunch at Jose Falcon’s. My chile relleno and beer was great. It was very different from the kind we get in Austin.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/1800 sec, ISO25
“Rio Grande” Boquillas, 2023
Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/750 sec, ISO32
“Chile Relleno” Boquillas, 2023

Fuelled up on Mexican food, it was time to burn those calories on the trail. We’ve never hiked The Window Trail in the Chisos Basin, so that was our destination. It was such a cool trail when ends at a viewpoint which is the actual Window. Such a great view, and we chatted with a few other hikers who arrived at the same time. Very cool vibe with the cool air flowing into the canyon, and Mexican Jays joining us.

“The Window” Big Bend, 2023
Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/290 sec, ISO25
“The Window Selfie” Big Bend, 2023

Our campsite for the evening was Robbers Roost, a backcountry site that you need a high-clearance vehicle to reach. Because it so remote, the sky is super-dark and it’s perfect for astrophotography. Unfortunately, the winds were very strong this weekend, so there was a lot of dust and haze in the air. That made shooting the Milky Way (which was just over the horizon) difficult. But the dust did make for nice sunset colors!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/3.6, 1/250 sec, ISO320
“Dusk” Big Bend, 2023

And guess what? The Lyrid meteor shower was just starting up, so we got treated to a nice show!

It’s nice that my friend and I like photography. Dark skies in Big Bend are a highlight of the trip for sure, and we stayed up until 3 am taking photos. So fun, and nice way to end an awesome day.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/2.8, 10 sec, ISO3200
“Shooting Stars” Big Bend, 2023
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 21mm, f/1, 15 sec, ISO6400
“Shooting Stars” Big Bend, 2023
“Star Trails” Big Bend, 2023

New Life for an Old Lens

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/2.8, 1/75 sec, ISO6400
“Useful Lens” Cedar Park, 2022

I bought this Sigma 10-20mm lens in 2013 to use on my Sony A77 DSLR, and when I switched over to Fujifilm, I used it only rarely. But I have recently found it to be a great lens for my Twitch stream. The ultra-wide field-of-view allows me to show my desk, as well as Yuzu as she sleeps on her pillow next to me. I’m so happy I didn’t have any takers when it was up for sale a few years go. 😀

Lighting Kit in Action

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/5, 1/40 sec, ISO1600
“Lighting Kit” Cedar Park, 2022

My wife used our Neewer 660 lighting kit for the first time last night during a pizza lesson. It worked out nicely! The shoot-through umbrella is a little obtrusive, but the diffused light and soft shadows that it creates is worth it.

Neewer 660 LED Lighting Kit

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO640
“Lighting Kit” Cedar Park, 2022

We received a new Neewer 660 LED Lighting Kit today and it seems pretty good! Just a few days ago I sold my old studio flash and switched to these continuous lights which will be good for stills and video.

The kit we chose comes with two lights/stands, but doesn’t have any soft boxes. However, I have a shoot-through umbrella that I was able to use and it works great. The first photos I took were of an antique lamp that I am trying to sell on Facebook Marketplace. I think it looks nice!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/120 sec, ISO64
“Lamp for Sale” Cedar Park, 2022

For the second lamp, I might purchase the Neewer soft box just to see how it compares to the umbrella. I’ll post again when I get it, but it might not be for a while yet.