Digital Space Art: Alien Worlds of the Bisti (part 1)

A recent trip to the Bisti Badlands just south of Farmington, New Mexico yielded some interesting landscapes. The wind was blowing, the sky was gray, and we gagged on smoke from intense fires in Arizona. Yet what I found to shoot more than made up for the less than perfect conditions.

Hope Landing depicts a vast dry valley linked with jagged cliffs. Hope is my flying saucer that I developed in Silent Landing, the third book in Silent Trek, the trilogy. I simply used distort and twisted my 8 layer fabrication of Hope in Photoshop and added a drop shadow. Two people standing in the foreground give it some dimension. The effect is very surreal, and I might note that the formations in Bisti probably didn’t exceed 10 feet in height, so it’s all like some fabulous scale model.

SA Bisti Cosmos

Bisti Cosmos is a closer shot of some of the sculpted rocks, but once again it is impossible to judge the scale. The detail is phenomenal. I couldn’t resist borrowing the Seven Sisters again for a backdrop. Because of smoke, there were soft shadows, so it’s easy to imagine the rocks bathed under moonlight.

SA Bisti Moonscape

Bisti Moonscape shows a vast barren desert with cliffs for a backdrop. What appears to be miles is probably less than fifty yards. The Bisti is a marvelous place to snap off hundreds of pictures in a few miles of walking. With 3946 acres within the wilderness area, and probably an equal amount around the perimeter, you could walk for days and never see it all. It is truly an alien landscape.

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2 Responses

  1. Hey Mike, great images! How long were you in the Bisti? and which entrance did you go into? North or South.. Lisa and i were ther in late April for our 4th trip!

    • J.R., sadly we were in the Bisti only about 3 hours. I’m guessing we entered the south entrance, but can’t say for sure because the roads are so poorly marked.

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