Orion Rising

I think this has to be one of my favorite images that I’ve ever taken.  A buddy and I had hiked out into the Big Bend desert, with the intent to have dinner, and then capture the golden light of sunset on a formation known as the Chimneys.  After a truly spectacular sunset, I packed up all of my photo gear – which at the time was a Canon G10 and a light weight tripod – and started the 3 mile hike back to the car,  just as the last remnants of color drained from the sky behind us.

I stopped dead in my tracks upon seeing the light on the Chimneys, and raced to take the camera and tripod back out of the backpack and get them set up in time to catch the last red light.


Orion rising


The topper for me was catching the constellation Orion rising up over the Chimneys – it was one of those magical Big Bend moments!

This is one of those images that I spent a lot more time than usual on in Lightroom (which I’m still learning to use)  Lightroom actually managed to help me get the image to how I remembered it, with the right amount of color and the lack of noise in the dark sky.


~ by Derrick Birdsall on April 11, 2011.

13 Responses to “Orion Rising”

  1. Beautiful, Derrick.

    I was just reading about the various stages of twilight, and how it’s worth while to stick around after the suns slips down instead of packing up the camera and leaving, thinking the show is over. You proved that to be correct with this photo.

  2. Spectacular, Mr. B!
    Great composition – clean,elegant…
    a masterful job of editing, as well – the colors are amazing… wonderful shot!

  3. This is a classic Big Bend moment with the Ocotillo and blocky rock outcropping. An added effect is the beautiful rich tone of the sky and the way it fades up through the top of the image.

  4. What an incredible shot, Derrick. Sweetly beautiful.


  5. Nicely done. I love Big Bend. It’s been too long since I’ve visited.

  6. Being a decades long visitor of more trips there than I can remember, I was pleased to follow your link on the CC site and find your Big Bend pictures and essays. Very nice photos and covering a very wide spectrum of the region. I have replaced my own BB website with my current Bitterroot & Back adventure but thought you’d enjoy seeing the sharp contrast in the BB region, that I captured after some significant precipitation.
    There is also one of my photos in the visitor/desert views section of the BBNP website, Mountain Fog.
    Nicely Done, truly enjoyed you efforts.

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