LosAlamosArea

The Los Alamos area was first settled by Ancestral Pueblo Indians, then by Hispanic homesteaders.
In the early 20th century, the Alamos Ranch was turned into the Los Alamos Ranch School for Boys,
and Fuller Lodge was built from nearly 800 massive pine logs. During World War II, the entire area
of the Pajarito Plateau was appropriated for the Manhattan Project, and the Los Alamos National
Laboratory was built to conduct research into atomic energy and develop the first atomic bomb.

The Los Alamos Area page contains images of Fuller Lodge and the area around it, including
the Demonstration Gardens and Memorial Rose Garden. It also includes images of Jemez Falls,
the East Fork of the Jemez River, and Valles Caldera in the Jemez Mountains above Los Alamos.

Click an image to open a larger version.
Use your back button to return to this page.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Los Alamos Area images:

Los Alamos Area
Mountain Wildflowers

New Mexico Pueblos & Bandelier

Sunburst3
Valle_Grande_Valles_Caldera_X5111-12


Valle Grande Valles Caldera X5111-12
(534 KB)

In the Jemez Mountains above Los Alamos is the Valles Caldera, one of only six known
land-based Supervolcanoes (or Megacalderas, volcanoes capable of producing eruption
volumes greater than 1000 cubic kilometers, causing long-lasting changes in weather and
capable of causing large-scale species extinctions). The eruptions of the Valles Caldera
formed much of the exposed geology of the Northern New Mexico region, including the
Bandelier Tuff visible at Bandelier National Monument, the Pajarito Plateau on which
Los Alamos resides, Plaza Blanca near Abiquiu, and other areas. Valle Grande is
the largest grass valley in the 12 mile wide Valles Caldera, and has been used as
grazing land by elk for thousands of years, and by cattle and sheep more recently.

This panorama is a composite of two images. X5111 (the right side)
is available separately and is displayed at the bottom of this section.

East_Fork_Trail_Jemez_River_X5118


East Fork Trail Jemez River X5118
(691 KB)

The trail leading to the East Fork of the Jemez River, in the Jemez Mountains below the
Valles Caldera (and above Los Alamos). The trail leads by a magnificent high country stream
flowing within a rocky canyon in dense conifer forest. Mountain Wildflowers can be seen on the trail.

East_Fork_Jemez_River_X5124


East Fork Jemez River X5124
(567 KB)

East_Fork_Jemez_River_X5127


East Fork Jemez River X5127
(553 KB)

The East Fork of the Jemez River originates in the Valle Grande of Valles Caldera, and
flows through the Jemez Mountains above Los Alamos, cutting through a rocky canyon
and meandering across meadows until it reaches Battleship Rock, where it joins the
San Antonio Creek to form the Jemez River, which eventually joins the Rio Grande.

East_Fork_Jemez_River_X5128


East Fork Jemez River X5128
(958 KB)

The East Fork of the Jemez River is designated as a National Wild and Scenic River.

This exceptionally scenic section was taken in mid-morning, during my scouting
trip prior to taking a group of photographers into the area for a training session.

East_Fork_Jemez_River_X5129


East Fork Jemez River X5129
(948 KB)

A detail shot of the area shown in the right side of the previous image.

The East Fork of the Jemez River is part of the recreation area in the Santa Fe National Forest.

East_Fork_Jemez_River_X5266


East Fork Jemez River X5266
(784 KB)

East_Fork_Jemez_River_X5270


East Fork Jemez River X5270
(773 KB)

The two images above were taken during the photographic training session the next day,
a little over an hour earlier in the morning when shadows still covered half of the scene.
The interplay between shadows and light made these more challenging exposures.

East_Fork_Jemez_River_X5130


East Fork Jemez River X5130
(766 KB)

The East Fork of the Jemez River, cutting through a meadow in the Santa Fe National Forest.

The two images below are different compositions of the scene. The image below left has the
tree line entering the image at the upper right corner and the river at the lower right corner,
rather than the river bank as shown in the image above. The image below right was taken
shooting towards the sun, and shows the scene where the river enters the meadow, past
the rock formation in the previous image set, with the river exiting the lower left corner.

East_Fork_Jemez_River_X5131


East Fork Jemez River X5131
(993 KB)

East_Fork_Jemez_River_X5132


East Fork Jemez River X5132
(971 KB)

Sunburst3

Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Los Alamos Area images:

Los Alamos Area
Mountain Wildflowers

New Mexico Pueblos & Bandelier

Sunburst3
East_Fork_Jemez_River_X5283


East Fork Jemez River X5283
(1062 KB)

East_Fork_Jemez_River_X5286


East Fork Jemez River X5286
(808 KB)

Three compositions of an extremely busy scene where the East Fork of the Jemez River makes a turn at the end of the meadow shown in the previous image set. These images were taken during the photographic training session.

The image above uses the turn of the river to carry the eye across the image from the lower right corner into the center of the image. It was taken a few steps further from the river than the images at left and below to place the foreground as shown without having to angle the camera down.

The image at left is a portrait treatment with the river bank carrying the eye into the scene from the lower right corner, and the image below is a similar landscape view with the opposite bank and the river carrying the eye into the scene.

East_Fork_Jemez_River_X5287


East Fork Jemez River X5287
(1037 KB)

Mushroom_Rock_Jemez_River_Trail_X5133


Mushroom Rock Jemez River Trail X5133
(782 KB)

An interesting interplay between shadow and light makes this forest scene at Mushroom Rock on the Jemez River Trail.

East_Fork_Trail_Jemez_River_X5160


East Fork Trail Jemez River X5160
(616 KB)

A stone bridge crosses a meander of the East Fork of the Jemez River beside a large rock on the Jemez River Trail.

Jemez_River_Canyon_Wall_X5158


Jemez River Canyon Wall X5158
(799 KB)

A deeply undercut section of the canyon wall beside the East Fork of the Jemez River,
cut during flood stages when torrents from storms on Valles Caldera cascade down the river.

Jemez_River_Canyon_Wall_X5256


Jemez River Canyon Wall X5256
(836 KB)

Jemez_River_Canyon_Wall_X5261


Jemez River Canyon Wall X5261
(832 KB)

Two different angles of the rocky canyon wall of the East Fork of the Jemez River,
showing the interplay of light, shadow and reflections at mid-morning on the river.

Valle_Grande_Valles_Caldera_X5111


Valle Grande Valles Caldera X5111
(795 KB)

Valle Grande, the great grass valley in Valles Caldera in the Jemez Mountains, is one of
six known land-based Supervolcanoes and the source of the East Fork of the Jemez River,
which begins its journey as a meandering creek across the floor of the Valle Grande. This
is the image on the right side of the two shot panorama shown at the top of this section.

Sunburst3

Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Los Alamos Area images:

Los Alamos Area
Mountain Wildflowers

New Mexico Pueblos & Bandelier

Sunburst3
Jemez_Falls_X5171


Jemez Falls X5171
(627 KB)

Jemez Falls on the the East Fork of the Jemez River is the largest waterfall in the Jemez Mountains. This image was taken at 12:30 on an overcast day, 1/10 second at f/16.

Jemez_Falls_X5175


Jemez Falls X5175
(678 KB)

The image above was taken at 1/6 second at f/22. The slight softening of the image caused by diffraction of the light across a smaller aperture is offset by the smoother look of the water.

Jemez_Falls_X5235


Jemez Falls X5235
(629 KB)

The image above was taken the next day during a training session, early in the morning when the shadows were still quite blue. The image was shot at 1/4 second at f/11.

Jemez_Falls_X5248


Jemez Falls X5248
(588 KB)

The image above was taken about a half hour later, when the sun was higher, at 1/15 second at f/8. Note the differences in character of the water in each of these images.

Jemez_Falls_X5180


Jemez Falls X5180
(531 KB)

A close shot down at the upper section of the falls, taken from beside the tree growing out of the rock on the left side of the images above. The image was shot at 1/10 second at f/16.

Jemez_Falls_X5191


Jemez Falls X5191
(571 KB)

This image directly down the falls from the rock wall in front of the precipice was taken at 1/320 second at f/8 to stop the flow of water rather than to accentuate the flowing character.

Jemez_Falls_Precipice_X5186


Jemez Falls Precipice X5186
(818 KB)

The pool leading to the precipice at the top of Jemez Falls on the East Fork of the Jemez River.

Upper_Jemez_Falls_X5193


Upper Jemez Falls X5193
(813 KB)

Upper Jemez Falls feeds the pool which terminates at the precipice of Jemez Falls.

Jemez Falls is situated amongst Ponderosa Pines in the Santa Fe National Forest.

Mesa_Main_Hill_Road_Los_Alamos_X5230


Mesa Main Hill Road Los Alamos X5230
(529 KB)

The mesa beside the Main Hill Road leading down from the Jemez Mountains, and the view of
Los Alamos, the Pajarito Plateau and the Sangre de Cristos Mountains from the Anderson Overlook.

Sunburst3

Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Los Alamos Area images:

Los Alamos Area
Mountain Wildflowers

New Mexico Pueblos & Bandelier

Sunburst3
Touch_the_Sky_Jane_DeDecker_X5305


Touch the Sky Jane DeDecker X5305
(770 KB)

Jane DeDecker’s sculpture “Touch the Sky” was cast in 1996. It was placed beside Ashley Pond near the Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos to commemorate the Cerro Grande Fire.

Touch_the_Sky_Jane_DeDecker_X5301


Touch the Sky Jane DeDecker X5301
(702 KB)

DeDecker’s “Touch the Sky” was dedicated in Dec. 2000 to represent Los Alamos citizens looking towards the future after the fire which destroyed the homes of over 400 families.

Touch_the_Sky_Jane_DeDecker_X5309


Touch the Sky Jane DeDecker X5309
(680 KB)

Children reach towards the future in DeDecker’s sculpture “Touch the Sky”, commemorating the Cerro Grande Fire. The fire was started during a controversial prescribed burn on the Cerro Grande summit above Valles Caldera to reduce the fire hazard in Bandelier National Monument in May 2000, during a period of high winds and low humidity. The fire got rapidly out of control and within a week it had reached Los Alamos, where the fire burned 235 homes, several buildings of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Santa Clara Canyon. The Cerro Grande Fire was responsible for the re-examination of forest fire prevention techniques.

Colonnade_Fuller_Lodge_X5311


Colonnade Fuller Lodge X5311
(442 KB)

The Colonnade of Fuller Lodge, built in 1928 by the Michigan lumberman Philo Fuller and donated to the Los Alamos Ranch School in honor of his son Edward, a Ranch School staff member who died in 1923. Fuller Lodge was built using 771 enormous pine logs (each hand-selected for its position within the structure), and housed the dining hall, kitchen, and rooms for guests and staff. When the Army arrived in 1942, they used the Lodge for transient housing and as a mess hall. It was then converted to a hotel in 1943 for bachelor staff members of the Corps of Engineers and visitors, and continued to operate as a hotel until 1966, when it was converted to a cultural center.

Colonnade_Lantern_Fuller_Lodge_X5318


Colonnade Lantern Fuller Lodge X5318
(511 KB)

Detail of one of the original Western-themed lanterns from the Los Alamos Ranch School in the
colonnaded portico of Fuller Lodge. Today, the pine log structure houses the Fuller Lodge Art Center,
the Los Alamos Historical Archives and the Historical Society, and the Los Alamos Arts Council. It also
serves as a community meeting place and a popular location for dances and weddings in the dining room.

Colonnade_Lanterns_Fuller_Lodge_X5316


Colonnade Lanterns Fuller Lodge X5316
(361 KB)

Colonnade_Lantern_Fuller_Lodge_X5319


Colonnade Lantern Fuller Lodge X5319
(359 KB)

Detail of original Western-themed lanterns in the colonnaded portico of Fuller Lodge.

Puddle_Reflection_Fuller_Lodge_X5329


Puddle Reflection Fuller Lodge X5329
(290 KB)

A reflection in a puddle in front of Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Romero_Cabin_Pueblo_Ruins_X5362


Romero Cabin Pueblo Ruins X5362
(670 KB)

The historic Romero Cabin was relocated from the site of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1980s to the grounds of Fuller Lodge. It is one of two original homesteader cabins on the Pajarito Plateau.

Romero_Cabin_Pueblo_Ruins_X5368


Romero Cabin Pueblo Ruins X5368
(676 KB)

Beyond the Romero Cabin are remains of a Keres and Tewa Indian village from about 1225, built of volcanic tuff blocks by Keres speakers from Arizona and later occupied by Tewa speakers from Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon.

Romero_Cabin_DoF_Comparison


Romero Cabin Depth of Field Comparison
(562 KB)

A depth of field comparison of the two shots above, taken while training a group of photographers.
The image on the left (X5362) was taken at f/16 for the best balance between depth of field and image
sharpness. The image on the right (X5368) was taken at f/22 to increase depth of field for added clarity
of the defocused pueblo ruins and trees in the distance at the expense of sharpness of the foreground.

Foreground softness is caused by the smaller aperture at f/22 showing early effects of diffraction of
light waves across the narrow opening of the iris of the lens, which increases with smaller apertures.

I have included depth of field comparisons and information on this page for those who are interested.

Sunburst3

Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Los Alamos Area images:

Los Alamos Area
Mountain Wildflowers

New Mexico Pueblos & Bandelier

Sunburst3
Beardtongue_Penstemon_X5394


Beardtongue Penstemon X5394
(454 KB)

Beardtongue, or Penstemon, is a group of tube-shaped, two-lipped flowers
with a long, hairy staminoide (infertile stamen) that gives the impression of a
mouth with a fuzzy tongue (or beard) protruding. There are numerous species
of this attractive native flower, whose roots were used by Native Americans
as a toothache remedy. The Los Alamos Master Gardeners maintain their
Demonstration Gardens between Ashley Pond and Fuller Lodge. Images
in the section directly below are in the Perennial Demonstration Garden.
The image above was taken at f/9.5 for optimum depth of field. Note the
character of the distant background compared to the image below right.

Beardtongue_Penstemon_X5396


Beardtongue Penstemon X5396
(378 KB)

Beardtongue Penstemon from the Perennial Demonstration Garden, shot at f/4 to isolate the foreground subject from the strongly defocused background.

Beardtongue_Penstemon_X5398


Beardtongue Penstemon X5398
(454 KB)

The image above was taken at f/8. Note the reduction in the defocused character of the background Penstemons and the distant background compared with the image at left.

Catmint_Perennial_Garden_X5378


Catmint Perennial Garden X5378
(455 KB)

Catmint and Catnip are species within the Nepeta genus, which feline lovers will know makes cats giddy with pleasure. This image was taken at f/11 for extended depth of field.

Catmint_Perennial_Garden_X5380


Catmint Perennial Garden X5380
(354 KB)

This image of Catmint, also from the Perennial Demonstration Garden, was taken at f/5.6 for an optimum balance between isolation of the foreground and the background character.

Catmint_DoF_Comparison


Catmint Depth of Field Comparison
(465 KB)

Taken during the photographic training session, above is an analysis of the difference aperture makes
in extreme closeup shots of a subject within a busy background. Note the differences in the defocused
background character at each aperture, and also differences in color and light of the strongly-lit subject.

In each shot, the focused plane was placed on the crown of the foreground subject flowers.

Oriental_Poppy_Perennial_Garden_X5385


Oriental Poppy Perennial Garden X5385
(367 KB)

An Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale) from the Perennial Demonstration Garden
between Ashley Pond and Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos. This image was taken at
f/8 for optimum balance of depth of field, sharpness and defocused character.

OrientalPoppy_DoF_Comparison


Oriental Poppy Depth of Field Comparison
(628 KB)

A depth of field comparison showing the difference in character aperture makes in extreme closeups.
In each case, the focused plane was placed at the front of the dome-shaped core of the poppy. Note
the depth of the total focused plane and the ultimate sharpness of details within the focused plane.

Jupiters_Beard_Perennial_Garden_X5400


Jupiter’s Beard Perennial Garden X5400
(499 KB)

Jupiter’s Beard (or Red Valerian) is a very colorfully-named profusely flowering ornamental Mediterranean plant that was imported to the US for gardens and has since escaped. Both hummingbirds and butterflies love the nectar. Shot at f/8.

Jupiters_Beard_Perennial_Garden_X5403


Jupiter’s Beard Perennial Garden X5403
(441 KB)

This image was shot at f/5.6 to achieve a balance of isolation along with some definition in the background flowers. Images were also taken at f/4 and f/3 for extreme subject isolation in front of a smooth background (all three are available).

JupitersBeard_DoF_Comparison


Jupiter’s Beard Depth of Field Comparison
(560 KB)

A depth of field comparison between X5403 (f/5.6, at left) and X5401 (f/4, at right).
Note the difference in the character of the background. For the f/4 image I focused slightly
behind the subject flower’s stem to partially defocus the foreground right flower and reduce
the defocusing of the distant background a little bit. For X5402 (f/3, not shown but available),
I set the focused plane on the subject flower stem, more strongly defocusing the background.

Placement of the focused plane and selection of aperture when shooting closeups is critical to
the presentation of the subject and to the character of the defocused foreground and background.

Sunburst3

Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Los Alamos Area images:

Los Alamos Area
Mountain Wildflowers

New Mexico Pueblos & Bandelier

Sunburst3
Rose_Portrait_Fuller_Lodge_X5340


Rose Portrait Fuller Lodge X5340
(289 KB)

A Rose Portrait taken at the Los Alamos Memorial Rose Garden.

During and after World War II there was no cemetery in Los Alamos. In 1956,
the Los Alamos Garden Club turned a garden plot next to Fuller Lodge into a
Memorial Rose Garden in memory of those who had died in Los Alamos. It is
the oldest public rose garden in New Mexico. By 1985 there were 500 rose
bushes and donations were not being accepted (other than replacements).
After the Cerro Grande Fire, two commemorative Peace rose bushes were
planted and since then, donations for new rose bushes were resumed.

Pink_Rosebud_Fuller_Lodge_X5347


Pink Rosebud Fuller Lodge X5347
(274 KB)

A cluster of pink rosebuds in the Memorial Rose Garden, taken at f/8 to maintain some background definition.

Pink_Rosebud_Fuller_Lodge_X5349


Pink Rosebud Fuller Lodge X5349
(216 KB)

An extreme closeup of a pink rosebud in the Memorial Rose Garden, taken at f/5.6 for a strongly defocused background.

Whenever deciding on an aperture for closeup shots, you have to consider the depth of the
focused field as well as the distance from the camera to the subject and from the subject to
the background. In the images above, X5347 (left) was taken with the camera further away
from the subject than in X5349 (right), and with the background a little closer. By taking the
 shot at left at f/8, with the camera at half of the distance to the subject flower as the subject
was from the background, some definition was maintained in the background leaves. By
shooting the image at right with the camera to subject distance at about 1/8 the distance
from the subject to the background, and at an aperture of f/5.6, the background is very
strongly defocused and the subject is completely isolated from a smooth background.

Emerging_Rosebuds_Fuller_Lodge_X5342


Emerging Rosebuds Fuller Lodge X5342
(554 KB)

Emerging Rosebuds in the Los Alamos Memorial Rose Garden, taken at f/8.

For a closeup shot like this, the object is to have the leaves immediately in front of
the foreground rosebud and just behind the background bud in focus, and to select
an aperture that allows the leaves closest to the camera and those more than a few
inches behind the background bud to defocus enough to isolate the subject area.

Emerging_Rosebud_Fuller_Lodge_X5343


Emerging Rosebud Fuller Lodge X5343
(424 KB)

Detail of the Emerging Rosebud on the left of the previous image, also taken at f/8.

This image was taken from much closer to the rosebud, with the focused plane set
exactly on the front sepal of the separating calyx around the rosebud. This keeps the
leaves on nearly the same plane as the flower in sharp focus, with rapid defocus that
begins at about two flower depths in front of the rosebud and one flower depth behind.

Yellow_Rosebud_Fuller_Lodge_X5358


Yellow Rosebud Fuller Lodge X5358
(332 KB)

A Yellow Rosebud in the Los Alamos Memorial Rose Garden.

The same technique used in Emerging Rosebud X5343 above was used
to create this shot, also taken at f/8 but with the camera about 3 times closer
to the subject flower than it was in X5343. The closer shooting distance creates
a correspondingly shallower focused plane and a rapidly defocused background.

Yellow_Rosebud_Fuller_Lodge_X5353


Yellow Rosebud Fuller Lodge X5353
(332 KB)

An extreme closeup of a Yellow Rosebud in the Memorial Rose Garden.

By taking this image at f/8 and focusing on the crown of the rosebud from
about half the distance to the subject used in the previous image (X5358),
and framing the flower at a steep angle to the plane of the camera, the plane
of focus only extends from the crown of the flower to the top of the foreground
sepal (the green withering calyx separating from the rosebud). This method
strongly defocuses the background as well as defocusing edges except the
crown of the flower, creating a soft-focused look desirable in some circles.

Orange_Rose_Fuller_Lodge_X5372


Orange Rose Fuller Lodge X5372
(272 KB)

An Orange Rose portrait in the Memorial Rose Garden.

The standard flower portrait technique, shooting with the
distance from the camera to the subject at 1/3 the distance
from the subject to the background. By focusing on the edge
of the upper left petal and selecting f/5.6, the foreground and
background petals are defocused (creating a soft look), and
the distant background is completely defocused for isolation.

Sunburst3

Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Los Alamos Area images:

Los Alamos Area
Mountain Wildflowers

New Mexico Pueblos & Bandelier

Sunburst3

You may also be interested in Wildflowers from the Jemez River,
Pajarito Mountain and the Abiquiu area in Northern New Mexico

MountainWildflowers


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Mountain Wildflowers of New Mexico page

You may also be interested in Bandelier, an Anasazi Ancestral Pueblo Site
on the Pajarito Plateau, between the Jemez Mountains and Los Alamos, NM.

Bandelier


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Bandelier National Monument page

NewMexico


Click the Display Composite above to return to the New Mexico Index page

Southwest


Click the Display Composite above to return to the Southwest Index page

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