Location Spotlight: Bosque/Alameda Open Space (Albuquerque Photographer)
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015
By Matt Blasing
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Good morning, folks! 

Today begins the third installment of my "Location Spotlight" series, focusing on the Albuquerque Bosque (pronounced "boss-key" in bad Spanish, or "bōs-qué" in proper Spanish). I did my first 2015 bosque family session down there this past weekend, and it was way better than I remember it being, since I personally prefer a busier backdrop for my subjects. For those of you who don't want to pay for BioPark Admission, decide the Downtown area is a little too urban, or you just love the outdoors, then this is just the place for you (said in my absolutely best Bill Hader/Stefon voice).

The bosque area I'm focusing on is by Alameda and Rio Grande, also known as the Alameda/Rio Grande Open Space or the Bacheci Open Space, which are both listed on the sign. Because it helps for a place to have like three names. Anyway, the bosque and open space areas are split and are on either side of Alameda Blvd., with the bosque on one side and the open space on the other. Both are full of trees and have a very natural, woodsy vibe for those more in tune with the outdoors than others.

The term "bosque," according to Wikipedia, is defined as "the name for areas of gallery forest found along the riparian flood plains of stream and river banks in the southwestern United States. It derives its name from the Spanish word for woodlands." Simply put, the bosque is essentially the shoreline for the Rio Grande river, with some parts more beautiful than others, naturally. The area where I photograph my clients is probably one of the best parts of the Albuquerque bosque due to its cleanliness and variety.

First, we'll talk about the bosque side of Alameda Blvd.

For most Burqueños (Albuquerque natives), when you say "the bosque," they picture this:

No man, not an adorable baby. Okay, bad example. They probably picture this:

Cue heavenly choir sounds. This is the bosque at falltime, the time when photographers are clobbering each other for all the good spots (I'm not kidding, there really are "good" spots over "bad" ones). Hard to tell from the photo, but in the falltime, this entire area turns the most brilliant shades of orange and yellow. It's absolutely gorgeous. Maybe this is a better, more accurate representation:

This photo was taken about 20 minutes after the sun peeked its face over the Sandia Mountains. Anyone who has previously requested to have their family session with me in the bosque knows that I ALWAYS ask to photograph there in the morning, unless it's getting colder and the younger ones can't quite handle it. That's why baby Payton (shown in the wagon above) was photographed in the afternoon while the trees still had sufficient leaf coverage to make for great lighting. 

Most of the time, the lighting is great and I can get some really great shots. However, as the leaves disperse, more dappled light shines through the trees and doesn't provide the most coverage. So if you want a family Bosque session, make sure you book with me in mid-October when those leaves first begin to peak. It doesn't last long!

While I love shooting on the Bosque side of Alameda, there's one thing that I personally don't care for...

...all the debris. While the Bosque has so much character with the massive cottonwood trees, the ground is really cluttered with sticks and dead leaves. So if you want to book a session with me there, make sure you keep that in mind if that sort of thing matters to you. A place where you find less of that is...

...the open space! Located on the other side of Alameda Blvd. by the open space entrance and parking lot, this area is city-maintained and always kept very clean. Rarely have I photographed there and found any litter or clutter, other than the horse "treats" I ask my clients to look out for as I walk them down the short horse-appropriate pathway to the open space proper. But don't worry, no horses where I photograph! Only dogs, if you happen to bring your family dog with you. Or if your dog happens to be the size of a small horse.

The trees there, while not as big and full as the cottonwood trees in the bosque, are still very lush and full of character all their own.

Full disclosure: I did very little editing to the above photo. The trees actually look like that. At the right time of day, the area is so green it's almost surreal. The colors just POP!

A simple change of positioning on my part will show more or less green depending on what you prefer. While the ground still has sticks that have fallen, it's pretty clutter-free for the most part, which means you won't bring home a pound of dirt, leaves, and sticks should you decide to lay a blanket down for a seated pose during your photo session (unless your kid picks up ten of them and brings them home; little ones LOVE sticks for some reason).

Throughout the year, my favorite time to photograph in the open space is...

...falltime! When the leaves fall and the sun shines through the trees, they have so much character that I feel the need to capture them in my shots as well. Just adds a cool vibe to the picture. However, if these trees look a little too bare-bones...

...even at the "golden hour" time of day...

...maybe this is just the right amount of leaf coverage for you. The leaves here turn just as beautiful a shade of yellow-orange to make your photos really pop with color.

Well folks, there you have it. In addition to being an area to have photos taken, it's also a great place to walk your dog, go for a run, or ride your bicycle. The the Albuquerque bosque, for the most part, is removed from streets and traffic, so you have the opportunity to get out, get moving, and have a little bit of peace and quiet.

It's been great chatting with you today. Enjoy your Wednesday, and have a great rest of your week!

Best,

Matt

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