Bosque Del Apache Revisited


Socorro County, New Mexico.

Last year I was introduced to the Bosque del Apache by my sister who lives in Albuquerque. The Bosque is a short 90-minute drive from Albuquerque. We spent part of a day there and had a great time capturing wildlife pictures. This year on our way back to Arizona, we stopped there again. This time I was equipped with a new camera and lens. I’ve used the Tamron 16-300 mm lens for some time with my D7000 Nikon DSLR and am pleased with its performance over the 18-270 Tamron it replaced.


This year, I purchased myself an early Christmas present, a Nikon D500. The reviews of this camera are all very positive and I must say they accurately reflect this amateur’s experience. For whatever reason, whether it’s the 20 MP sensor or better electronics in the camera, I swear the images from my 16-300 Tamron are sharper than they ever were on my D7000. At the end of this post is a link to my previous trip to the Bosque using the D7000 and 18-270 mm Tamron, and a link to my review post of the 16-300 lens.


This year’s visit to the Bosque coincided with the annual Festival of the Cranes. It is a celebration of the migration of the sandhill cranes to the Bosque. During the festival every fall, there is free admission to the Bosque and a much larger audience of visitors, most all of whom seemed to be carrying cameras with long zoom lenses, most much longer than my puny little 300 mm. I do have one advantage, though. The D500 has the smaller APS-C sensor. The smaller sensor adds a 1.5 factor to my 300 mm, making it the equivalent of a 450 mm lens on a full frame digital. Coupled with Lightroom’s ability to crop and still deliver a web-quality image for the blog, I got “close up and personal” with both snow geese and sandhill cranes.


The festival, held November 15-20, 2016 also featured some display tents with vendors selling everything from spotting scopes to telephoto lenses for your cellphone camera. Of course I had to stop at the Tamron and Sigma displays to check out their 150-600 mm long lenses. The only thing that held me back was the high price tag and the fact that I’m still recovering from the D500 purchase. Maybe next year Santa will be good to me again. We’ll see.

I promised a couple of links for you:

Last year’s gallery of images from the Bosque can be found here.

My review of the Tamron 16-300 mm lens can be found here.

The gallery of images below feature some of my favorite shots from this year’s trip to the Bosque. You may note some of the photos exhibit a pretty strong HDR effect. I do most of my shots in HDR these days, processed in Lightroom. I’m learning to use Nik’s HDR Efex Pro 2. Some of my HDR shots here are probably a bit “over-cooked”. I’m trying to learn how to make HDR Efex pro produce a more natural HDR, but sometimes I like the extra HDR “look” that Nik provides. I promise to use it sparingly as I prefer the more subtle HDR from Lightroom directly. But I digress… Click on an image in the gallery below to enlarge it and to scroll through the gallery.

John Steiner



13 thoughts on “Bosque Del Apache Revisited

    • It shows off the lens capability much better than my other camera… but it came at a learning price. The focusing system takes some mastering. I have plenty of not-so-sharp pics that discouraged me until I finally figured out the basics of the focusing system. It can follow a flying bird and adjust focus between shots almost instantly.

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