Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Day: January 20, 2021

Taos and Rio Grande

Last Saturday was a most beautiful day for a photo workshop around Taos and along the Rio Grande. Here are some pictures from that day with my photographer client and new friend Harry. You can check out his website here.

We had a cold start to the day at the Saint Francis Church in Ranchos de Taos where I’d pre-arranged to meet Harry at 6:30 am.

Saint Francis Church
Entry to the Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, NM

Saint Francis Church photo tour workshop
Photographing the Saint Francis Church. It’s colder than it looks.

Saint Francis Church sunrise
Sunrise at the Saint Francis Church.

After thirty minutes at the church we headed south to catch the sunrise behind the Taos tipis and the Sangre de Cristo foothills.

Taos Tipis
Sunrise at the Taos tipis with the Sangre de Cristo foothills.

Taking old road 570 that used to be the main road to Carson, NM we come to a dead end and a parking area for the Slide Trail. A massive landslide closed the road twenty years or so ago. Now there is a nice hiking trail and an overlook with a view of the Rio Pueblo Canyon.

Harry photographing the Rio pueblo canyon
Photographing the Rio Pueblo Canyon.

Rio Pueblo Canyon
Rio Pueblo Canyon near the confluence with the Rio Grande.

From there, as we warmed up in our cars, we made a plan to head further south to the village of Pilar on the Rio Grande. The river was placid and reflections were abundant.

Rio Grandxe reflections
Scoping out an initial shot set up.
Rio Grandxe reflections
Wide view of the scene.
Rio Grande reflections
The set up of the surreal reflections on the Rio Grande in Pilar, NM

The ice along the river’s edge made for crazy imagery. What do you see?

Ice along the Rio Rande
Ice patterns along the Rio Grande in the Orilla Verde.

Ice patterns along the Rio Grande
Ice patterns.

We headed upstream in search of eagles and bighorn sheep. We found more ice and water.

Ice water spring
Ice water spring in the Orilla Verde.

Ice build up at the spring, Orilla Verde
Ice build up around the base of the spring.

We checked all the usual spots for eagles and bighorn sheep. Today they eluded us. We did spot a Kestrel, numerous Golden-eyes and Bufflehead ducks. Fly fishermen were plentyful, probably one reason for the lack of other wildlife.

Rio Grande vista in the Orilla Verde
Rio Grande vista in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area.

Then it was on to the high bridge spanning the Rio Grande Gorge, 600 feet above the river below.

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
The Rio Grande Gorge high bridge, west of Taos, NM

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge shadow
Rio Grande Gorge with the shadow of the bridge spanning the canyon and river.

Moving right along. After high winds on the bridge we headed towards the town of Taos, and stopped to check out the old trucks in El Prado (the meadows). It’s a favorite spot with this GMC truck, nicely juxtaposed with Taos Mountain. As we were leaving, wind and dust devils were to be our nemesis, so we headed back to the Saint Francis Church via some back roads around Taos.

GMC Truck Taos Mountain
GMC truck juxtaposed with Taos Mountain

Dodge truck hood ornament
Dodge truck hood ornament and Taos Mountain.

Back at the church where we will end our day the air had significantly warmed from the frigid temps in the morning hours. We found a number of different compositions and some new ones in the snow melt puddles around the building.

Saint Francis statue
Statue of Saint Francis Ranchos de Taos, with a typical blue, New Mexico sky.

San Francisco de Asis Church
Big cross at the San Francisco de Asis Church

Saint Francis Church, Reflections
Saint Francis Church, reflection in a snow melt puddle.

Crosses reflecting in a puddle
“Cross eyes”

Saint Francis church reflection
Saint Francis church reflection, the wide shot.

All these shots were taken with my iPhone 11. I hope you enjoyed the trip. As always, thank you for looking. I’ll see you next week. G