Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Month: July 2021

Foggy Morning, Moonrise, Rio Grande Cloud, Abiquiu Photo Tour.

From fog in the Arroyo Hondo Valley to a full moon rise over Taos Mountain. From a photo tour/workshop in Abiquiu and the Rio Chama Valley to a large cloud over the Taos Valley, Taos Mountain, and the Rio Grande Gorge.

It’s been all go for the last month with tours. I have a few more tours coming up and then a short break for a couple of days following up on some personal work. I’m grateful for the photography tours and workshops and the wonderful photography clients I get to work with.

In the first two photos, I got up and out early to shoot the moon setting. Well, it set, right into a big bank of fog. So I shot the fog lifting in the Arroyo Hondo Valley just south of where I intended to catch the moon. Fog is a rare occurrence in this area, but we’ve had so much rain recently that it was only a matter of time until it filled the valleys.

Fog in Arroyo Hondo, NM
A foggy morning in Arroyo Hondo, northern NM

Fog in Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico
A tree in the fog in Arroyo Hondo, northern NM

In the following shot, I sat out on the deck waiting for the nearly full moon to appear from behind Taos Mountain. When it did, it had a pinkish hue to it from the fire smoke in the atmosphere. It was still beautiful nonetheless.

Full Moon rise Taos Mountain
Nearly full moonrise over Taos Mountain from the deck in San Cristobal, NM

The cloud below formed very quickly and filled the sky from Taos to the west of the Rio Grande Gorge. I had to shoot three frames and stitch them together to capture the immense size. I liked the corkscrew-looking form. I’d not seen one like it before.

Rio Grande Gorge
Rio Grande Gorge, with Taos Mountain and the cloud that developed into more rain.

Lastly, a fun panorama shot at the Rio Chama overlook in Abiquiu with William, a client on a cross-country road trip who stopped in Taos and joined me for a three-day photo tour.

Abiquiu, Rio Chama
Fun on a photo tour/workshop in Abiquiu, Rio Chama, NM

As always, thank you for looking. G

Red-tailed Hawk family, San Luis Valley

On a photo workshop last week I took my client to visit the Hawks in my previous week’s post. My client is an accomplished bird photographer. Well.., I was expecting maybe mom, pop, and the chick I saw on my last visit, but to our surprise, we spotted a whole family of five. Fledglings were taking to the air from the treetops, encouraged in their maneuvers by the parents. What a treat it was to see the adult male, female and chicks perform this ancient summer ritual at this roadside location.


Red-tailed Hawk
Male Red-tailed Hawk, on the wing, San Luis Valley.

Female Red-tailed Hawk
Female Red-tailed Hawk, sits in tree top, San Luis Valley.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk
Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk lands in a tree.

A Male Red-tailed Hawk
Male Red-tailed Hawk stands guard in tree top, San Luis Valley.

Three juvenile Red-tailed Hawks
Three juvenile Red-tailed Hawks sit in a tree top, San Luis Valley.

Male Red-tailed Hawk
Male Red-tailed Hawk, showing how it’s done and lands in a tree.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk prepares to land.
Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk prepares to land on a tree branch near mom!.

As always, thanks for looking. I appreciate all the comments and compliments. Thank you. G

Down, at the Saint Francis Church. Up, with Red-tailed Hawks

I was on a photo tour last week demonstrating with a photography client the benefits of looking down and how it can often pay off with a rewarding image. In this case, looking down in a puddle on the flagstones, we captured a really nice reflection of the iconic San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos. Of course, it helped that one of the parishioners was hosing down the walkway, and I’ve shot this type of scene, many times.

Saint Francis church Ranchos de Taos

Yesterday, I went up north for a short drive scouting some locations for an upcoming workshop happening for the next three days. I drove on a back road I’m very familiar with and found a male and female Red-tailed Hawk with their juvenile fledgling. The male was off on a power line pole to the east, the female and the chick were on a pole further west with a half-eaten rabbit. In the second image, you can see the nictitating membrane in the eyes of the mama and the young one as they both blinked simultaneously. This membrane allows birds to blink and clean the eyeball while still being able to see what is afoot. Here is a link to the nictitating membrane or “third eyelid”.

Red-tailed hawks, San Luis Valley
Red-tailed hawks, adult and juvenile in the San Luis Valley, Colorado

Red-tailed hawks, San Luis Valley
Red-tailed hawks, adult and juvenile in the San Luis Valley showing the Nictitating membrane.

As always, thank you for looking. G

A little bit of This and That, this week.

A little bit of this and a little bit of that, from Ranchos de Taos, Taos Ski Valley, Ghost Ranch, Colorado, and the deck in San Cristobal.

I made this image of the ubiquitous blue window and shutters with hollyhocks in Ranchos de Taos. Hollyhocks are in abundance all around Taos this summer including the grounds of the famous St. Francis Church across the street from this scene.

Hollyhocks, Ranchos de Taos

We made a hike to the waterfall and streams coursing through the Taos Ski Valley to check out the wildflowers. Not a very long hike either. This little grouping of columbine comes back every year in the same spot. You can probably find a similar image from a previous year on my website.

Columbine, waterfall, Taos Ski Valley
Columbine with a waterfall in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico.

We stopped in Ghost Ranch last week and saw that bits and bobs of a movie set were still standing. They’d even moved a dead tree that had fallen down a few years ago elsewhere to the middle of the set. (Thank you Mark Collins for the inspiration). We opened the doors and went inside. The light streaming through the holes made it sort of magical in a way. Thanks to the movie makers also.

Movie set chapel, Ghost Ranch, NM
Movie set chapel window, Ghost Ranch, NM

Movie set chapel, Ghost Ranch, NM
Looking through the window at another window, Ghost Ranch, NM

Movie set chapel, Ghost Ranch
Movie set chapel, Ghost Ranch

Last week I spent three days working with a client from New York during his month-long cross-country road trip. One of the days was spent in Abiquiu and the Rio Chama Valley chasing storms, followed by a day in the Rio Grande Gorge and along the High Road to Taos. Our final day was spent crisscrossing the San Luis Valley photographing abandoned farmhouses, barns, and this old bridge.

Lobatos Bridge, Colorado
Lobatos Bridge over the Rio Grande in the San Luis, Colorado.

The week ended back at home with a nice visual from the deck.

Rainbow, San Cristobal, New Mexico
Rainbow over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains San Cristobal, New Mexico

As always, thanks for looking. G