Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

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Moon, Venus, High Road to Taos

Moon and Venus, San Cristobal. I was outside at 6 am with the tripod and camera set up, cuppa tea in hand, ready for one of the last good views of Venus in the dawn light at this time of year. She rises closer to the sun from this point in her orbit. I thought I was ready, as my phone app giving the precise location indicated I would observe the celestial event slightly north of where I had set up. Well, next time I won’t stand so close to my parked vehicle’s magnetic field. I stuffed some hand warmers in my gloves, it was 7º F, and with my tea in hand, I waited. My set up was spot on target. At 6:23 am, coyotes in the village made their announcement loud and very clear across the valley. At 6:24 am, a waning crescent moon peeked over Taos Mountain. At 6:29 am, Venus joined her. This was the most heart-stopping sight that I have seen in a while. Then, around 7 am when my heart started pumping again, when my hand warmers stopped making a difference, I went in and had more tea. Thanks for looking. G

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First glimpse of the waning crescent rising after the coyotes singing.
02 crescent moon venus taos mountain SC 6372 6373 2
Venus appears in an appropriate divot in Taos Mountain.
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Distant view of the whole scene from the from the garden.
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Rising in unison, a kind of courtship dance over the mountain.
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At 7 am when the temperature drops.

High Road to Taos. We made a few images on a short trip to Dixon, in the Rio Grande Valley last week. After exploring Dixon for a couple of hours, we drove a short way up the hill into the Sangre de Cristos Mountains. We passed by Picuris Pueblo, which is still closed for the safety of the tribal members, and stopped at the little chapel of Sagrado Corazón. Then on to the village of Llano de San Juan where we visited some familiar pinto ponies. Black and white seemed an appropriate choice for this particular day. G

Cross shadows, Dixon, NM
Village street in Dixon, NM
Dixon shapes and shadows
Shapes and Shadows.
Cross Shadow Dixon
Watching the shadows creep along the walls.
Sagrado Corazon Picuris
Chapel of the Sagrado Corazón.
Sagrado Corazon Picuris
Shadows at the Sagrado Corazón Chapel.
Pinto Horse posing on the High Road to Taos
Pinto Pony, Llano de San Juan.
Horse Mane, Llano de San Juan
Horse mane, cowlick.
Horse markings
Markings.
Cosmic Future Bus, Llano de San Juan, NM
Cosmic Future Bus, Llano de San Juan.
Cosmic Future Bus close up
Cosmic Future Bus.

I hope you enjoyed the tour and my first expanded blog, “Photo/photos of the Week.” As always, Thank you for looking. Stay safe and be well.

Geraint

High Road to Taos Photography Tour/Workshop

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“In Thanksgiving week 1984 I made my first of many trips to New Mexico. On this occasion five of us friends set out on a foggy morning from Santa Fe and made our way north on the high road to Taos. The sites and sounds on the streets of Santa Fe soon opened up to the immense vistas of mesas, and beyond to the Taos Volcanic Plateau.

“We passed through the village of Chimayo climbing the hill to Truchas (Spanish for Trout). Rapidly gaining elevation the landscape changed to pristine hills of ponderosa pines and rust-colored tones of scrub oak in the undergrowth. Bare white highlights of lanky aspen, punctuated the vast square miles of pine trees in the Carson National Forrest. Through the misty veil of condensation on the window we were afforded more than a subtle hint of what autumn in the high country of New Mexico might have looked like one month earlier.

“Leaving Truchas for Penasco, the fog set in. The temperature dropped in the sparsely populated, mountain communities of Las Trampas and Picuris. The colder air outside the car became magically enhanced from the aroma of piñon and juniper burning in the fireplaces of scattered homes. At this very moment… sometimes you just know it, the mystery of things unknown and northern New Mexico took a very palpable hold on me.

“Not more that four years later, in the spring of 1988 that hold tightened and I moved to a small adobe building, with two fireplaces, in Talpa, NM and began stockpiling five cords of wood for what promised to be a cold winter that year…

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Moon rise over the Church of San Jose de Gracia de Las Trampas, NM

“My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful 3 day photo tour with Geraint Smith in Taos, New Mexico and surrounding areas. Geraint picked us up at our Airbnb every morning and we toured selected locations which offered marvelous photographic opportunity. Geraint was very patient and helpful, offering advice on photo techniques to enhance our experience. We enjoyed his enthusiasm for photography, his insights and wonderful stories of his own photographic journey. I would highly recommend this Tour to anyone of any photographic experience. The Taos area is full of varied types of photographic interests, and Geraint was eager to accommodate our particular interests.”

Paul and Judy

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View of the Truchas Peaks

High Road to Taos

High Road to Taos Photography Tour/Workshop

Locations on this photo tour/workshop include Native and Hispanic villages on the High Road to Taos, Penasco, Las Trampas, and Truchas. The drive back to Taos will take us along the High Road to photograph the light in John Nichols, “Milagro Beanfield” country and the valley of Llano de San Juan.

High Road to Taos

Photo Tour/Workshops

“In Thanksgiving week 1984 I made my first of many trips to New Mexico. On this occasion five of us friends set out on a foggy morning from Santa Fe and made our way north on the high road to Taos. The sites and sounds on the streets of Santa Fe soon opened up to the immense vistas of mesas, and beyond to the Taos Volcanic Plateau.

We passed through the village of Chimayo climbing the hill to Truchas (Spanish for Trout). Rapidly gaining elevation the landscape changed to pristine hills of ponderosa pines and rust-colored tones of scrub oak in the undergrowth. Bare white highlights of lanky aspen, punctuated the vast square miles of pine trees in the Carson National Forrest. Through the misty veil of condensation on the window we were afforded more than a subtle hint of what autumn in the high country of New Mexico might have looked like one month earlier.

Leaving Truchas for Penasco, the fog set in. The temperature dropped in the sparsely populated, mountain communities of Las Trampas and Picuris. The colder air outside the car became magically enhanced from the aroma of piñon and juniper burning in the fireplaces of scattered homes. At this very moment… sometimes you just know it, the mystery of things unknown and northern New Mexico took a very palpable hold on me.

Not more that four years later, in the spring of 1988 that hold tightened and I moved to a small adobe building, with two fireplaces, in Talpa, NM and began stockpiling five cords of wood for what promised to be a cold winter that year.”

I look forward to sharing more of this magical landscape, people and architecture with you.

4 hour half day – $250 – per person.

8 hour day – $450 – per person. This time frame will include travel to chosen locations and shooting with hands on instruction as needed.

12 hour day – $695 per person. This time frame will include travel to chosen locations, shooting with hands on instruction as needed and staying out later for the moon rise or astrophotography, with time in the middle of the day for image review and processing, during lunch.

Year Round – Call 505-501-4880 to reserve a date that suits you for your own personal photo tour.

“My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful 3 day photo tour with Geraint Smith in Taos, New Mexico and surrounding areas. Geraint picked us up at our Airbnb every morning and we toured selected locations which offered marvelous photographic opportunity. Geraint was very patient and helpful, offering advice on photo techniques to enhance our experience. We enjoyed his enthusiasm for photography, his insights and wonderful stories of his own photographic journey. I would highly recommend this Tour to anyone of any photographic experience. The Taos area is full of varied types of photographic interests, and Geraint was eager to accommodate our particular interests.”
Paul and Judy

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View of the Truchas Peaks

High Road To Taos, Las Trampas Church, Sky

High Road to Taos, Las Trampas Church, and sky. I spent some time yesterday processing a few more images from that day on the High Road last week. The fast-moving clouds were cooperating to the degree that, during a long exposure, they caused this zoom effect of the movement of the clouds over the front and rear of the church. I could have created the same effect in Photoshop® but as I said the clouds were cooperating so two minutes of exposure on each of the images gave me a nice in-camera image. Less time spent on the computer is a good thing. Thanks for looking. G

High Road to Taos, Las Trampas Church

High Road to Taos, Las Trampas Church, and sky.

Tin Roof, High Road To Taos, NM

Tin roof and the impression of a ladder just of the High Road to Taos, New Mexico. I did a double take when I saw I was looking at the rusty stain where the ladder used to be. Corrugated tin roofing is a mainstay in the mountain villages, a good business to be in back in the day. I love New Mexicana. Thanks for looking. G

Tin Roof, High Road To Taos, NM

High Road To Taos, Black And White Day

High Road to Taos with R David Marks yesterday. Black and White is rubbing off on me on this day out on the High Road to Taos, in the mountains of northern New Mexico. It was a good day, lighting wise to make black and white images and in good company. Thanks for looking. G

Morada Cross, Truchas
A cross at the Penitente Morada in Truchas, a town on the High Road to Taos, northern NM

 

Ruby's Garage Truchas
Ruby’s Garage from the movie, Milagro Bean Field War, by author John Nichols, filmed in Truchas, NM

 

Om Shanti bus
“Om Shanti”, Wavy Gravy’s bus, parked in a field near Truchas, NM

 

Dormer windows and solitary cloud
Dormer windows and solitary cloud, Llano de San Juan, NM

 

Horse and dormer windows
Horse head and mane with dormer windows, steel roof and mountain clouds, Llano de San Juan, on the High Road to Taos

 

Horse on the high road to Taos
Horse in the shade of the portal in Llano de San Juan on the High Road to Taos

 

Serpentine roof line
Serpentine roof line on a building (possibly a Morada) in Llano de San Juan, NM

 

Las Trampas church
Church of Santo Tomas, (San Jose de Gracia de Las Trampas) Las Trampas, NM, on the High Road to Taos.

 

Tin Roof, Truchas, High Road To Taos, NM

Tin roof, in the village of Truchas on the High Road to Taos, NM, juxtaposed with the mission church belfry. The roof and building are gone, but the church of Nuestra Señora del Sagrado Rosario remains, beautifully intact and restored. Truchas is a regular stop on the High Road to Taos photography tour. The town and it’s surroundings are the filming location for Robert Redford’s movie of the John Nichol’s book, “Milagro Beanfield War.” Thanks for looking. G

Tin roof, Truchas on the High Road to Taos

Building Colors, High Road To Taos, NM

Building colors, just off the High Road to Taos, NM. I’ve always enjoyed this building when I’ve visited here in the past but on this day, unlike other days, I decided to make an image. I think the snow helped my decision by reflecting some nice fill light on to the scene making the grey tones and turquoise color pop. I actually don’t mind the decrepit nature of the shot. It’s very New Mexico for sure. Thanks for looking. G

Building colors, just off the High Road to Taos, NM.

High Road Shadows, Truchas, NM

High Road Shadows, Truchas, NM. On the High Road to Taos is the mountain town of Truchas, New Mexico where Robert Redford made the movie “Milagro Beanfield War” from the book of the same name by Taos author, John Nichols. John very graciously wrote the foreword in my book for which I will always be grateful. Thank you John, and thanks for looking. G

High Road Shadows, Truchas, NM

Roofing, Accidental Art, High Road To Taos

Roofing, accidental art on the High Road to Taos in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico. Digging deeper into the archives I’m finding I have a whole body of work of “accidental art” made around Taos County and the wider area in general. Stay tuned and thanks for looking. G

Roofing, accidental art on the High Road to Taos