Blue sky with last leaves on one aspen tree near Hopewell Lake, NM. I love the simplicity of this composition, where the bare branches appear to be about to let go of the remaining few leaves. I’ve photographed the last leaves on many trees over the years. I feel there’s a certain melancholy to this scene, although the blue sky and golden leaves present a pretty picture. I think I’ll call this one, “Before the fall”. Thanks for looking. G
Last leaves of fall on the elm tree in San Cristobal, NM. Or perhaps I should title it “the last leaves to fall” off the elm tree. Either way, after yesterday’s blustering snow and wind, these are the only leaves left on the tree and not on the lawn. Thanks for looking. G
Last leaves to fall on the aspen tree. This was a couple of days ago here in the garden. The snow took them shortly after I made this image. The last seven leaves on a young aspen in what turned out to be one of the most beautiful autumns I’ve ever seen in the thirty five years I’ve traveled and lived here. I hope yours was as gorgeous where you live. Thanks for looking. G
The light, it’s all about the light. Waiting until the sunlight lit up the road and the aspens ahead didn’t take very long but it did require a few moments until the sun emerged from the clouds. The moment and the picture happen, click!!!
The following three images depict a local pond, a different way the leaves turn in one particular area, and a spontaneous composition on a log in the Carson National Forest a few days ago.
One fallen aspen tree leads the eye through the standing trees to the copse beyond.
A nice hillside of aspens in various stages of fall. There are still a number of weeks of turning colors to come. Join me on a photo tour and I’ll share some of my favorite locations with you.
I frequently enjoy visiting this pond in the mountains between Taos and Angel Fire and this week we hit it with precision timing. The leaves were falling like rain on and around us. Here’s a video I shared on Facebook. Turn up the sound if you watch!
And… last but not least, spending as much time on the road as I do, the opportunities abound. In this case a Porcupine trucking across the road. I had to move fast. The porcupine was fast, but I was slightly faster and that’s how I got this picture of a sweet little creature.
Greetings from a blustery evening in San Cristobal, NM, followed by heavy rain, the loudest thunder and huge lightning on the ridge behind the house.
After my trip to Colorado last week, I spent this week making prints in my digital darkroom, my well-lit office! Last year I collected many oak leaves from the surrounding mountains, which in itself was a gorgeous time spent in the outdoors. I pressed the leaves collected in a heavy book of Andrew Wyeth prints. When flattened just enough to take out a little of the curl, I set up outdoors on the patio with a dark background and backlight from the sun. I used a roach clip to pin the leaves at eye level and started shooting. I got the idea from viewing the leaves on the trees in the field that were backlit. The wind was a little too much to contend with shooting in the mountains. It was much easier to control on the patio. Here are the results.
This image was taken a couple of weeks ago and printed on cotton rag archival paper. I wanted to convey how sheltered and secluded it feels standing in the aspens. There’s always a way out.
The brand new tipi standing in El Prado (the meadows) begged for a different view rather than a full-on standard, here’s the tipi shot. This is the image I came up with for a different angle. I processed it in an app called “Formulas”.
If you are interested in any of the oak leaf prints, please message me here. They look great in groups. The aspen grove print is available here, and the tipi print is available here.
I’m continually reviewing images from previous weeks and months. The following images are from the last couple of weeks. Some from the front field and some from trips out in the greater field. I’ve also included an image of my daughter pulled from way back in 2004 that I’ve re-worked for printing. And lastly, a little something from 2005 for this weekend’s happy hearts day.
I begin with the most recent from yesterday morning with this month’s waning moon rising over Taos Mountain.
The following are a couple of images from a drive Pami and I did into the San Luis Valley the last time it snowed.
Last week Chris Ferguson and I drove south to Carson, NM for a photoshoot on the Rio Grande Gorge Rim. We had some beautiful winter sunlight in the late afternoon to create another set of old west inspired images. Stay tuned for a few more from the last couple of these commercial shoots I’ve collaborated on with Chris, at Tres Estrellas.
A rather dense sunset last week on the way home from the Cellar, our local bottle shop. Not the color of fine red wine as is often the case with the Sangre de Cristos. Despite the heaviness, this sunset got a lot of attention from locals judging by the number of posts on Facebook.
My daughter, taken back in fall 2004 in Taos, New Mexico. If she could get into or under anything she would. I reworked this image in order to make a print I’ve wanted to hang.
And lastly, something appropriate for this weekend. Fly me to the moon in a valentine balloon.
Cold and frosty morning, leaves in the driveway preceding a walk through the pasture. The frost is getting thicker and more steadfast. The last ash tree dropped it’s final leaves today. In this picture the elm leaves turn shades of blues under the hard frost and make for a pretty still life. Thanks for looking. G
Greetings from San Cristobal. This week some images from northern New Mexico, Scotland, and England.
I shot the dramatic image of sunset clouds from a friend’s land near the village of Tres Piedras, just off US Highway 64, the other mother road. I took the moonset out of the bedroom window. I shot it ten years ago, but this is how it looked when the full moon set last Saturday morning. We have spectacular views where we live across the volcanic plateau to the west. The clouds at sunset appear to roll over the landscape and beyond over the mountains.
I threw a virtual dart at one of my hard drives again, and this image of a bighorn sheep ram popped up. I don’t know much about their nature, but, I do know, they own the canyons and rocks.
An early morning shot on a photo tour at the iconic Saint Francis Church.
I came across this image when scanning slides a couple of weeks ago. I collaborated with a writer in 1989 on a story on the churches on the high road to Taos. The story was not published, but we had a good time, made many images, and learned a lot about the history, people, and culture of northern New Mexico.
Rock stackers are everywhere. I shot this image in Scotland a few years ago. It doesn’t work for me in wilderness areas. Besides, cairns make less obvious trails on the mountains and moors and are essential to finding one’s way. What you see in this photo, is a place just beyond the road where bus tours and cars stop to admire the view. What do you think?
I love that nature will thrive wherever and however, it will. This tenacious tree seems to be doing quite well.
I’m up and fully mobile again. I’m walking up to 2+ miles a day. Some days less, some days more. Thank you so much to all my friends and family who checked in on me. Immeasurably thanks and gratitude to my lovely wife, Pami, for taking care and putting up with me!
What started with a picture of sunset clouds took me, once again, down the hard drive rabbit hole.
I look forward to seeing you in New Mexico if it’s on your travel plans this year.
Greetings, on a cold and windy day, in San Cristobal. If you bear with me, I’m revisiting a few images from my trip to Valley of the Gods and Monument Valley two weeks ago. I have a few personal favorites that remind me of the feeling of being in this magnificent landscape. Photography is not all about the visual. It’s about the feeling that I wish to convey in the image. When I’m standing out in gorgeous light in the landscape, I’m excited to capture an image that speaks to me. It’s also about all the other elements, heat, wind, rain, sleet, and snow that land on me, burning, tingling, and drenching me that I remember the most, the tangible that makes the place I’m in come alive for me.
In the image below, I’m in Valley of the Gods, Utah, kneeling under a big rock where the air radiates the coolness of the shadowed earth onto my face and skin. It’s a perfect spot on a hot day, and there is also a discovered, surprise view framed by the rock and shadow. Naturally, one has to pay attention and keep a lookout for rattlesnakes!
On a trip in 2019, the Valley is abundant with millions of Yucca plants, not just in Monument Valley and Valley of the Gods but also across southeastern Utah. The pale yellow of the yucca flowers stands out from the red of the monuments. The plants in this image are healthy and promising for another super bloom this year. Keep in mind the native people utilized the yucca for many things. The fibers of the leaves were stripped and used for making sandals, twine for sewing, weaving into baskets, and paintbrushes to paint the intricate designs on pottery. Not the least, the roots were pounded to make a pulp used as soap and shampoo, which is reputed to be a remedy for baldness!
Over the years, I’ve spent many nights camping on the Monument Valley rim at the original campground where the “View Hotel” now stands. I’ve stood and stared at the dark silhouettes of the monuments against the pale light of dawn and in the fading evening twilight. The monuments are dark, with an unbroken line between the rocks and the sky, a scene witnessed through time.
I’ve done this kind of shot before, double exposure on film, so I wanted to recreate it in a digital format. When you stare at a scene long enough and close your eyes, it leaves a photographic impression on the back of your eyelids. Photographing around Valley of the Gods and Monument Valley or anywhere else in this area, the images embedded in my eyes transpose to the next visual landmark that I see. It’s very trippy and is what motivated the image below.
I made the image above from two images similar to the ones below. So you get the idea, and I understand if one prefers either, I had a fun time playing with the image to create the vision I had. It’s important to me to play and make photography fun. On my photo tour/workshops, fun is one of the motivating aspects. If it isn’t fun, then it’s work!
This week I’m ending my blog post with one last picture from Valley of the Gods. The scene presented itself as I came over the ridge before things became technical when making last week’s image. This area has had a profound impact on me and will continue to do so. It feels like coming home every time I visit. Where I live in northern New Mexico also felt like this when I first set foot there in 1984.
I have lived in and traveled around the Southwest United States for 44 years. I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else. I’ll always enjoy trips to the old country, but my heart lives here in the great southwest.
I hope you enjoyed one more trip revisiting this area. I sure did, in memory, pictures, and words. As always thank you for looking. G
Working backward from today, starting with the landscape around Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.
I made a couple of trips on the high road over the last week. The aspens are doing their utmost to please fall color seekers. The horses performed perfectly, positioning themselves just right.
The forest floors were already full of fallen leaves. There are plenty more to go!
The skies over New Mexico have performed quite admirably, as they usually do. This place, with the old wooden barn storage shed, is always a pleasing stop on Highway 64.
My favorite aspen group on the Cumbres Pass, just over the state line in Colorado. This is my go-to barometer for how things are progressing as far as the turning colors go. I’ll be back there tomorrow.
The colors in this image seemed appropriate for the season, on this old tractor parked in a field in Jaroso, Colorado.