We stopped in to visit that same old truck from last week’s post on a photo tour/workshop this week. I added a couple of images of the other work trucks parked at the same location. My client and I played it safe on this trip traveling in separate vehicles and keeping a safe shooting space between us on the High Road to Taos, the Rio Grande Gorge, and the Sites of Taos tours. Since then I’ve had my first Covid vaccine (yeah!) with my booster scheduled for the end of March. If you feel safe traveling and have had your vaccinations and would like to join me here in New Mexico, I’m booking dates from mid-April through the rest of the year. I believe we can do this safely and enjoyably in my vehicle which hasn’t been possible for the last year. I’ll be happy and look forward to introducing you to some of my favorite locations in this area.
Last week we went out for dinner at a local restaurant. We haven’t been out for a sit-down meal in a long time, and were we ever glad we did! We had a good time and the food was fabulous. The restaurant is in a great location and the view from the dining room, such, that I was prompted to get up and leave my meal for a few shots of that favorite GMC truck parked in an adjacent field. The diffused sunlight on the scene gave the truck and landscape a warm rosy glow.
The camera in my pocket was my iPhone. I could have walked back to the parking lot to get my ‘other’ camera but I was afraid the light would have faded by the time I got back. Within a couple of minutes later I’d shot a dozen images and was heading back to my meal. The light was fleeting and as the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have on you.
The first image is when I approached the vehicle. You can see the distracting footprints in the foreground. In the two following images, I moved in closer. The truck dominates the composition and the tracks out front were probably made by a dog or coyote rather than clunky, human footprints.
The last image is a view you would have if you were sitting in the cab looking out. I wouldn’t recommend getting in the cab as it’s full of broken glass and in the summertime is home to a thriving nest of hornets.
I’m heading out on a photo tour this weekend. Let’s see what I come up with. There’s also a full moon so I’ll be out photographing its latest appearance, weather permitting.
I hope you are enjoying winter. I know some of our neighbor states are getting weather they don’t normally experience. Stay safe and warm where you are. Here are some images from a trip around the extended neighborhood this week.
The first image may look familiar to many people as I stop here often in Arroyo Hondo on the drive to and from home and Taos.
The sun came out on the way home today and the landscape looked pristine. Here’s my favorite “stretch gate” and farm road.
A stretch gate in San Cristobal on my morning walk yesterday.
Martina’s Hall, formally Old Martinez Hall directly west of the Saint Francis church in Ranchos de Taos, has some nice lines accented by the snow.
The beautiful mission church of San Francisco de Asis in Ranchos de Taos.
A view of the church in a location I’ve not shot before. The morning sunlight breaking through the clouds caught my eye from highway 68 which runs through Ranchos de Taos.
In San Cristobal this morning our garden Buddha wore his full snow blanket. The snow is still coming down as I write. We are warm and cozy with the wood stove filling the room with a golden glow as well as heat. From the sofa we can watch the snow falling all around the valley.
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.
Last week was the full Wolf Moon. It has many other names such as “Canada Goose Moon”, “Greetings Moon”, and a favorite alternative of mine, “Frost Exploding Moon”. In this case, I’ll stick to calling it wolf moon as it is known around these parts. You can read more here. On the night before the actual full moon, I met up with my friend John and set up with plenty of time to spare, in order to be ready. When the moon rose behind Vallecito Mountain the light was still a little pale and not so dramatic, so we headed east and closer to the mountains to catch it rising over the exact same peak. On the night before the actual full moon, the landscape is bathed in the light of the setting sun as the moon, discernibly full rises in the scene making for a well-balanced exposure. We made some nice images that evening.
I wasn’t done with the Wolf Moon yet so the following morning I got up early and drove about thirty minutes north near the Colorado State Line to watch it set around Ute Mountain and across the plateau.
It’s fun to hit the road or lack thereof, just for a day out. We made this day a fun day out with photography the secondary factor. I always have my camera on hand for when images present themselves when I least expect it. Then there is the other perspective of a preconceived image. Ansel Adams referred to it as pre-visualization. The former is how I mostly find subjects by allowing the day to unfold and present itself to me. I guess one would call it being open to the moment. I’ll settle for that. This day we were out with our friends, Chris and Carla. Company is a good thing when going off the highway on muddy, rutted roads. The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument is a place where you are pretty much as far away from civilization as you can get in this part of New Mexico. Speaking of location scouting, I found several locations worthy of different weather conditions with dramatic lighting pre-visualized for future trips. Thanks for looking. G
I’ve added a few images below from previous trips into the National Monument. Enjoy!
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.
After thirty minutes at the church we headed south to catch the sunrise behind the Taos tipis and 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.
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.
The ice along the river’s edge made for crazy imagery. What do you see?
We headed upstream in search of eagles and bighorn sheep. We found more ice and water.
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.
Then it was on to the high bridge spanning the Rio Grande Gorge, 600 feet above the river below.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Out with the old and in with the new! After 15 years and 3 months of posting a photo of the day, I’m going to start a photo of the week with an occasional post from the road. If you are already signed up you can look forward to a photo in your email every Wednesday evening. It’s time for changes and it feels like the perfect moment in time to change. I’m looking forward to moving on and have you share in the new developments. The archive pages have been updated for you to continue enjoying your favorite photos. The purchase print pages will be updated more often with new images added in easy to view categories. Photo tours are still on the agenda for 2021, with safe travel between locations in separate vehicles and socially distanced shooting on-site, not too difficult to achieve out here in the west. I hope you’ll enjoy the improvements and I look forward to your continued friendship. Happy New Year.
I made this image in the Bosque del Apache on my last trip there. Thousands of cranes and snow geese thronged around the marshes and pastures. Overhead at dusk, the light levels got low and the cranes in this shot were partially silhouetted against a pale sky. I gave the photo a distressed look using an app called Formulas. I personally like the effect, it gives me a sense of cold with snow falling. The nostalgic look reminds me that I haven’t been there for a couple of years. Thanks for looking. G
Out with the old and in with the new! After 15 years and 3 months of posting a photo of the day, I’m going to start a photo of the week with an occasional post from the road. If you are already signed up you can look forward to a photo in your email every Wednesday evening. It’s time for changes and it feels like the perfect moment in time to change. I’m looking forward to moving on and have you share in the new developments. The archive pages have been updated for you to continue enjoying your favorite photos. The purchase print pages will be updated more often with new images added in easy to view categories. Photo tours are still on the agenda for 2021, with safe travel between locations in separate vehicles and socially distanced shooting space on-site, not too difficult to achieve out here in the west. I hope you’ll enjoy the improvements and I look forward to your continued friendship and support of my work. Geraint