Road trip to Alamosa for covid shots. No matter the reason for the trip, there’s always something to see. On this occasion a very large storm cell moving through the Central San Luis Valley carrying spitting kernels of snow. Standing up in the bed of the truck was stinging but exhilarating, to say the least. It didn’t stop me. We stopped into other locations as well for the black and white below. There are 14,000 ft peaks in this range behind those clouds.
Following are a few pictures from one of the five photo tours/workshops during the last month. I’m booking tours/workshops from June through the rest of the year and beyond. Let me know if you want to join me on the road in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Thanks for looking. Stay healthy. See you next week. G
The full moon rising last Saturday over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of southern Colorado. Commonly known as the “Worm Moon” it’s also known by these names in other cultures. Crow Moon, Sap Moon, Moon of Winds, Fish Moon. Here’s a link to the names of full moons in many other cultures. I’m rather partial to “Crow moon”. The crows in our field get busy at this time of year and show up every morning before sunrise. This is a photo of a crow with the full moon back in early December. Despite the names bestowed on a full moon, it’s a most wondrous site to behold rising over fresh snow-covered peaks of the “Sangres”. This was shot and cropped from a very large panoramic image on a photo tour/workshop. Join me in this area for a trip to see sights like this.
Here’s the panorama of the whole scene. If you have room for a large print, the detail in both is amazing. Prints will be available soon.
One photo this week of Taos Mountain (Pueblo Peak) in black and white. I had a longer post planned but the hosting company server crashed this morning, until an hour ago. They emailed and were very gracious and apologized and let me know things were up and running. So, I hope you enjoy this image from this last week, this week.
Last Sunday snow was forecast, so we headed out into the San Luis Valley, Colorado for a half-day in what was supposed to be blizzard conditions. I’ve been in far worst blizzards. The snow held off for some time, however, after the initial delightful powdery stuff, the snow was thick and wet. Wet snow just didn’t cut it. Of course, we made a day of it and took lunch and cups of tea. When we got home I warmed up with a large whiskey.
This area is one of my most favorite places to visit for personal work or on a photo tour/workshop. On this trip, I was looking to photograph familiar locations in more minimalist compositions. As a side note, my friend and author John Nichols told me he derived inspiration for his book “The Milagro Beanfield War” in this area.
And then the heavy wet snow began to fall, which was beautiful to look at for sure, but my gear didn’t like it, especially the lens front element.
Thank you for all your comments, and compliments. I really appreciate all my friends, and as always thank you for looking.
Starting with the Valles Caldera National Preserve this week, Pami and I made a Saturday drive around the block… way around the block. We headed to the Caldera, Jemez Springs, the Gilman Tunnels, Cuba, Abiquiu, and home, a 334-mile block. I also added a couple of images from later in the week from Arroyo Seco, NM.
The Valles Caldera is a supervolcano and will be familiar to you if you’ve watched the series “Longmire.” Walt Longmire’s cabin is located here, the caldera doubles for Wyoming. On this day we listened to the melted ice waters gently lapping in the East Fork of the Jemez River and watched a couple of coyotes hunting way off in the distance other than this it was relatively quiet.
The Gilman Tunnels were great to visit and the hike through the canyon but there were plenty of us people clogging up the views of the tunnels. If you are familiar with the latest “Lone Ranger” movie with Johnny Depp, then you have seen the tunnels.
Here’s a cell phone snap of the tunnels. Yep there are tunnels. The real beauty is the canyon.
Not much to say about this abandoned car along the Rio Puerco in Cuba, New Mexico, except that Pami spotted it as we drove by on the overpass. She insisted I should turn around, that I would like it, and I did!
Holy Trinity Church in Arroyo Seco, NM has some nice sculptural adobe details that make for nice accents catching the late afternoon light.
Always prepared to look past the obvious I spotted this detail of an exquisite little ornament placed there by a visitor.
Last but not least. Nearly all images on my website are available as prints. I’m particularly proud of this black and white print of White House Ruin made in Canyon de Chelly a couple of years ago. It is available on my website now, click on the image below to select a size option.
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.