Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Category: Photo of the Week

Mountain Snow, Vallecito Mountain. 01-25-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal. This week, mountain snow in the highcountry of New Mexico. Snow fell on the mountain peaks, accompanied by soft winter light. It was enough to find the clouds lifting and a single moment of this pink light on the mountains. Sometimes all it takes to make my day is a simple “ah!” moment like this. The same magenta glow infused the landscape and air around me.

In this area, the Rockies are called the Sangre de Cristos. This wasn’t quite a full-on Sangre sunset color but rather more of a rosé blush. Click here to see what I’m referring to.

Mountain Snow, Taos, NM
Mountain Snow, Taos NM

Here is a close-up of my favorite mountain in this range of peaks, Vallecito Mountain. After a brief moment of this light, it was gone. Then home to Pami, a nice single malt, and a warm fire. Some days it just doesn’t get any better.

Vallecito Mountain Snow, Taos New Mexico
Fresh snowfall on Vallecito Mountain, Taos New Mexico.

Flashback. An image I shot on a Saturday morning at the Taos farmer’s market in August 2008. Enjoy.

Little Taos Farmer's Market shopper
A little shopper at Taos farmer’s market.

As always, thank you for looking, and for all the comments, and compliments. G

San Cristobal Valley, Winter, Ranchos de Taos. 01-18-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal Valley. Winter is beginning to settle in, with temperatures dropping to single digits and a decent amount of snow. Not at all the amount we are used to, but we’ll take it.

Last week, on my way home, I just had to pull over to watch the shadows move through our valley. Ten years ago, I shot this same scene. It became the centerpiece in our galley and home and has been a best seller since then. I don’t think I could ever top it though I keep trying. As you can see, the foreground is overgrown, with the meadow obscured.

San Cristobal valley cottonwoods
San Cristobal Valley.

Here is the same view, one of my iconic images from ten years ago. Here is the same location in fall 2020.

San Cristobal valley cottonwoods, and aspens
San Cristobal Valley cottonwoods, and aspens

That cottonwood and willows in Arroyo Hondo, I can’t seem to pass this spot without making an image.

Arroyo Hondo cottonwood, willows.
Arroyo Hondo cottonwood and willows.

Early one morning this week I went south to the adobe mission church of Saint Francis in Ranchos de Taos. This iconic building always looks good with accents of snow and a dramatic sky. One important feature of this image… I arrived in time to get a photo before the parking area filled with cars.

Saint Francis church, Ranchos de Taos, NM
Saint Francis church, Ranchos de Taos, NM.

Below is an image from December 2010 on the road that connects the villages of Arroyo Hondo and Arroyo Seco. When I had my gallery in Arroyo Seco I drove this route most days. It’s a sweet country road with close-up views of the surrounding mountains. It is an especially beautiful, and magical drive when the hoar frost covers the trees and landscape.

Hondo, Seco Road, New Mexico
Arroyo Hondo, Arroyo Seco Road, New Mexico

If you plan to visit New Mexico this year and have a desire to improve your photographic skills, and see locations off the beaten track, look me up and consider a photography tour/workshop. I’ll look forward to meeting and working with you in some of my favorite places in the area.

As always, thank you for looking. G

Powerful Wolf Moon Rising, Colorado. 01-11-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM.

Last week, on January 5, 2023, was the 99 percent full wolf moon. I spent a fabulous full-day photo tour with Richard. When we departed Taos, we had high expectations of catching the January “wolf moon” rising over the peaks of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in southern Colorado. We did not expect the vast cloud cover that occurred midday.

As is often the case in the west, the weather changes rapidly and dramatically. There is a saying, ‘if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes”. On this day, following six hours of intermittent cloud cover everywhere except the mountains, where the sky remained full of clouds, they finally dissipated to reveal the Sangres in all their glory! Click on images to enlarge.

Wolf Moon rising over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Colorado
Wolf Moon rising over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Colorado.

In the images below, you can see what the rest of the day brought for us. The first is the Rio Grande looking north upstream to Blanca Peak.

Rio Grande ice with Blanca Peak, Colorado
Ice on the Rio Grande with the Blanca Peak Massif.

Standing on the Lobatos Bridge bridge to get this image, we could hear the ice cracking around the bridge pillars and along the cliffs. Some of the sounds were like thunderclaps deep down below. Other sounds were like the far of moaning of a person in pain.

I’m not usually one to show both versions of a shot, but I like both equally for different reasons. The black-and-white image has a more dramatic impact. The color of the grasses sprouting up amongst the volcanic rocks in the second version is pleasing and captures the softness of nature and light I experienced there.

Lobatos bridge with Blanca Peak and the Rio Grande Colorado, black and white
Lobatos bridge in black and white.
Lobatos bridge with Blanca Peak and the Rio Grande
Lobatos bridge with Blanca Peak and the Rio Grande.
Rio Grande Ice, Colorado
Rio Grande Ice, Colorado

Below, the cactus thrives in this lava rock environment.

Cactus, lava rocks rio grande gorge, colorado
Cactus, lava rocks Rio Grande, Colorado.

General Store, San Luis, Colorado
General Store, San Luis, Colorado.

I first saw the Eastdale post office many years ago when the plaque with the zip code and roof was intact. Alas, things change, and vandals continue to pilfer whatever and from wherever they can.

Eastdale, Colorado Post Office
Eastdale, Colorado US Post Office.

A few days earlier in San Cristobal, the waxing moon rose, followed by the sunset on our local peaks in the Columbine Hondo Wilderness.

Moon rise, San Cristobal, NM
Moon rise, from San Cristobal, NM.

Sunset, mountains from San Cristobal, NM
Sunset, the last light on the mountains from San Cristobal, NM.

Greetings to all my friends in California. Stay safe!

As always, thanks for looking. G

San Luis Valley, Horses, Birds, Sunset, 01-04-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal. I had a lovely time shooting in the San Luis Valley, Colorado, which always makes me smile, followed by some random images around the area this holiday season. You may recognize this scene. I visit it often on photo tours and workshops in southern Colorado.

Blanca peak and wild horses san luis valley, Colorado
Blanca Peak with wild horses in the San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Wild Horses, San Luis Valley
Wild Horses and crows.

Corraled by the creek, and then the escape. I opened the car door to get out, and the horses, surprised, jumped the fence. I missed that! The payoff came in the following two images.

Wild Horses running through fields in Colorado
Wild horses running through fields in Colorado.

Wild Horses running, San Luis Valley
Wild horses, southern Colorado.

One mild morning last week, my son Dylan and I walked through the Fred Baca Park Wetlands and Rio Fernando Park. There wasn’t a lot going on, which was very nice. I did take a camera and caught a shot of a Townsend’s Solitaire being solitary in a bare tree. A peaceful walk surrounded the muted colors of winter.

Townsend's Solitaire, Fred Baca Park Wetlands, Taos
Townsend Solitaire, Fred Baca Park Wetlands, Taos.

One afternoon a Woodhouse’s Scrub Jay and Northern Flicker, settled in our old cottonwood tree in San Cristobal.

Northern Flicker, and Western Scrub Jay San Cristobal
Woodhouse’s Scrub Jay and Northern Flicker.

Seeing out the New Year, we were watching a sunset cloud from the deck.

Sunset Cloud San Cristobal
Sunset Cloud over Taos Mountain, from San Cristobal.

Lastly, a flashback to Spring 1987, on a trip I made with four friends, Martin, Frank, Ken, and Dave. Frank and I got set up each morning and evening at our primitive campsite to capture the sunrise, or in this instance, waiting on the sunset. I took this shot of our two Rollei’s, Franks Deerdorf, and my Nikon F3.

Monument Valley cameras
Cameras set up at the Mittens, Monument Valley.

As always, Thank you for looking. Happy New Year. G

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. 12-28-2022

Greetings from San Cristobal and beyond in the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. I hope everyone had a good holiday season, and it’s not over yet!

Christmas day we made a drive to the Great Sand Dunes, NP. We had a short hike across the sandy bottoms to where the dune grass grows and the climb up begins. The soft, late afternoon light was golden, highlighting the dune grass, against a backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo, (Rocky Mountains). We had a beautiful afternoon with family and drove home under twilight skies.

Dune Grass, Great sand dunes national park
Dune Grass, Great Sand Dunes National Park

I got into some abstract shots in the dune field, promising myself another trip back there soon to wander and shoot more abstracts.

Sand dunes abstract
Sand Dunes Abstract

As always, thank you for looking, and have a Happy New Year. G

Winter Solstice Moment, San Luis Valley. 12-21-22

Greetings from San Cristobal and beyond. Today I did what I’ve done for the past number of years on the winter solstice, I drove to the San Luis Valley to my favorite barn to catch the moment the sun shines through a hole in the roof. There are many holes in the rooftop, as you can see. This one stands out this year on the solstice, (2:48, MDT). Here’s last year’s moment in black and white at the red barn.

San Luis valley red barn, winter solstice 2022
San Luis Valley, red barn on the winter solstice, December 21, 2022

Moving ever so slightly to the south the sun hits the pitch peak of the roof, perfectly.

San Luis valley red barn, winter solstice
San Luis Valley and the red barn on the winter solstice, 2022

And for those who celebrate Christmas…

Ho ho ho, Jingle Bells!!!

Southwest Christmas Greetings
Southwest Christmas Greetings.

It was a long day today so I’ll keep it short.

As always thank you for looking. I hope everyone gets what you asked for. Happy Holidays whichever one you celebrate. G

Photo Shoot, Tres Estrellas Design, Taos. 12-15-22

Greetings from San Cristobal. This week I want to share a few images created for Tres Estrellas Design, Taos. These images are from an ongoing project for their ad campaign. You may recall previous posts over the past few years. In this shoot, we worked with Lyle Wright, a Taos Pueblo artisan, model, and all-around good guy.

I planned to post images from this shoot a couple of months ago. As you know, I’ve been busy with three exhibitions, so this post was on hold. I hope these images give you a glimpse of some of the fun, creative work I get to do. I love my job.

My friends Chris and Carla have one of the most beautiful ranches out at Black Lake, NM. It makes my job fun and dare I say easy in such a great setting.

The serape that Lyle is wearing is a “Navajo Late Classic Serape” raveled and hand-spun yarns circa the 1870s. It is in pristine condition and makes a powerful statement and testament to the skills and craftsmanship 150+ years later.

Tres Estrellas Design, Black Lake photoshoot.
Tres Estrellas Design, Black Lake photoshoot.
Tres Estrellas Design, Black Lake photoshoot
Tres Estrellas Design, Black Lake photoshoot with Lyle Wright.
Tres Estrellas Design, Black Lake photoshoot with Lyle Wright
Black Lake photoshoot with Lyle Wright.

There were also moments of levity and laughter, between takes as you can see in the following shot. Lyle and Chris review a video moment on the iPhone.

Chris Ferguson and Lyle Wright
Chris Ferguson owner Tres Estrellas Design with model Lyle Wright.

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

La Luna, Las Vegas Window, Taos Gallery Show. 12-07-22

Greetings from stormy San Cristobal. I was looking forward to seeing la luna’s occultation of mars tonight. It will happen, although I doubt it will be visible in this neck of the woods with all the clouds and the chance of snow. My fingers are crossed that there will be a thinning out of the clouds at just the right time. Here’s a photo I shot in the early morning hours two years ago. If you would like to read more about this event click here. In the meantime, here’s a picture of la luna on a night when the sky was crystal clear.

La Luna, Full moon Taos New Mexico
La Luna.

Before Covid 19 I made a few trips to Las Vegas, New Mexico. Las Vegas is a fun town to spend time wandering around, loitering on park benches, visiting antique stores, and eating at some of the fun restaurants. One of my favorite things to do is window stalking with a camera.

Damascus sewing machine Las Vegas NM
Damascus Sewing Machine, Las Vegas, NM

The group show “Photography in B&W” at The Wright Contemporary in Taos continues. There was a successful and well-attended opening reception last Friday. If you happen to be in Taos, stop in and take a look.

The Wright Contemporary is located at 627 Paseo del Pueblo Sur Taos, NM 87571 575-224-0530

Below are a few more images featured in this group show.

Walking hay sticks
Walking haystack sticks.
Mohave Gas turbines
Mohave Gas, and wind turbines.
Kachinas, Monument Valley Trading Post
Kachinas, Monument Valley Trading Post, AZ
Wall sculpture Railyard Santa Fe
Wall sculpture Railyard Santa Fe, NM

As always. Thanks so much for looking. Stay well. G

Taos Mountain: In a different light. 11-30-22

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM

Taos Mountain (Pueblo Peak) has many moods. I’ve had the honor and the great pleasure of being a witness to some of the best of the mountain’s moments. Moments that thrill us all in this place we call home.

Take a look at the many moods of Taos Mountain. Click to enlarge.

Taos Valley with the Sangre de Cristo mountains
Taos Valley with sunset on .the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The Wright Contemporary – Taos

Join me this Friday December 2, 2022 – Opening at The Wright Contemporary Gallery.

“Photography in B&W”

Cerro Shadows, Cerro NM
Cerro Shadows, Cerro NM – 6.5″ x 6.5″ framed, one of ten images in the show.

December 2, 2022–January 15, 2022

Opening Friday 5-7pm at Wright Contemporary Taos, I’ll be participating in a group show titled “Photography in B&W”

The Wright Contemporary is located at 627 Paseo del Pueblo Sur Taos, NM 87571 575-224-0530

I look forward to seeing you there.

PHOTO TOUR/WORKSHOPS

I’m booking dates from now through the end of next year for private one to one photo tours and workshops. Join me here in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado and beyond. I look for to showing you around this corner of our beautiful planet.

photo_tour_clients_
Photographers on location in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

GIFT CERTIFICATES

Geraint Smith Photography Gift Certificates

Gift certificates can be applied to photo tour/workshops, prints, and editing tuition.

BOOKS

I just received a new shipment of my book, Rio Grande del Norte: An Intimate Portrait. It makes a great gift for family and friends who love northern New Mexico.

Rio Grande Del Norte Book

As always, thanks for visiting and looking.

Geraint

Turkeys, Cranes, Raven and Magpie. 11-23-22

Greetings from San Cristobal. Happy Thanksgiving. I’ll start with a repost of these turkeys wandering in the old sunflowers at the Bosque del Apache NWR a couple of years ago. Seems appropriate for this week.

Wild Turkeys, Bosque del Apache, NWR, NM
Wild Turkeys, Bosque del Apache, NWR, NM.

From the Bosque del Apache (Woods of the Apache) to the Monte Vista NWR in Colorado and an image from my book, Rio Grande del Norte: An Intimate Portrait.

Sandhill Cranes, Monte Vista NWR, Colorado
Sandhill Cranes, Monte Vista NWR, Colorado.

Back in the Bosque del Apache for the evening ‘fly in’. It is a great opportunity to capture silhouettes against the warm light of the setting sunset.

Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache, evening fly in!
Evening fly in, Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico.

At home in San Cristobal is the old cottonwood tree where the ravens and magpies congregate. On this evening there is only one of each. Often times there’s a milieu and fights over branches. I like to think these two get along or perhaps the space between them is the adjudicator.

Raven, Magpie, San Cristobal
Raven and Magpie in the old cottonwood, San Cristobal, NM.

As always thanks for looking. Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your turkeys. G