Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

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Wolf Moon Rise, Truchas, Red Barn, Horses. 01-31-2024.

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, last week’s Wolf Moon rising over the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Truchas, the red barn, and snow horses.

As I mentioned last week, I was heading out to capture the wolf moon rising. The moon’s appearance lasted about ten minutes between the fast-moving clouds. I made several images during that time, and the scene below was fleeting as the sun came and went behind the clouds. I got lucky. I came away with three pictures where the elements came together. I’ll take what I can get from what presents itself.

Wolf moon rising, Arroyo Seco, NM
Wolf Moon rising, Arroyo Seco, NM

And a close-up of when I first spotted the moon from the highway heading home.

Wolf moon rising, Arroyo Seco, NM
A break in the clouds.

Read more about moons here.

I reworked this image for note cards and publication. Ansel Adams shot this scene in the 1950’s. A couple of months ago it was lit up with Xmas lights. You can still see some in this shat nailed to the crosses. It’s nice to its longevity at this location and longer still before Ansel made his iconic image.

Cross in Truchas New Mexico
Truchas, NM.

You know how attached I am to this location with the red barn. Every time I visit I see more dilapidation with new spaces for the wind to pass through. It’s beginning to corkscrew but I’m confident that the gaps will prevent the building from acting like a sail on the plain!

Red Barn in lack and white
Red barn in black and white.
Red Barn in in color
Red barn in color.

One more image I reworked this week for note cards, prints, and publication. This image has graced many a page in local magazines. Apples are the key to getting horses to come running.

Horses on the High Road to Taos
Horses on the High Road to Taos.

As always, thanks for looking. Have a great week. G

White Homestead, Mountain Peak, Shutters. 01-24-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week a white homestead in Colorado, a mountain peak, some old shutters, and a hiking trail I look forward to being on in a couple of weeks.

I love this stand alone scene near the Great Sandunes in southern Colorado. Join me on a photo tour/workshop and I’ll take you there. Winter or any other seeson here doesn’t disappoint.

White homestead ruin Colorado
White homestead in a white field, Colorado.

Take a look here at another pictuer of this homestead. There are many of these old and abandoned homesteads in the San Luis Valley.

Vallecito Mountain is a favorite peak in the southern Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. I shot this on a drive into Taos yesterday. I can’t complain about the commute or the scenery. There’s a nearly full (98%) moon tonight. If the clouds lift I’m going to head out and get some shots of the Wolf Moon rising above this peak. I hope you get to see it where you are.

Vallecito Mountain Light
Vallecito Mountain Light.

I came across this image below by chance. It’s from many years ago. I’m certain they are gone now but I will look next time that I’m in Ranchos de Taos. I shot them even longer ago in the 1980’s. After living in one place for so long, I get to see, and often document the changes. My earlier original image was shot on Kodachrome in 1989.

Ranchos de Taos wooden shuttters
Wooden Shutters, Ranchos de Taos.

In about two weeks, snow and mud permitting, I’ll be hiking up here above our village. The mountain in the distance, with snow, is Taos Mountain, and the views to the west are perfect for watching a sunset. The area burned in May 1996. You can see that regrowth is slow. Scrub oak is resilient and prolific so these hills turn many shades of rust in the autumn.

San Cristobal ridge road
The ridge road in San Cristobal.

As always thank you for looking, and for all the well wishes for my right foot. It has healed faster that the left one did, for that I am grateful. I promise to shut up about it from now on and only post pictures from my hikes and trips with my two new feet. Best wishes. G

San Luis, A Beautiful Sunday Drive, 12-06-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week a Sunday Drive around the San Luis Valley.

Well, I’m able to walk upright and without a scooter or crutches now! I feel good about that.

It was a beautiful sunny day last Sunday, with snow on the peaks and intermittent cloud cover, so we drove north to San Luis in Colorado and made a leisurely drive home, visiting some of the usual locations, which I’m sure you will recognize.

The shrine of the stations of the cross is situated on a mesa above the town of San Luis, reputed to be the oldest town in Colorado. The sign, made out of white-washed rocks, says so!

In this shot, I liked the juxtaposition of the cell phone and communication towers. Perhaps a direct line to the universe?

Stations of the cross shrine, and cell towers, sunday drive to San Luis Colorado
Stations of the cross shrine, and cell towers, San Luis Colorado.

The next stop on our Sunday drive route was the old homestead, photographed by me a hundred times. One day I’m sure I’ll have the last photo of this building standing before its final demise.

San Luis valley homestead
San Luis Valley Homestead.

On the road a sign proclaiming “Jesus 2024” with what appears to be the faded colors of a Ukrainian flag. I didn’t know Jesus was running in the upcoming election. May the best man win.

Jesus is running 2024 Sunday drive San Luis CO
Jesus is running in 2024.

A seasonal creek running north-south through the lower valley. If you zoom in you can just make out the 14,000+ foot peaks of the Blanca massif.

Ice, San Luis valley, Colorado
Ice on a seasonal creek, San Luis Valley, Colorado.

The crows are back congregating every morning in our mostly dead cottonwood tree. I shot this image on Saturday. I’m happy to be up and fairly mobile and getting some fresh images again.

American crows, San Cristobal cottonwood tree
American Crows.

I do love a Sunday drive with no agenda attached.

As always thanks for looking and for all the well wishes. G.

Cottonwood Colors. Random Black and Whites. 10-25-2023.

Greetings from San Cristobal. This week, my favorite cottonwood tree in all the state, and random black and whites on the road in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

I think the colors on this cottonwood peaked this morning. I never tire of seeing it whenever I commute to or from Taos, in all seasons.

Cottonwood tree, Arroyo Hondo, NM
Arroyo Hondo, NM.

It’s that time of year when shadows return and traverse the adobe walls of the Saint Francis Church in Ranchos de Taos.

Shadows at Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos.
Shadows at Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos.

And again in an alleyway in Dixon, NM.

Alleyway and shadows, Dixon, NM
Alleyway and Shadows, Dixon, NM.

Simplicity in the shadows, San Jose de Gracia, de Las Trampas, on the High Road to Taos.

San Jose de Gracia, Las Trampas, NM
San Jose de Gracia, Las Trampas, NM.

The light and the darkness.

San Jose de Gracia, Las Trampas, NM
Under the portal, Las Trampas, NM.

The church of San Jose de Gracia in Las Trampas is one of my favorite stops on the High Road to Taos. I’ve made many trips there over the years. Last week I watched a number tourists pull over, wind down their windows and take a glance or a quick cellphone photo and immediately drive off. Sometimes I wonder what it’s like being a tourist snap-glancing their way around the planet?

Las Trampas church, on the high road to Taos
Adobe, Las Trampas Church, on the High Road to Taos.

In the following image I cut out any distractions. Unlike this image where the moon completed the shot.

On the High Road to Taos, NM
On the High Road to Taos, NM.

A few days ago I was on the road in another favorite location, on the state line in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

Abandoned adobe, Costilla, NM
Abandoned adobe, Costilla, NM.

Click on the image to expand.

Abandoned homestead, Colorado.
Abandoned homestead and potatoe bunker, Colorado.

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

Crested Butte, High Country Colorado, 10-04-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week some images from a trip to Crested Butte in the high country of Colorado.

Last week, I mentioned a trip around the block, so this week we made a trip to the area around Crested Butte, in Colorado. We went for the fall color and also wanted to take a trip with our sweet girl, Coco, our labradoodle. It was a wonderful road trip, and we observed our 13-year-old in the back seat, always in the rearview mirror, and, more importantly, enjoying the great outdoors. She was a delight to travel with, and we’ll look forward to doing it again soon.

Click on images to enlarge.

Kebler Pass, Aspens, near Crested Butte, Colorado
Aspens, Kebler Pass, Colorado.

Here’s another view of the scene above, shot in 2012.

Ohio Creek Road and Pass, Colorado
Ohio Creek Road and Pass, Colorado.
Doodle family road trip, Colorado.
Doodle family road trip, Colorado.

Just before we left on our trip to Crested Butte, we heard, along with the world, that someone had cut down the famous sycamore tree at Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. It is a sad state of affairs, and sickening that one or two people could upset so many people by killing the famous long-lived tree, over 300 years old, featured in movies, documentaries, and millions of personal photos. When I came across the tree in the pictures below, I wanted to make an homage to lone trees everywhere. I shot it from three different viewpoints and it does appear to be growing up from the center of the rock formation.

Lone Tree at Lone Tree Gulch, Colorado.
Lone Tree at Lone Tree Gulch, Colorado.
Lone Tree at Lone Tree Gulch, Colorado.
Lone Tree at Lone Tree Gulch, Colorado.
Lone Tree at Lone Tree Gulch, Colorado.
Lone Tree at Lone Tree Gulch, Colorado.

After returning from Crested Butte, I wanted more of the autumn colors, so my son Dylan and I hiked up the “Italianos Trail” from the Rio Hondo Canyon. As you know, I had foot surgery earlier this year so I wanted to check out my hiking abilities. I used hiking poles for the first time, and things went very well.
We stopped en route to take some pictures. I only brought my iPhone along, but you know what they say, “The best camera is the one you have with you”.

Here are a couple of images of the Italianos Creek.

Italianos Creek and trail
Italianos Creek and trail, NM.
Close up of Italianos Creek and trail
Close-up of Italianos Creek.

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

Ohio Creek Road, Colorado
Ohio Creek Road, Colorado.
Paradise Divide, Colorado
Paradise Divide, Colorado.

Grandeur Of Taos Mountain Storm. 09-19-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, New Mexico. This week, the grandeur of Taos Mountain. The light, the storm, and the mountain’s ever-present beauty drew me here. It is why I stayed and continue to marvel at its grandeur. Whenever I commute to Taos, about 15 miles south, there is always something stunning to see that inspires me to stop and take a picture. Maybe even a nasty hail storm, although wild and scary to drive through, has its natural beauty.

Storm across the meadow to Taos Mountain
Storm across the meadow to Taos Mountain, (Pueblo Peak).

A few minutes after stopping to take the image below, I arrived home to the roads covered in fingernail-size hail. Nothing like the golf ball hail other places receive but plenty big enough to strafe the trees and plants.

Moisture is a good thing despite the ferocious way it arrives.

Storm across the Taos Plateau
An imminent storm across the Taos Plateau.
Hail, San Cristobal
Hail, San Cristobal.

It was about an inch and like riding on marbles.

If you happen to be in Taos this fall check out the new line of cards at Cids Food Market or prints and cards at Fine Art New Mexico online and in Arroyo Seco.

You can always order through me.

As always thanks for looking and all the compliments and comments. G

Super, Blue Moon Rise, San Cristobal, NM 09-06-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week the Super, Blue Moon Rise from the deck at home in San Cristobal. I said I would share the moon rise if the skies were clear. They cooperated fully, with the thin veil of clouds adding an air of mystery.

I’ll begin with the first glow I saw about five minutes before the moon appeared. It gave me time to adjust my settings and anticipate the next few shots.

Super Blue moon rise San Cristobal
Super Blue Moon Rise San Cristobal, NM

Full moon rising over the ridge San Cristobal
The full moon’s appearance over the foothills.

Super Blue moon rising San Cristobal
Moon and trees on the ridge.

Full moon over the ridge San Cristobal
Super, Blue moon rise, in all its glory.

Of course, every moon rise is a sight to see. I am always excited as the moon clears the mountains where we live. Also, there is nothing like having a bright moon that you can drive with your headlights off and see the driveway ahead and the whole valley beyond lit up. The upside is that it’s like daylight in the house, so no nightlights are needed. The downside, sleep may be elusive on such a night.

Full Moon.

The next full moon will be the Harvest Moon on September 29. Here’s a Harvest Moon nearly full with a rainbow for added glory. Read more here about the Super Blue Moon.

As always, thanks for looking and for all the comments and compliments. Have a great week. G

Rio Grande Gorge, Black, White, And Color. 02-08-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week the Rio Grande Gorge, from its beginning to where it cuts deep into the canyon of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

If you look closely, you can see the cliffs of the Rio Grande gorge uplifting left of center. I refer to this spot as where the river meets the rift. From this point, the river travels south, never leaving the Rio Grande Gorge. At the deepest point, the river is over eight hundred feet below the canyon rim.

The Rio Grande where the gorge begins, Colorado
The Rio Grande where the gorge begins, Colorado.

Below is a view of Ute Mountain with the Rio Grande as it makes its way through the Wild and Scenic Rivers Recreation Area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The sky and darkness in the canyon, with only the river and Ute Mountain, highlighted, made for a dramatic image. Click here for another view.

Ute Mountain with the Rio Grande gorge in the Wild Rivers Recreation Area
Ute Mountain with the Rio Grande Gorge.

Heading home on a photo tour with Scott last week, I couldn’t resist another picture of the red barn in the San Luis Valley. The barn, accompanied by a brooding sky, called for a black-and-white photo. I know the barn won’t be standing for much longer. It’s already losing its siding and beginning to corkscrew. With the high winds making direct hits and randomly carting off planks of wood across plains, more and more light gets through the building. In the background are a large field of potato plants and a center-pivot irrigation machine.

Red Barn, San Luis Valley, Colorado
Red Barn, San Luis Valley, Colorado.

As always, thank you for looking. Have a great week. G

Reflections Revisited, Ranchos de Taos. 05-12-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, New Mexico. This week I’m revisiting reflections at the Saint Francis adobe mission church in Ranchos de Taos. In 2005 and 2006, I began making images of the building and its architectural details in the parking lot rain puddles, and snow melt. Over the years, I’ve posted many such images. What surprised me the most was the time frame and dates when I began this project.

Below are some of my current favorites. Enjoy!

Saint Francis reflections, Ranchos de Taos
Saint Francis reflections, Ranchos de Taos, NM

Getting in close…

San Francisco de Asis Church
San Francisco de Asis Church reflections.

… and closer still.

Saint Francis Church reflecting in puddle with rocks
Church of Saint Francis reflecting in a puddle with rocks.

The puddle below is about 3-4 feet wide. I put the camera on the ground, and because the mud had settled, there was a perfect mirror image of the west side of the building.

West elevation Saint Francis, reflecting in a large snow melt puddle
West elevation Saint Francis, reflecting in a snow melt puddle.

Saint Francis, in snow melt puddle.
Saint Francis, in a snow melt puddle.

Saint Francis, reflections in rain puddle.
Saint Francis, reflections in a rain puddle.

Saint Francis, archway, summer reflections
Saint Francis, archway, summertime.

I used the image below in 2009 on a 5×7 postcard to promote my photo tour/workshops. The reflections made the image. I distributed it around town, and business took off.

Saint Francis, twilight.
Saint Francis, twilight.

Saint Francis, archway, night time
Saint Francis, and archway at twilight.

I shot this image in 1988 before I sold my 1958 VW Beetle. I wish I still owned it. It served as a prop in many of my images. The Beetle’s organic shape worked well with the organic shapes on this building.

Saint Francis, in a VW Beetle mirror.
Saint Francis, in my 1958 VW Beetle mirror.

There’s a window across the street that had a lace filagree curtain. One of my favorite shots.

Saint Francis, window lace
Saint Francis, window lace.

Happenstance plays a big part in my photography. This Prius was ideally parked.

Saint Francis in the rear of an Toyota Prius
Saint Francis in the rear of a Toyota Prius.

Below is the same 3-4 feet puddle as above. I like to return to familiar locations frequently.

Saint Francis in a puddle in parking lot
Saint Francis in a parking lot puddle.

Lastly, not a reflection but many little lenses. What would you call it? I shot it in 2010 for inclusion in a juried exhibit on the Saint Francis Church, entitled “A Humble Masterpiece”. I printed the image in black and white.

Saint Francis in raindrops
Saint Francis in raindrops.

Are you planning a summer, fall, or winter trip to New Mexico? Check out my tour/workshop page. I’ll introduce you to the Saint Francis Mission Church in Ranchos de Taos.

As always, thanks for looking. Have a great week. G

Planets, Crescent Moon, Sunset Clouds. 06-28-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal. On the evening of June 21, the summer solstice, the planets Venus and Mars showed up with the crescent Moon anchored by the sunset clouds. The beauty of this world is just outside the door and perfectly poised for our viewing pleasure. Franz Kafka put it more eloquently than I did.

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Planets, Venus, Crescent moon
Crescent Moon and Venus.

Zoom in on this second shot to see planet Mars on the upper left edge of the picture. I didn’t see it with my eyes or through the lens at first. It was a pleasant surprise when it magically appeared (pardon me) out of the blue.

Planets, Venus, Mars, Crescent moon
Planets, Venus, Mars, and Crescent Moon.

Sometimes I poke my camera through a window, a window in a building that I’ve passed many times, and find a surprise before me. A broken window helped me access this scene in a gas station on US 285 in Colorado. It reminds me of the upright piano in my grandparent’s house where I lived growing up in Wales. Our upright piano was more ornate, with two candle holders on either side. I was always encouraged to tap on the keys. My grandparents were very tolerant. I never did learn to play the piano.

Piano room,
Piano room.

This week, just outside the back door, the daylilies are blooming. On the other side of the house, outside the front door, the Apache plume has filled out and glistens in the morning sun. Here’s a shot of the Apache Plume in the afternoon rain.

day lily SC
Daylily shot and edited on an iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Looking outwards or looking inward, there’s plenty to discover. I find sitting still offers me a perspective that suits me well, plus I’m good at spending time doing absolutely nothing. Ask my wife!

As always, thanks for looking. G