Greetings from San Cristobal and beyond. The colors last week on the Rio Chama and Abiquiu were stunning. This is a short post this week with an image of the fall colors in Abiquiu and a flashback of two tipis this week in the San Cristobal Valley in 2012.
Thank you to all who came out to see my exhibit, it has been an exciting and successful show. A very big thank you to those who purchased a work of art! Thank you!
Stay tuned for more info on my next group show in Taos.
Greetings from San Cristobal, NM, and beyond. We went to Abiquiu, Ghost Ranch, and the Rio Chama this week. We had the most changeable weather I’ve ever experienced in one eight-hour day.
If you’ve watched the movie “Silverado“ you’ll recognize this location in one of the earlier scenes. The four main characters come galloping across this landscape with a backdrop of spectacular lighting. If you haven’t seen the movie join me on a photo tour/workshop and I’ll take you out this way. On this day we were on an outing with friends Ron and Monica. It snowed, rained, and hailed with intermittent blue skies and sunshine, making for some dramatic images.
Returning home from Ghost Ranch we pulled over for a second time during the day. We watched it snow over the hills and Rio Chama as it winds and decides its way through to Abiquiu. The colors were astounding and the moisture made the air come alive.
My solo exhibition at Bareiss Gallery here in Taos continues through October 31, 2022. The gallery will be open 9 – 2 pm on weekdays. I’ll be there on Saturday, October 29, or by appointment. Come and visit. It will be great to meet you. If you purchased a piece of work in the show, thank you so much and please come by on Sunday, October 30, or Monday, October 31 to pick it up your new acquisition.
Bareiss Gallery is located at: 15 State Rd 150 Taos, NM 575-776-2284
Shoot! In the James Bond movie, Skyfall, Naomi Harris who plays Moneypenny, is told by ‘M’ to take the shot. Of course, she hits Bond, and he survives. That’s how it goes in movies. It’s not a bad motto for this photographer as the title suggests, shoot it because it’s there! So here are a few favorites from the ‘shoot it because it’s there’ category.
This truck is parked in Questa just north of Taos. In the color version, the vehicle is yellow. I much prefer the image in black and white.
Below, I caught some early morning shadows at the Saint Francis Church on the High Road to Taos.
Out for a morning coffee, where even the mundane is worth a shot for me.
I shot this image of a line of box springs that created a fence around a property in Elizabethtown on the Enchanted Circle Drive in the mountains of northern NM.
Lunch at an upstairs cafe on the Santa Fe Plaza above the outdoor diners below.
Greetings from San Cristobal, the place for rainbows this week.
The skies turned almost black this week and brought more much-needed rain. We’ll take it! Being prepared for rainbows with one eye on the western sky, I saw a small opening in the clouds for the sun to work its magic on the landscape. It was still raining enough to get wet and just the right amount to make this rainbow happen. I thoroughly enjoyed standing out in the light and rain for ten minutes. Who doesn’t love rainbows?
Earlier this year, I met up with my friend Larry for a trip to Abiquiu. I hauled an elk skull and antlers in the back of my 4 Runner. It is large and just fitted in there. I wanted to share a photo opportunity with Larry and create a Georgia O’Keeffe-inspired image. I chose to make an image of what Georgia may have encountered when she came across the remains before she sketched and painted them.
The artist who created this outdoor art installation has been parked for a couple of weeks along the roadside in El Prado. On this day, I noticed that the painting of Jesus featured prominently front and center. He is juxtaposed with an alien and spaceship, accompanied by artworks of native American icons, two more dead guys, musicians Jerry Garcia and Jim Morrison, and a bevy of buxom women. Hallelujah!
Here’s an image of the fox that visited a few weeks ago. He was moving quickly, and the picture is blurry though it does depict the fleeting moment it happened despite being unable to grab the camera more rapidly.
As always, I hope you enjoyed this week’s tour around the block, thank you for looking. G
Greetings from a blustery and chilly afternoon in San Cristobal, NM
We begin in Abiquiu along the banks of the Rio Chama underneath a cottonwood tree, its branches extending over the red willows to the river itself. Cerrito Blanco (butte) just north of the village of Abiquiu makes a natural focal point framed by a large tree limb.
Approximately four hours south is the Bosque del Apache (Woods of the Apache) NWR. This world-renowned National Wildlife Refuge is the wintering grounds for thousands of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese. Areas of the refuge are flooded to create marches which attract many more birds and waterfowl. The refuge is open year-round, but if you want to see it at its best then plan to visit between November and January.
Besides the winged ones, the refuge is teeming with other wildlife. Bobcats, coyotes, elk, mountain lions, (I’ve yet to catch a glimpse of one), javelina, snakes, and this mule deer with many of its cousins!
Below is one of numerous Great Blue Herons that frequent the area. Each bird seems almost territorial over its pond. I pretty much guarantee this bird will be here at this time, on this pond every morning, patiently waiting and watching. Patience and steadfastness are traits I like to aspire to. I think I’ve got the patience factor down.
Sandhill Cranes are the biggest attraction at the refuge. Here at sunset visitors wait for the fly-in when the cranes land in the marshes to settle in for the night, safe from predators. In the morning at sunrise, they lift off in small groups and take to the skies bound for the pastures and cornfields up and down the refuge and the nearby Rio Grande. It’s quite a spectacular sight. If you want to be truly amazed, be sure to catch the thousand upon thousands of snow geese lift off simultaneously at sunrise. Here’s a short video I shot a couple of years ago. Pardon the ad at the beginning. There are some more images from the Bosque del Apache here.
These birds watch and call to their family members as they fly in.
Before dawn is the time I like best on one of the loop drives. While all the visitors are watching the snow geese and cranes fly out, I enjoy the rest of the refuge pretty much to myself. I’ve watched the lift-off many times. I also enjoy the refuge throughout other times of the day. When the many photographers and crowds are gone for lunch in nearby San Antonio and Socorro, again I enjoy the refuge mostly to myself. I prefer a picnic and solitude, in the presence of raptors perched high up looking for their lunch below.
The tree in the center is a popular roost for bald eagles. There’s one in the tree in this photo.
Every time I go to town I pass this scene and often make an image documenting it at various times of day and in different seasons. It’s definitely a favorite on the drive, and I always slow down for a look. Sorry to all the other drivers rushing to or from work!
I posted a few images of this mini church from the Ghost Ranch movie set before. In the second image, I got an angle from the front with the door open, revealing the cross on the sanctuary wall. I added the candlelight for effect, after all, it is a movie set. I had fun playing in Photoshop® this week.
Pami and I made a short trip out to Abiquiu Lake last weekend. I’m grateful for all the photographer clients I was able to introduce to this area over the last couple of months. So after a dozen or so visits to Abiquiu, it was time for a personal day out.
Check out these petroglyph panels along the Rio Grande, in Velarde, NM. My particular favorite is the “pink panther” lower left!
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.
I went to visit the Osprey a couple of times on tours over the last few weeks. This is the mom and three chicks. They are growing healthy and wise. Dad was off in the top of an old cottonwood tree, striking a stately pose and keeping a watchful eye on things. The second image below is a close-up.
A photo tour last week took us to Las Vegas, Fort Union National Monument, and Wagon Mound, all stops on the Santa Fe Trail. I’ve been to the fort many times. This time, my client Michael, and I had the place to ourselves. There were some park service employees rebuilding and fortifying the walls. They don’t count. And no rattlesnakes this time either!
I pulled this image of the American Bison a while back. I thought it would make a nice effect to overlay it on a petroglyph panel. The petroglyphs are in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The animals depicted are deer and bighorn sheep.
We’ve had some fabulous storms during this summer’s monsoon season, and along with it, some incredible lightning shows. Here’s one from the deck a short while ago. I don’t have to go far for a view and dramatic weather. Some of the strikes got so close my hair stood on end. My wife, Pami said I started to glow.
From fog in the Arroyo Hondo Valley to a full moon rise over Taos Mountain. From a photo tour/workshop in Abiquiu and the Rio Chama Valley to a large cloud over the Taos Valley, Taos Mountain, and the Rio Grande Gorge.
It’s been all go for the last month with tours. I have a few more tours coming up and then a short break for a couple of days following up on some personal work. I’m grateful for the photography tours and workshops and the wonderful photography clients I get to work with.
In the first two photos, I got up and out early to shoot the moon setting. Well, it set, right into a big bank of fog. So I shot the fog lifting in the Arroyo Hondo Valley just south of where I intended to catch the moon. Fog is a rare occurrence in this area, but we’ve had so much rain recently that it was only a matter of time until it filled the valleys.
In the following shot, I sat out on the deck waiting for the nearly full moon to appear from behind Taos Mountain. When it did, it had a pinkish hue to it from the fire smoke in the atmosphere. It was still beautiful nonetheless.
The cloud below formed very quickly and filled the sky from Taos to the west of the Rio Grande Gorge. I had to shoot three frames and stitch them together to capture the immense size. I liked the corkscrew-looking form. I’d not seen one like it before.
Lastly, a fun panorama shot at the Rio Chama overlook in Abiquiu with William, a client on a cross-country road trip who stopped in Taos and joined me for a three-day photo tour.
A little bit of this and a little bit of that, from Ranchos de Taos, Taos Ski Valley, Ghost Ranch, Colorado, and the deck in San Cristobal.
I made this image of the ubiquitous blue window and shutters with hollyhocks in Ranchos de Taos. Hollyhocks are in abundance all around Taos this summer including the grounds of the famous St. Francis Church across the street from this scene.
We made a hike to the waterfall and streams coursing through the Taos Ski Valley to check out the wildflowers. Not a very long hike either. This little grouping of columbine comes back every year in the same spot. You can probably find a similar image from a previous year on my website.
We stopped in Ghost Ranch last week and saw that bits and bobs of a movie set were still standing. They’d even moved a dead tree that had fallen down a few years ago elsewhere to the middle of the set. (Thank you Mark Collins for the inspiration). We opened the doors and went inside. The light streaming through the holes made it sort of magical in a way. Thanks to the movie makers also.
Last week I spent three days working with a client from New York during his month-long cross-country road trip. One of the days was spent in Abiquiu and the Rio Chama Valley chasing storms, followed by a day in the Rio Grande Gorge and along the High Road to Taos. Our final day was spent crisscrossing the San Luis Valley photographing abandoned farmhouses, barns, and this old bridge.
The week ended back at home with a nice visual from the deck.