Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: New Mexico

Snow Moon, Taos Mountains. 02-08-2023.

Greetings from San Cristobal. This week the Snow Moon is rising over the mountains of Taos.

In the first image, I watched the moon rise behind the peak of Vallecito Mountain. It’s a favorite location of mine, as you may have seen from past posts. The sun was setting as the moon rose. The light on the landscape was balanced nicely, with the moon perfectly exposed.

Snow moon rising over Vallecito Mountain
Snow moon rising over Vallecito Mountain.

Fifteen minutes later the sun had set leaving the mountain and sky with a soft lighted glow.

Snow moon rising over Vallecito Mountain
After sunset, the moon rises higher over Vallecito Mountain.

Three miles south and much closer to Pueblo Peak (Taos Mountain) I was able to catch the moon in a good poistion.

Pueblo peak, Taos mountain
Pueblo peak, Taos mountain Snow Moon rise.

Generally speaking, on an outing to photograph the moon rise, I begin looking for a view point further west and then drive east, getting closer to the mountains, stopping to make more images as the moon emegeres from behind the different parks. If you want to join me on a full-moon photography adventure, please get in touch, it will be a lot of fun!

Bird of the week, the tenacious Rock Wren in the Rio Grande Gorge, Pilar, NM.

Rock Wren, Rio Grande Gorge

As always thank you for looking. G

Lunar Occultation of Mars. Night Sky, 02-01-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. Two days before, I’d heard that the lunar occultation (covering) of mars by the moon, was imminent, that it would begin and end between 9 to 11 pm MST. It turns out that here in northern NM, we would be on the periphery of the viewable range, in other words, we are too far north and will possibly, see Mars skirt the edge of the moon. As the evening went on, I became frustrated with the event, the frigid temps dwindling batteries, and cold hands. After a few trips indoors to warm up, I was ready to call it a night.

Here’s the first shot of the moon and Mars when I saw it. The moon’s direction of travel in the first image is from the lower to the upper part of the frame. Is there an up and down in space? Click to enlarge.

Lunar occultation of Mars
January 30, 2023, Lunar occultation of Mars.

After a lengthy warm-up by the woodstove cupping a glass of whisky, I went back to the camera set up on the deck, got the moon in my viewfinder, and spotted Mars about to vanish behind the moon. Mars is on the upper right edge of the moon.

Mars disappearing behind the moon
Mars disappearing behind the moon.
The Lunar occultation of mars
The Lunar occultation (covering) of Mars occurs.
Lunar occultation, Mars emerges from behind the moon
Mars emerges from behind the moon.

Here’s a close-up of the planet Mars emerging. The time frame of this event was about 20 minutes. Time on the deck from start to finish 2.5 hours.

Close-up of the moon and mars.
Close-up of the moon and mars.

You can read more about the occultation here.

Lastly this week, I have to share the birds Three crows, eyes left!

American crows cottonwood tree
Three American Crows in the old cottonwood tree, San Cristobal.

One of a very large flock of Pinyon Jays in the garden this week. They emptied the bird feed in twenty minutes. This bird was waiting for it’s opportunity to feed but it doesn’t look very enthusiastic.

Pinyon Jay one of a large flock.
Pinyon Jay.

As always, thanks for looking and for all your kind words and compliments.

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

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

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

Monument Valley, Taos, and San Luis Valleys. 11-16-2022

Greetings from San Cristobal and beyond to Mounument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

This week I was digging in the archive, searching for stock images and a selection for a local photography exhibition. I got distracted and went down the rabbit hole.
An image of the shadow event in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park last spring drew me deeper down the hole. Revisiting a photo, I tend to reminisce and then often edit it to represent more of what I felt than what I initially saw.

Click on an image to enlarge.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Utah
Shadow event last spring in Mounument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

Monument Valley and southeast Utah are one of my all-time favorite areas. I’ve been there many, many times since my first trip in 1985. It did me a world of good to revisit there, although virtually this week.

Secondly, a picture of Taos Mountain from a few years ago, bathed in the last light before the sun set. I wanted to edit it again, bringing out the details in the little creek in the foreground.

Pueblo Peak/Taos Mountain
Pueblo Peak/Taos Mountain winter.

A few days ago, Pami and I made a short drive to a favorite spot in the San Luis Valley, you know which one. First, we enjoyed the scene of hay trucks hauling half-ton bales down the narrow roads to one of the many pole barns scattered throughout the valley. A lot of the fields, and some equipment, were put to bed for winter. The pivot irrigator languished on its side wheels up, either for repair or ready to be dismantled and stored. It reminded me of a turtle on its back with legs in the air.

Pivot irrigator, San Luis Valley, CO
Pivot irrigator, San Luis Valley, CO.
Roadside tree with hay bales
Roadside tree with hay bales, San Luis, Valley CO.

The tree above is home to nesting raptors. I’ve often photographed them in this tree in this area. Of course, no trip to the valley would be complete without a visit to the old homestead.

Old homestead, San Luis Valley, Colorado
Old homestead in snow, San Luis Valley, Colorado

As always, thank you for looking. G

Lunar Eclipse, Taos Mountains, Snow. 11-09-22

Greetings from San Cristobal and beyond. This week I got up to watch the lunar eclipse. I hadn’t intended to photograph it. I’ve shot it so many times before. When I looked out the window I couldn’t resist. The sky was crystal clear, and the stars were genuinely twinkling. The “cold-hearted orb” wasn’t. It warmed up the night sky and I felt it. I got the camera set up in the front doorway, out of the cold and wind, and began shooting. The most significant impact it had on Pami and me was how three-dimensional it appeared suspended amongst the stars. It was another wonderful, lunar eclipse-watching night. I can honestly say that I will continue to get up to watch future eclipses from now on.

Click on images to enlarge and view individually.

Total lunar eclipse moon
Lunar eclipse, totality, from our front door, San Cristobal, NM

The day before the eclipse our moon rose unblemished in clear skies, visible out the dining room window, although I did go outside for this shot.

Almost full moon rising, San Cristobal
Almost full moon rising, San Cristobal.

New snow in our mountains last week.

Significant snowfall on Taos Mountains
Snowfall on Pueblo Peak, Taos Mountain in El Prado, Taos, NM
Snowfall on Pueblo Peak, Taos Mountain in El Prado
Snowfall on Pueblo Peak, Taos Mountain shot on iPhone 13 Pro Max

I had originally considered driving south to the Taos tipis for a shot. I thought of a composite instead. This is what I came up with. Here’s the image with the tipis and lunar eclipse from April 2015

Tipi and moon
Tipi and moon.

As always, thank you for looking. G