Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: Northern New Mexico

Black Mesa, Rainbow, And Walking Rain. 08-16-2023.

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week a moonrise over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Black Mesa, the Capilla de la Sagrado Familia, and the iconic cemetery, near San Ildefonso Pueblo, NM.

Black mesa and Capilla de la Sagrado Familia, NM
Black mesa and Capilla de la Sagrado Familia, NM.

Rainbows have been intermittent this summer but they have been spectacular. Here’s one of my favorite scenes taken in El Prado with cattle and Taos Mountain (Pueblo Peak).

Rainbows in El Prado with Taos Mountain, (Pueblo Peak)
Rainbows in El Prado with Taos Mountain, (Pueblo Peak).

Walking Rain is a spiritual experience in my mind. If you visit New Mexico, primarily in the summer months, you will more than likely, see this phenomenon for yourself. Here are two shots I like.

Walking Rain across the plateau west of Taos
Walking Rain (virga) at sunset across the plateau west of Taos.

I also call walking rain, rain curtains. It’s technically called Virga rain. Check it out over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, New Mexico.

Walking rain, rain curtain, Taos mountains
Walking rain, rain curtain, Taos mountains.
Walking rain, rain curtain, Taos mountains close up.
A close-up in the walking rain, in the rain curtain!

I hope you are enjoying my posts. Please feel free to share with your family and friends.

As always, thank you for looking. G.

On The Road, New Mexico, And Colorado. 08-09-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week on the road in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. I spent a couple of days photo trekking last week discovering new sights and sites with longtime friend, and fellow trekker Ron. There are always new images waiting for us in familiar locations.

If you are planning to visit New Mexico this fall, check out my photo tour/workshops. Lets get started.

On the road at Saint Francis church
Saint Francis Church with hollyhocks.
Saint Francis  church door
Door number seven, Saint Francis Church door, Ranchos de Taos.
Building, Cerro NM
Building in Cerro, NM.
Plant growing out of a building on the road in Dixon NM
Plant growing out of a building crack, Dixon NM
Street markings
Street parking markings.
Woodpile, on the road in Truchas, NM
Woodpile and corrugated steel roof, Truchas, NM.
Building with TV antenna, Truchas, NM
Building with TV antenna, Truchas, NM.
Penitente Morada, Truchas, NM
Penitente Morada, Truchas, NM.
Trailer, Colorado
Trailer, southern Colorado.
Chevrolet 1946 Fleetline, Garcia Colorado
Chevrolet 1946 Fleetline, Garcia Colorado.

As always, thank you for looking. 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

Hollyhocks And Sinners. Don’t Shoot The Messenger. 07-26-2023.

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week some hollyhocks at the Saint Francis Church in Ranchos de Taos and a place where god has his eye on you, Farmington, NM.

The hollyhocks are standing tall at numerous locations around Taos. Though not as plentiful this year as in previous years, they remain the iconic summer flowers of Taos.

I shot the image below with a 3-megapixel Nikon 990 camera 20 years ago, in 2003, at the Taos Book Store on Kit Carson Road-a little trip down memory lane for me.

Hollyhock, Taos, NM
Hollyhock in Taos, NM.

The two icons that evoke the high desert southwest are the hollyhock with an adobe building. I made the image below of the Saint Francis Church Plaza with hollyhocks in 2011. Throw in some blue and you have this picture.

Hollyhocks, at the Saint Francis church, Ranchos de Taos, NM
Saint Francis Plaza, Ranchos de Taos, NM.

Let’s go to Farmington, NM, in complete contrast to the scenes above. I still aspire to editorial photography. I’m only the messenger so please don’t shoot me.

In the first image, Jesus, who looks a lot like a young Charles Bronson, is working hard for us!

Jesus sign in Farmington, NM
A sign in Farmington, NM.

There is farming in and around Farmington. There’s a lot more of the oil and gas industry there, employing many gentlemen, who God will want to meet after they die. To me, the message here is, live life, have fun, and party.

Farmington, New Mexico, Strip Joint
“Gentlemen’s” Club, Farmington, New Mexico.
Farmington, New Mexico, Gentleman's Club
“Gentleman’s Club” Farmington, NM.

I do like the light rays traversing the sky, highlighting the sign and the club.

As always, thanks for looking. See you next week. G

Taos Pueblo Visit. On A Street Corner. 07-19-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week a brief visit to the Taos Pueblo, the heart and soul of Taos, New Mexico, followed by two pieces from the “Intersections” series.

Standing the shade of the ramada/drying racks with a coolish breeze was pleasant, watching the as my guest took photos.

Click on the photos to enlarge.

Taos Pueblo ramada shade
Taos Pueblo in the shade under the ramada.

Taos Pueblo Mission Church of San Geronimo. The building had just received a new coat of adobe mud. Here is a look at the Pueblo North House in snow, BC (before covid).

Taos Pueblo Mission church of San Geronimo
Taos Pueblo Mission church of (St. Jerome), San Geronimo.

Below are two of the latest images from my ongoing, “Intersections” series. These vistas are vanishing fast. Every time I come across a unique location I make a panoramic image depicting its current status. In the first image, about a mile from our home, our little “Valley Store” on the corner of Camino del Medio and Flora Dr. is closed now. There is one consolation, the trailer is not for sale or rent, so it may be around for quite some time. Eventually, who knows what will happen? I think it is the uncertain future of the old places that intrigues me most. I think it’s important to document such scenes and only wish I’d begun sooner.

San Cristobal Valley Store.
Valley Store, San Cristobal.

Capilla de San Acacio, Road 15 and Road 12, near San Luis, Colorado. The resident greeter wandered up to say hello. If you look closely you can see him heading towards me in the first frame on the left and the last but one frame directly in front of me. It wasn’t much of a greeting. He walked around behind me, gave me the once over, and left the scene.

Old San Acacio, Colorado
Old San Acacio, Colorado.

As always, thank you for looking. 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

In The Garden This Week. 06-07-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal. This week the garden.

The internet and phones have been down for the last three days after a contractor severed a fiber optic line in Taos. They still remain a bit dodgy. I could go into it further but I’d rather move quickly to get this week’s post online while I have a connection.

Instead of spending time on my phone, online, and on social media over the last few “down” days, I spent time amongst the flowers in our garden.

Here are some of the blooms and one orchid not in the garden. All shot on the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Prints available.

Enjoy.

Iris in the garden
Iris with raindrops.
Cosmos
Cosmos.
Marigold in the garden
Marigold.
Dahlia
Dahlia.
Columbine
Columbine.
Day Lillies
Day Lillies.
Orchid
Orchid.

As always, thank you for looking. G

Rainbow, Mountain Clouds, Bighorn Sheep. 05-31-2023.

Greetings from San Cristobal, the valley, and beyond. This week a fleeting rainbow makes an appearance. The morphing mountain clouds put on a show. Bighorn sheep show off their stature, and a sweet little dove preens itself in the garden.

The storms here move quickly. They say the best camera is the one you have on you. In this instance, it was the iPhone. I was sure to get as many shots as possible before popping into the house to get the big Sony. By the time I got back outside, the rainbow had vanished. The clouds still looked stunning, but those were gone very soon after. Sometimes I think nature has a way of taunting us or at least attempt’s to keep us alert and on our toes. Not from the deck this time but a few steps into the meadow.

Mountain Rainbow, San Cristobal, NM
Mountain Rainbow, San Cristobal, NM.

The clouds spent the morning building into the afternoon canyon and ridge formations. Changes occur in no time at all. As they say in the Southwest, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” I have plenty of time to look and time to stare, which reminds me of a poem my friend Martin would occasionally recite.

Taos Mountain clouds
Taos Mountain clouds.

Leisure.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


William Henry Davies

Building storm clouds
Morphing clouds, San Cristobal.

A couple of days later, this pastoral evening scene happened. I could watch it from my deck chair. I had to move to get this photo, but not that much.

Taos Mountain clouds
Clouds over the north flanks of Taos Mountain.

I’d heard reports of these three a week before this photo. I was surprised to see them on my drive through the canyon last week. The cold weather we have experienced for a few weeks made them stay put. They have fresh grass and a dirt mound, with a fortress-like view, in all directions. They weren’t bothered by me or others but seemed to enjoy the company and attention.

Bighorn Sheep, Rio Grande Gorge Rim trail
Bighorn Sheep, Rio Grande Gorge Rim Trail.

I know they are an introduced species, and we have both Eurasian-collared Doves and Mourning Doves in the garden. This one immigrant put on a show last week on the fence post. I enjoyed watching it.

Eurasian-collared Dove
Eurasian-collared Dove preening itself.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post. As always thanks for looking. See you next week. G

Western Tanager, Arroyo Hondo Cottonwood. 05-24-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal and beyond. Western Tanagers have frequented our garden every year in the past. I have never seen so many all at once as I have this year. Yesterday I had to cut them off from the suet. The Western Tanagers frenzy feeding, and flying around erratically bumping into the windows bringing to mind images of drunken sailors. During a respite, I spotted this little guy after he’d wiped his beak clean of the suet on the bark of the flowering pear tree.

Western Tanager bird
Western Tanager.

Here’s a list of birds in the garden over three days this week.

Birds 05-20/21/22-2023

Cassin’s Finch
Spotted Towhee
Pine Siskin
Black-headed Grosbeak
European Starling
Evening Grosbeak
Common Raven
Pinyon Jay
Black-billed Magpie
Eurasian Collared Dove
American Robin
Western Tanager
White-breasted Nuthatch
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
American Crow
House Sparrow
Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay
Canyon Towhee
Bullock’s Oriole
House Finch
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (the app ID’d it three times but not confirmed).
Common Grackle. (Could be the crow with a sore throat).

Onward!

Pueblo Peak (Taos Mountain) has been and always will be my muse. It is what has kept me drawn to the area I call home. My other muse is my version of “Monet’s Haystacks Series”… the cottonwood tree and red willows growing along an acequia in Arroyo Hondo, a hamlet just south of San Cristobal.

I shot this image a few days ago on May 21, 2023. The second image was taken on May 21, 2022

Arroyo Hondo Cottonwood and willows
Cottonwood and willows along the acequia, Arroyo Hondo.
Arroyo Hondo Cottonwood willows
Arroyo Hondo cottonwood.

As you can see in the second picture the greening up of the willows was about a week more advanced this time last year. The cottonwood is more or less similar in both years.

Continue scrolling to see more images from this series in previous seasons.

Arroyo Hondo Cottonwood
Arroyo Hondo fall cottonwood.
Cottonwood and willows
Cottonwood and willows.
Taos Mountain, Arroyo Hondo, cottonwood
Arroyo Hondo cottonwood, with Taos Mountain.
Red Willows, Cottonwood Tree, Arroyo Hondo
Red Willows and cottonwood tree.
Red Willows and cottonwood tree
Winter willows with cottonwood tree.

This year I’ll be working on a shot of the tree, willows, and valley in summer’s full glory.

There are other images of this scene in my archive. A search will reveal more.

Thank you for all the wonderful comments and compliments, and as always. thank you for looking. G