Happy Place


Fall in Northern New Mexico. The color and the very special light make it a wonderland.

I’ve been to a lot of places. Maybe too many. Even though the farm is truly beautiful and I am very happy to be here, this place, in this picture, is truly my happy place. Look at it. This picture was made in early fall. Isn’t that something?

So?

Why aren’t we there, rather than here?

Lots of reasons. Like it or not we still travel a lot. Getting to the airport, which is south of Albuquerque, a drive of over four hours is a huge consideration. When you consider the need to stand in a line for two hours you’ve already had a six hour day.

Ouch.

From the farm travel time to Dulles is a little over an hour. From there, the world is our oyster. Or clam, or something like that. For a short domestic flight we can drive to Charlottesville in 30 minutes.

Then, there’s groceries. The closest grocery store is located in Taos, an hour away. Meanwhile in our valley, we can go to Charlottesville or Waynesboro, which is ten miles from home.

Don’t even ask about medical services or even gasoline. E-cars? Forget about it.

So, we chose the place that we would enjoy, in which we would thrive.

In case you are wondering about some technical considerations, I tuned this picture down. Those bright yellow trees fried my eyeballs, so I muted them some. That’s really all I did. The glow comes from a slighty bad over exposure. Oh well.

You Got Gold


A few hardy desert plants continue to thrive during New Mexican winters.

A little flora and fauna New Mexican portfolio for your pleasure. Actually, I don’t believe any of the pictures depict either flora or fauna. These are wildflower pictures and tree pictures. They are distinctly New Mexican scenes.

I’ve been digging into my archives and finding lost gems. Well, they are to me at least. I’ve been reworking them in OnOne. My knowledge of the app is growing and the things that used to be tricks are now treats. For sure, I make a lot of mistakes. That’s how you learn, so they say. If that’s true, I sure am learning a lot.

Photographers talk about Vermont, or where we live for the changing of the leaves. They often forget New Mexico. If and when they go there, they are stunned.

I’ve been to a lot of places and like a lot of them, but New Mexico is stunning, especially during the transition seasons of spring and fall.

The weather is pretty good. Cold comes with fall and winter and heat comes with spring and summer. How cold? When snow melts a little and freezes again at night you learn what slipping and sliding means. During the summer the heat is intense, so intense that your feet stick to the pavement. If you have a pet, like a dog, you have carry her or her paws will burn.

Still, I miss it.

A few hardy desert plants continue to thrive during New Mexican winters.

Friendly Ghosts


New Mexican Roads

Sunday, a good day to start a new project. The photographs were all made in New Mexico. They came out of my deep archives. I’ve built a small portfolio of these pictures, all the while wondering what was I thinking for not looking at them closely.

Yeah sure, a little time and space adds a little perspective to the selection process. But eleven years? That’s a bit much.

It’s weird looking at these pictures, especially the black and white pictures that I shared last week. Some of them make me sad. Some of them make me realize how many wrong turns I took establishing my “style” of imagery.

Worse. Some of the people in the pictures no longer walk on the earth.

The black and white work is some of my best, yet I made many of those pictures in the 1970’s. I was untrained, unschooled and mostly just photographed what I saw with no attempt at style or even proper cropping. It is raw. It is emotional. As I work through the archives I can see my work evolving, but it doesn’t seem to have the same energy.

Musician Stephen Stills said something interesting in an interview a few years back. He recorded a group of songs in 1969 that eventually showed up on a record called, “Just Roll Tape.” He went into the studio one night and asked the staff to just roll tape and not even monitor it during his playing. He recorded every song that became famous from then until maybe 1985 or so. All in one session.

When asked about that as opposed to his dry song writing period that came later, he said something to the effect of when you are young you have energy, the physical ability and you don’t know anything so you do whatever you want. As you age, he said, you get too cute, you over write songs, you worry about the studio, about money, about touring and so on.

In short, everything gets in the way of the purity of your work.

Guess what?

You can never get back to it.

Embrace you inner child — remember that — sounds great. Ever try doing it? It’s impossible.

That’s really the problem.

Other Work, Other Places


Japanese businesswoman glances over her shoulder.

One, two. The same picture two different ways. The top image looks close to the original that was made on slide film. The bottom picture is my reworked version. In the past I would never offer these pictures to a client. They wouldn’t understand and they would think I failed. Or, lost my mind. Probably the latter.

Today I would pretty much force these on a client trying to get them to stretch their imaginations and thinking. Oh, I’d have usually pictures in a box behind my back. Even if a client insisted on using the original style material I would have started their thinking process. Maybe they’ll take a chance the next time, or the time after that. Who knows?

Japanese businesswoman glances over her shoulder.

Time And Again


The lot page. I rebuilt. The pictures are the same. The writing isn’t. That’s too bad, but WordPress does whatever it wants. These pictures represent working almost every day. Some were made to fulfill class assignments, some were made as a way to stay photographically sharp. It appears that a good number of them were made one one Sunday in 1983. Scary because my career could revolve around one day in Ohio.

Out On The Road


WordPress is at it again. The post that I wrote for today is gone. Missing. History. My site was a little twitchy, but I didn’t think anything of it. I pressed the schedule button. Scheduling was confirmed and off I went. Luckily, I was getting to post these pictures about traveling so I had something in hand. I’ll try to reconstruct my work, but it won’t be the same.

Anyway, enjoy the pictures. Captions located below.

Top,

Paris, France.

Bottom left.

Shanghai, China.

Middle right.

A mystery picture. I have no idea where I made it.

Bottom right.

Seligman, Arizona.

Surprising Myself


I suppose that I’m on a journey of self discovery. The timing is right because I just had a birthday on Monday. One more year and I’ll officially be old. I guess the universe is with me because I found some great and ancient archives.

As you already may know I always carry a camera so I photographed almost anything and everything. Some were “extras” from assignments. Some were just because. This is little portfolio number one. There’s more. A lot more.

So, that’s that. Since WordPress took away captioning, the captions are at the bottom of the pictures.

Top picture. I happened to be visiting my friends Brian and Mary Ellen in Payson, Arizona, when she told him that she was pregnant. Later in life, they got divorced.

Top left. I’ve long made pictures I see that are part of a bigger scene. I liked this guy’s rings.

Top right. A high school’s marching band arrives for a Mardi Gras parade. Check out how one of them greeted me.

Middle right. Horse love at a show.

Bottom left. Ballerinas help each other at rehearsal.

Bottom right. My mom in the morning. I just bought my first 35mm SLR camera and I took pictures of everything. This picture is located on the the very first roll of black and white film I ever exposed.

Now you know. Lucky you.

Testing. One, Two, Three…


There was yet another big discussion about producing pictures using artificial intelligence V using some kind of camera. It took place in a photographer’s group so you can guess which way the majority of the posters went.

Morality aside and as long as you are clear which kind of tools you used who cares what you did? Photography has been driven by technology from the time it was invented until right this minute.

The reply to that is, well the computer is creating the image not you.

Really?

Who typed the full sentence containing all the keyword need for the artificial intelligence to do its job?

You did. Whose brain created the words? Yours. That’s what we’ve always been after in the wide world of photography. Being able to come up with concepts and solutions to problems.

I’ve long said that if I could stick a lens on my forehead with connections to my brain which would be processed and archived in my brain for publishing later, I’d be a happy man.

Maybe, one day.

So, how could this picture be used?

I see it as a book illustration. Bad Santa breaks in to every house in the city and steals everyone’s gifts. Okay, that’s the tag line. The title is “Bad Santa.”

One more thing.

I’m sure you’ve l;l read about Elon “the destroyer” Musk setting about to accidentally kill Twitter. He’s pretty good at sewing chaos and confusion wherever he goes. I contend that most social media is sinking on its own.

The other night my old friend, the one that I reconnected with after almost forty years, went a little crazy the other night and shared about 25 pictures from my archives on Facebook. That’s great and she said soime kind tings so I’m humbly flattered.

Many of the pictures were nine, ten or eleven years old.

I was surprised to see that I had comments in the 20s and 30s. That’s a lot these days. We had real live discussions. Now we don’t. I looked at who commented. Most of those people have dropped off of Facebook. I haven’t seen or heard from them in years.

Social media may be dying under its own weight. After all, fifteen years of arguing with people you don’t know is taxing.

Time Passages


New Mexican Roads

You are looking at a slightly renewed New Mexican picture. Eastern New Mexico, that is east of the Sandias and Sangre de Cristo Mountains, looks nothing like the west which is high desert. In the east, the scenery is all grass and farm lands as the state reaches into western Colorado, which doesn’t look anything like the mountainous east which is what you are thinking about.

And, speaking about thinking about…

I’ve been awakening with the strangest thoughts, not from my usually weird dreams, but completely independent. They are my first thoughts of the day. They aren’t bad, but they are strange.

I wake up thinking about all the people I used to know but have all but been forgotten by me now. I’m not talking about lost friends who are missing because of distance, time or emotions. I’m talking about everybody. Photography staffs, newsroom staffs, neighbors, schoolmates at all levels of education, and others that may have passed through my life.

I’m not exactly sure how this started except that I have been talking to an old, old friend of mine that I really haven’t spoken to since 1980. Nothing happened to the relationship. I just moved across the country in the days before instantaneous communication could be had at almost every level.

She friended me on Facebook and mostly didn’t talk much. But, one day she asked me about a picture I posted and we began to chat a little. Did I know this person? Or, that person? We knew a lot of people in common although we didn’t usually run in the same circles even though we are friends. I’m sorry to say that alot of those folks have wandered off the planet. It’s always great catching up after 30 or 40 years and learning things you didn’t want to know.

I’m not really sure that our conversations are the genesis of my early morning thoughts but I’m not big on coincidences.

Unfortunately, this isn’t like a dream. I don’t wake thinking it was good to see those folks again because I never saw them.

Thinking about them isn’t the same thing.

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