New Mexico

Moth and Window, Northern New Mexico

 

Moth and Window

Moth and Window

Some people shoot pretty things like landscapes; I find Sylvia Plath and Ezra Pound in the nooks and crannies of the places I visit. And here was just such a poem, a Plath tucked away in the forgotten recesses of the desert air. Steiglitz called his small images “Equivalents,” for they were the visual equal of his emotional response to a scene. Indeed such a thing happened here for me, but as Andrew Southam has said of me, I live in a poet’s body.

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San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, Taos

San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, Taos

San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, Taos

Since as early as 1772, the site of San Francisco de Asis Mission Church has captivated the human imagination. It is breathtaking, and that very reason is why every time I teach at Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, I take students to this very location. Oft-seen in images? Yes. Mystical in reality. Oh, my.

This time of year–actually, any time of year–I long for the Southwest.

 

Papier-Mache, Santa Fe

Papier-Mache, Santa Fe

Papier-Mache, Santa Fe

It was a cold day in January, but the light in Santa Fe was warm. I wandered the Plaza and the surrounding streets looking for subtle still life photographs, and found one that warmed my heart just as much as did the light itself.

Santa Fe Workshops: Come Learn with Me in 2014

Join Me Learning Fine Art Digital Printmaking in Santa Fe!

Join Me Learning Fine Art Digital Printmaking in Santa Fe!

My mother tells a story that goes something like this: When I was 15, I was engrossed in a typical pastime at my grandmother’s house–looking at pictures in old copies of National Geographic. I ran upstairs, holding out a picture of two fishermen in Newfoundland, saying, “This is what I want to do!” The picture was by Sam Abell, who years later in an unbelievable turn of fate became my friend, mentor, and classroom colleague. No words can ever express the honor and joy I’ve experienced through working with Sam.

Similarly, I used to look at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops catalogue, awestruck by the photographers who had earned places there as instructors. How amazing, I thought, to take a class in Santa Fe from such people. Had you told me then that I would teach there instead, I’d have laughed in disbelief.

But no more.

The coming summer marks the first (and hopefully not last) course I will teach at the Workshops, The American West: Crafting Fine Digital Prints, from June 30-July 4. I’m eternally grateful to Reid Callanan, the SFPW director, for the opportunity, and I hope to see many of you in the digital lab this summer!

White Sands No. 2, New Mexico

White Sands No. 2

White Sands No. 2

If you haven’t been to White Sands, you’re missing out on a photographic paradise. The contrast of deep blue skies in evening, coupled with the white of the gypsum-powder sands and their abstract textures are a black and white paradise. Is it any wonder Brett Weston and Ansel Adams (among many others) have been entranced?

Carmelite Cathedral, Santa Fe

Carmelite Cathedral, Santa Fe

Carmelite Cathedral, Santa Fe

I’m off to Santa Fe and the Southwest in 10 days, and while the trip planning (and the holidays) have consumed a great deal of my time, it’s worth it. My students and I will be visiting and photographing some of the most breathtaking areas in the world, and this image is an artifact from the last time I took students to the artists’ magic place.

Ruins and Stone Window, Bandalier National Monument

Ruin and Stone Window, Bandalier

Ruin and Stone Window, Bandalier

Near Los Alamos is Bandalier National Monument, a site dedicated to preserving the remnants of Native American structures and heritage. On the trail circling the deep canyon that is home to the ruins, I found a small natural window in the blocking stone located between myself and the canyon floor, which hosts the ruin of a large kiva. The late afternoon light bouncing off the canyon walls behind me, contrasted with the cold light on the snow and ruins was too much to resist.

Nightshades, Northern New Mexico

Nightshades, Northern New Mexico

Nightshades, Northern New Mexico

Near sunset in January, I found a small field of nightshades atop a mesa in northern New Mexico. As the sun set, the warm winter light filtered through the husks of the fruit, creating an infinite family of small, textured natural lanterns, and I made this image.