The Kid. She was every – where that I was while I was wandering around the Lavender Festival so I decided to make this portrait. By the way, that’s the largest straw cowboy hat that I’ve ever seen. Or, maybe it was just large because she is a little more petite. Besides, with freckles like that, the New Mexican sun would not be very good for her. I promise that tomorrow, I’ll post something that will illustrate the festival a little more. I just like the portraits best.

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I went to the Lavender Festival yesterday in Los Ranchos, a small farming village just to the north of the city lying along the Rio Grande. Much of the area has been sold and redeveloped into large, very expensive homes. But, there is the still the village and still a few family owned farms. One farm is Los Pablanos Organics whose history dates back to around 1716 when it was deeded to Elena Gallegos de Gurule as part of her land grant which stretched from the farm to the Sandia mountains, most of the area that makes up suburban Albuquerque today. Most of the Mexicans who settled the area came from the state of Pueblo and are know as “Plobanos.” After some of the land was split up and sold, forming various villages, Albert Simms and Ruth Hanna McCormick returned to New Mexico from their terms in Congress in 1934 and started the modern farm. Ruth, for those of us who follow journalism history was the daughter of Medill and McCormick. The farm was the original home of the Creamland Dairy and the best milk you ever tasted. The property was again reunited in 1997 and eventually was converted to an organic farm which supplies a lot of local foods to health food stores.

Anyway

The Lavender Festival is held on the second weekend in July at the farm and in the village. The farm, with the exception of the bed and breakfast, is opened to visitors. You can meet the animals, buy organic products, eat great meals and cut lavender. The bed and breakfast remains open to guests.

This image was made near the Lavender tying workshop. The man playing the harmonica is passing the time while he waits for his wife to learn the craft of tying sprigs of Lavender to together. I photographed him from one side then walked around to the other, he followed me with his eyes and turned for this portrait. You can thank the New Mexican sun and low humidity for his facial character.

More tomorrow.


Sometimes I get very lucky and the weather comes together with a project. In this case, I was working on my churches project when along came a 20 minute New Mexican monsoon with slightly low light. I had to work pretty quickly, which these days isn’t so easy. But, as anyone who truly enjoys making pictures knows, with a camera in our hands we turn into superman. This image was made in Corrales, NM; which is located just a few miles from Albuquerque. There are two Catholic churches in this tiny town; the old and new church. This image was made in the cemetery of the old church.


In my last blog, I talked about a little mission church that I claim to have discovered in Albuquerque. I made a number of pictures inside the church as well as outside. This image is taken from the pulpit showing the missal and a side vestibule. It is a very simple church with white washed walls and very basic religious symbols. There is no ornamentation with the exception of stained glass windows and some statuary and — of course — a crucifix.


I thought I would show a few more of the images I’ve made for the churches project. This image combines a classic rustic simplicity of many Northern New Mexico churches with the fast moving monsoon clouds of early summer. This image is also accidental. I was returning from another shoot when I took a side street to avoid the late afternoon traffic when I stumbled upon a tiny Catholic church and its cemetery, which is located across the street. The church could probably hold about 30 worshipers during a mass. The caretaker told me that it is an old mission church, built in the late 1800s. The priest who says mass there actually comes from a parish church a few miles away. He comes once a week for a 5pm mass.

This cross is in the church’s cemetery, which is across the street. It is simple and rustic. The cemetery is rough and most of the grave sites were pretty old. The caretaker told me the the lights on this cross are used during Christmas and Easter, but are left up all year long.

Oh yeah. Where is this little church. Maybe ten minutes from downtown Albuquerque. People keep telling me that the city is a dynamic and growing place. This image belies that, I think.


I don’t often photo- graph clouds, but during the early days of summer and the monsoon season there are some cloud shows around dusk that make me want to stand outside looking up and making pictures. As usual, the best bet is around the so-called golden time. But, often the rains come just before that which creates some amazing movement and energy.


Yesterday, I wrote a bit about our so-called monsoon season. Today, I thought it would be a good idea to show you what the rains bring. This is a desert flower that blooms in early summer. It only really flourishes with a lot of water. Some people water every day to see blooms like this, but it’s been a little more humid then usual — maybe 30% — so these little flowers are popping up everywhere. By the way, if you use Photoshop Curves in the auto mode, adobe walls photographed in shadows turn purple. I liked the contrast so I didn’t over ride it.


We mostly think of New Mexico as being desert. It is. It is either the low desert that most people think of when they hear the word desert, or high desert which comprises most of Northern New Mexico. In the high desert we have come to the monsoon season. Unlike the places in which I’ve lived — New Orleans among them — the air is thin and very dry. So, even when the weather casters claim that we are having high humidity, it is only around 30%. So, between the low humidity and the high altitude, when we get a monsoon-like downpour which might drop 2 or 3 inches of ran causing minor floods and water pouring over the streets, everything tends to dry out with in an hour or so.

This image was made at the conclusion of a downpour. It lasted all of about 15 minutes. As the sun broke through the clouds, it lighted the street and reflections like this were common. You just had to see them, hold the steering wheel with one hand and shoot with the other. One eye was on the road, while the other peering through the view finder. Thankfully, my insurance rates are low.


Egg Shells in the Sink. The holiday has passed. It’s Sunday. It’s time for breakfast. I just tossed these egg shells in the sink and they formed a nice composition. I swear. I didn’t re-position them in any way. Really, my point in this picture is pretty simple. If your eyes are open, you can find pictures anywhere. That’s something I’ve been teaching myself with my Picture A Day project. I’ve also been able to teach myself to write on a daily basis with this blog.

No. The chrome fitting is not rusted. That’s just the color it turned when I used Photoshop curves in the auto setting. It is some odd reflection of light.