New Mexico in a nutshell.


hey say that Mercury passed through its retrograde phase. Things should get and feel better. I’m don’t know what I think about astrology. There may be something to it. There might not.

But, I’ll tell you this. I feel better today than I have in a long time. I seem to have passed through a couple of stages of grief.

I’ll miss that dog for a long time, maybe forever, but it doesn’t feel like something is hammering in my head and making my eyes leak.


This photograph. It was lost. I found it in the archives. It is New Mexico. It’s not what we think of when we think of the state.


irst, I want to talk about WordPress. I receive emails about their updates.

I begged them not to keep changing things. They didn’t listen.

This blog was just hell to assemble.

Columns duplicated themselves and were buried, making it impossible to create a paragraph.

Don’t get me started on predictive writing. Just don’t.


e tend to thing of New Mexico as being The Land of Enchantment because of the food, the festivals, the American Indians (Yes, that’s what they want to be called. At least in New Mexico.), the light, the high desert, the art, the artists, the indigenous jewelry and the list goes on.

We don’t think of the car culture which is mostly made up of lowriders, restored classic cars, and hot rods. I think they are wonderful, all of them.

It’s fun to photograph them because the owners are very proud of them. They’ll talk about their car for hours. They’ll pose and take direction.


nd, the balloons. You already know about the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta if you’ve been reading Storyteller for any length of time.

Some 900 balloons and crews come from all over the world to show and compete with their balloons. I attended almost every year that I lived in the state.

Oh yeah. Balloons make me smile.


here is a lot of work going on in both photographs. Both have different levels of a glow filter added to them.

The top picture is intentionally very contrasty. I did that to emphasize the graphic shapes around the truck.

The balloon picture has a couple of things going on. First, I reduced the structure filter by 100% which makes the sky soft and allows the balloon to pop out of it.

I made the balloon a graphic shape using a combination of softening and glow filters.

Then I published them on Storyteller after fighting with the %&$*& block system.

Prayers in Albuquerque.

When I lived in Albuquerque I was invited to take part in a photo competition. I usually don’t do those things because often they become popularity contests.

Not this time.

This was, what we used to call in school, a shoot off. Every photographer competed with every other photographer for a specific period of time, an hour in this case.

Most of the shooters were amateurs. For some reason they decided to dog me. I didn’t ever say that this is what I did for a living. I rarely do. But, I do have the photographer’s swagger and with a camera in hand I’m superman.

I did whatever I could to dodge and lose them. Or, if they did find me I’d look at exactly the wrong place. Sorry guys and gals but we are competing.

Anyway, I found this little chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Ah ha. My picture. The statue was backlighted and very hard to photograph. Getting any detail in the flowers was next to impossible, so I didn’t worry about it.

I also made other pictures during the time allotted. Some of them were pretty good. But, this picture was the grand prize winner. It also put me in touch with The Albuquerque Photographers Gallery. They are a co-op. I became a member and for a time, the director.

This picture is still among my signature collection, I usually add it to my travel portfolio when I’m showing it.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Get your jabs. Look after each other. Be patient. Follow CDC guidelines.

The biggest technical issue with this picture is the backlighting from the window.

Expose for the highlight and the statue would have been so dark that I doubt I couple have repaired it in post production.

So, I went the other way and exposed for the statue, which is the subject of the picture.

I did what I could to darken those flowers in post production.

I had two other alternatives.

I could have moved the flowers, but I am loathe to do that with this type of work. It’s a kind of photojournalism.

Or, I could have used fill flash. But, this is a tricky location. Make the proper adjustments and the picture might work. Go too far and it becomes blown out. In a small room like this, that happens all too often.

One quick WordPress technical comment. Between yesterday and today they made a change.

Typing is now predictive. Normally I complain about changes in the night. Not this time. This saves my rear end.

This picture is about Christmas. It really is. After I photographed Christmas Eve in Old Town, I was walking back to my car when the a bunch of low rider cars and trucks sped past decorated in their Christmas finery. Mostly lights. Since I like blurred things, that’s the kind of picture that I made. Have a look. It’s about Christmas. I promise. Drive

I don’t usually post similar kinds of pictures on consecutive days, but I happen to like the picture that I made in Old Town in Albuquerque on Christmas Eve. The great thing about making pictures there is that everything happens early so you can get home in plenty of time to wait for Santa with cookies and milk. Or cocoa. So, for today I won’t post any of the history and naming controversy again. Hopefully, you’ve already read that. If you haven’t, just go back one day and you’ll learn the difference between luminaria and farolito which is minimal to people like me who just find them to be very pretty and inspiring.

But, you do need to know that this picture was made on The Plaza. It’s a very simple picture. I wanted to put a luminaria in the foreground with a bit of scene drifting around in the background. So, I put the camera on the ground. Yep. Right on the ground. Then I made sure the focus and the depth of field was about where I wanted it and I pushed the button. People look at me like I’m weird. That’s about right. I am weird when I take pictures. Light

So. This Christmas picture is really Christmasy. How could it not be? It’s a Christmas tree photographed simply and cleanly using one of my framing tricks which is to leave a lot of sky in the background. It was made in New Mexico. That’s probably why there is such nice blue sky and light. Of course, it’s a dusk picture. That’s pretty much the only way to photograph something like this. It makes a nice clean graphic image. Especially on this white background. Almost looks like a greeting card. Not a whole lot more to write except that I’m never satisfied. I’m happy. New Orleans is my home. But, now I miss New Mexico. So it goes.Tree

After chasing around for the better part of an afternoon looking for “iconic” snow pictures in the east mountains, I was driving home when I looked to the east again and saw theSandias being bathed in what many artists coming to New Mexico looking for; late afternoon golden winter light. In the past, I have tried driving to the end of the road — as it were — to work up close. But traffic at that time of day can really get bogged down. And, there really is no way to plan for this light. Either it emerges, or it doesn’t. Fortunately, I’ve found a short distance “go to” place pretty near my home. It gives me at least 30 minutes of late afternoon working light.
Aside from posting it on this blog, I’m showing the framed image at my gallery — Albuquerque Photography’s Gallery in Old Town, Albuquerque starting today and lasting through the month. This little, compressed image really doesn’t do the scene justice. The framed print does. It’s called “Hallelujah,” on the back of the marvelous performance by Justin Timberlake on “Hope For Haiti Now.”

Gloden Light on The Sandias