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.


Parking in blue.

The picture a day project lead to a lot of day trips. It lead me to a place near Cerrilos, New Mexico. That’s where I found this Bel Air parked in a Trade Post lot.

Normally, I’d go inside, talk to the folks who were there and buy something, usually water. Nobody was around, so I made a bunch of pictures of the car from all angles. As usual, the best view was the simplest.

The car looks pretty original. Northern New Mexico is prime lowrider country. The cars they build are pretty amazing. It’s a wonder that this car hasn’t been scooped up. I’m guessing the owner knows what he has and it won’t come cheaply.

I’d like to stop here, but I’d be wrong not to discuss yet another American symbol. Mass shootings. This time it happened at the FEDEX distribution center in Indianapolis. Eight dead. The shooter killed himself. A few more wounded, one critically. WTFF?

And, in the swamp four people were shot throughout the city, one was killed. I guess the weekend came early. We’ve been averaging seven or eight shot people per weekend for a long time. I suppose that means the pandemic is over in New Orleans.

I’d rather eat a taco or a burger.

Technical stuff. What technical stuff?

I saw it. I photographed it. I processed it. I did very little editing beyond that.

There is a philosophy behind it. I started viewing PAD as a kind of photojournalism. Don’t mess around with pictures.

It’s simple.

Most of the images I post here are a kind of art and I really do tinker with them in post production.

That’s different.

Art is art is art. Do whatever you want to express your vision.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Stay strong. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Get your jabs. Look after each other.


Once upon a time.

Once upon a time.

I made an executive decision last night while I was searching for a particular picture. I didn’t find it, but I did find something called the PAD project.

PAD is the acronym for picture a day. I forced myself to make one picture everyday whether I had paying work or not.

I started this in 2006 while we were exiled to the high desert of New Mexico after Hurricane Katrina.

If you’ve never done it, you should. Not only do your photographs get better, but you learn a lot about yourself.

I liked it so much that I did it for another year, and another year and… until I did for five years when I decided to change it to picture a week. That really didn’t work so I stopped completely.

My decision to start publishing these pictures, many of which have never been seen by anyone, is two fold.

I was emailing with a friend and he said that his wife wanted to join a cloud. I suggested that if they subscribed to Amazon Prime that they use their cloud. It’s free. It’s solid. It offers unlimited storage for any size file.

One of the things that it does is scrape every similar file type into the collection. I decided to see what was in there. Woah! Almost every picture that I’ve made in the last 15 years was hiding in plain sight.

That got me thinking.

Since I’ve been poking around in my own history, hoping that my ghosts are friendly, I thought this would be a great time to revisit and publish those unseen pictures of that time. New Mexican pictures, all.

I enjoyed looking at them. I hope you do too.

Picture a day. That was the project.

I made a lot of decisions after I thought about showing these pictures to you.

The first was not to try to replicate the order in which they were photographed. It’s almost impossible because paying work was dropped in between the project images.

The second was to show you multiple pictures if that’s what the day’s results were. You’ll see a lot of that especially during the Albuquerque International Ballon Fiesta.

The third was not to touch these pictures in post except to sharpen them.

In case you are wondering, they were all made with a Canon G-9, a very good pocket camera.

This is a riastrad, a door or wall hanging made of red chili. It’s an icon of the southwest. They only last in very dry climate.

That’s the story. I’ll see you tomorrow.


Well, I’m looking back. But, not so far back given that March just ended yesterday. Please take a look at my small collection of pictures from what appears to be my never-ending project called, PAD, or picture a day. I started this thing four years ago. Every time that I reach the end of one year, I stop the project thinking, “that’s enough.” A strange thing happens. After a few days, or a week or a month, I started to miss it and so back to the project I go. Usually I try to set some kind of semi-important date. My birthday. My other birthday. The New Year. The Lunar New Year. Something like that.

Anyway.

Here are my images for March. Some of you have seen some of them as I tend to post some of the better images as I produce them.


This post should take about 100 years to produce. The categories and tags alone will take a long, long time to write.

Anyway. PAD. Picture a Day. A lot of photographers do this. Some don’t make it. It’s a really tough discipline to shoot SOMETHING everyday. Some guys claim that they only shoot when their muse calls to them. That’s easy. That’s fun. But, try shooting when you don’t want to. Try shooting when you almost forgot to do it. Try doing it when you aren’t feeling well, or as I did when I was recovering from surgery. As an aside, the early the images from that period were pretty bleak which as they should have been since they say that all art is autobiographical. At any rate, I’m a little OCD. I’ve been shooting this project for over three years. It seems that every time I reach an endpoint and tell myself that I’m done and not going to resume, I take a break and start again. Sometimes I start on one of my two birthdays. Sometimes I start on a new year… either calendar or lunar. But, I always go back to it.

Why?

Aside from the discipline of forcing myself to shoot, there are other benefits. It’s a daily look into my life as I saw it at the time. It gets me out the front door — well mostly; sometimes I see things around the house — and since a big part of making a picture is getting there, every little bit helps. It keeps the motor running — if you’ve ever picked up a camera after a shooting break

, you know that you are fumble fingers for a while and you might forget the mental checklist that you run through before you shoot. Most importantly, it teaches me a lot about myself.

All of that said, there are way too many pictures — 30 (I know, I know.. February only had 29 days, but I believe in lagniappe which is the giving of a little extra like a baker’s dozen) — to tell all of their backstories except to say that since I photographed Mardi Gras for almost three weeks, this month’s PAD is really heavy on carnival images. But, there are other images. There are images that you’ve seen in earlier posts. There are also surprises here and there. I hope that you enjoy them. As usual, I always enjoy making them.