A crack in the wall.

T

his is a New Mexico picture. Sometimes I just see shapes and I want to see what they look when I photograph them. I’d forgotten this picture until Amazon found it some buried sub-archive. Boy, was I happily surprised.

I’d tell you that this is an adobe wall, but it is not. It is some kind of concrete that is made to look like adobe. It’s sort of a touristic thing to do when you want to attract people to your business as they are wandering around Santa Fe.

Some would say that this is not real adobe that the picture isn’t true.

Of course it’s true. It’s not a study of construction method, it’s a study of the shape created by that dark gap in the wall.

Some people, Sheesh.


Like an adobe.

” She’s a good girl, loves her mama, Loves Jesus and America too

She’s a good girl, crazy ’bout Elvis, Loves horses and her boyfriend too

It’s a long day livin’ in Reseda, There’s a freeway runnin’ through the yard

And I’m a bad boy, ’cause I don’t even miss her, I’m a bad boy for breakin’ her heart

And I’m free, free fallin’, Yeah I’m free, free fallin’, All the vampires walkin’ through the valley

Move west down Ventura Blvd. ,And all the bad boys are standing in the shadows

All the good girls are home with broken hearts,  And I’m free, free fallin’, Yeah I’m free, free fallin’

Free fallin’, now I’m free fallin’, Now I’m, Free fallin’, now I’m free fallin’

I wanna glide down over Mulholland,  I wanna write her name in the sky

I’m gonna free fall out into nothin’,  Gonna leave this world for awhile

And I’m free, free fallin’, Yeah I’m free, free fallin’,  Yeah I’m free, free fallin’

Oh! Free fallin’,  Now I’m free,  Oh! , Free fallin’ “

— Free Falling, Tom Petty

I had no idea. Rest in Peace, Tom.


On Easter Sunday.

This was harder than you’d think.

I wanted to post an Easter Sunday picture. But, I want to continue to explore my emerging vision. So the question was fairly simple. How do I do that without offending many of you with some weird post production? Art is art. I know that. But, Easter is symbolically a time of rebirth. Bright colors are normally used to portray that. It’s a huge day. So what do I do to make that happen?

Well.

I had to find the right picture. I wanted it to be something you’ve never seen. And, that maybe I had forgotten.

No bright colors. But how about a kind of glow from the heart of the picture? A glow that pierces through the darkness. An illuminating glow. Maybe a glow of hope.

Maybe.

Happy Easter. Happy Passover. However you believe, have a great day.

For those of you who are keeping score. I made this picture in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the Cathedral of St. Francis Assisi. In the side chapel. I was looking for something a little different. This is the place where people go who want a little peace and quiet away from visiting tourists.


Playing.
Playing.

Playing in the band.
Playing in the band.

Road trips on Route 66.

There are a lot of reasons to do them. Just doing them is probably reason enough. Starting from one end and driving to the other is a great bucket list trip. Even though I really dislike bucket lists for all that they imply.

Another reason is to go to a place you want to visit. In sort of a romantic and nostalgic way. Road tripping to get there. To see things that you normally wouldn’t. To do things that you normally wouldn’t. And, to eat things that you normally wouldn’t. And to learn about sameness and differences.

For instance. Food. Northern New Mexico cooking is not like Tex-Mex, which is not like the food you find in East LA. Los Angeles. Not Louisiana.  And, it is certainly not like the food you find in Mexico City. Yet, all those variations fall within the broad category of Mexican food.

Anyway.

The pictures. That’s what you came for. Right? The top picture was made as I was leaving The Indian Market in Santa Fe. This guy was selling CDs on the street. I asked if I could photograph him. He said sure, but I had to buy a CD. Fair enough. The music is haunting and very good. The third picture was made in Los Golondrinas. It’s a living history museum. Once a year they hold a huge festival. There are dancers, hand-made regional foods, tours, farm animals and all sort of things to do. It is located off of I-25, just south of Santa Fe.

Finally. No young Hispanic woman grows up without have a rite of passage called a quinceanera. I stumbled on this one in Albuquerque. I saw a lot of cars headed towards one parking lot. I followed them to an old dance hall. Everybody was friendly. The invited me inside so I could take pictures. Of course, I wasn’t dressed for the occasion, but they didn’t care. I mostly worked from backstage. This band could play. Really play.

By the way. The hands and the boots became signature pictures for a time. Because they are details, the say a lot of things and become sort of icons in their own way.

Dancing boots.
Dancing boots.


Deep & Dark
Glowing Trees

Redwood Tree
In The Fog

Summer Tree
Early Summer Glow

Summertime
Heading Towards Fall

So. We are still sick and getting sicker. But, that’s okay. It feels like your classic summer cold. I may have peaked and I think I might start getting better tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. When my head is clear and I’m not coughing, I’ve been looking at older work. I’m not sure to what end, but it’s been a lot of fun. I’m able to review older images and think about what makes them good, better and best. Or, just junk. I’ve also been able to look at my progress over the past few years. Few being about 25 years. Depending on my mood, either I think I was a better photographer when I was younger, or I’m getting better as I age. Either is fine with me. I just don’t want to remain stuck in one place.

Anyway. These pictures. First, the only post production that I did on any, or all, of them was to clean things up and make the images a little closer to what I saw in my mind’s eye when I pushed the button. As far as each of the images go, Chicago, Santa Cruz, New York and Santa Fe. That’s where I made them. Oh, one more thing. When I say old, I mean old. These are all scanned from film. I think that the scans are great. Big 60 meg things made by a lab in New Orleans called Moldaners. Can’t beat the quality and can’t beat the price.

 


Well. Sometimes you can’t even celebrate a holiday like Christmas without controversy over what to call a lighted paper bag. In a way it’s funny. It’s a small paper lantern, anchored with sand in which a candle is burned. It is typically done on Christmas Eve. But, they can used to memorialize just about anything. But, it’s usually done in New Mexico and neighboring states. Here’s where it gets tricky. Sort of. It is also called a farolito in Santa Fe and other places in Northern New Mexico. In Spanish that means a little light. Elsewhere it is called a luminaria which means a festival light. More importantly, it’s a Christmas tradition in which Catholics believe the light will guide the Christ child to one’s home. I don’t believe the name matters. It just is.

They are a very beautiful and traditional way to prepare for Christmas. That’s really what it means to me. There is no controversy. Call them what you like. This particular picture was made in Santa Fe at The Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi on Christmas Eve. The cathedral is beautiful. One day I’ll get around to publishing a lot of pictures of the interior. But, first I have to finish these Christmas pictures. Obviously, it was very cold and clear on the Christmas Eve when I made this picture. Snow on the ground and everything. You know the rest about F something-or-other and be there. Prayer


I’m running a little late and haven’t had time to do any new post production. But, not to worry. I always have something up my sleeve. In fact, If I’m lucky this particular picture will be part of an ASMP showing for New Orleans Photography Month. It will be hanging in a strange place. A place I’d never thought of… a hospital lobby. The more that I think about it, the more I think it’s a great venue.

The picture is a few years old. I made it in Santa Fe, New Mexico as I was leaving the plaza. And, it was one of those lucky happenings. I didn’t really have a great shooting day and I was heading back to my car when I saw this American Indian playing his wooden flute and selling CDs. We talked for a bit. I liked his songs so I bought his CD. I asked if I could photograph him. He was happy to do it as long as he could keep playing. You know that was just fine with me. I made a number of portraits of him. But, then I found the heart of the musician. This is it.


Once upon a time, in New Mexico, I happened upon a street musician working in Santa Fe. I asked if i could photograph him and he said sure and nodded at his pile of CDs. For the price of a CD, which by the way is pretty good, he let me work the picture. I made overalls and portraits in both horizontal and vertical. Then, I started working on the details. This image seems to say everything that I’d hoped for, so it became sort of a signature piece.


I’ve posted about this topic in the past. I make a lot of photographs through the windshield of my car when I am driving. As odd is this may sound, it’s probably safer when I’m driving 70-75-80-85 mph than when I am driving slower and in traffic. Even though I brace the camera on the dashboard and let all the auto functions do their things, I’m still not fully and totally concentrating on the thing that I should be doing which is driving. In traffic, that can mean tapping some other car’s rear. On the road, I can see down field and take appropriate measures. One day this may come back to haunt me, especially as I get older. But, for right now it seems to be okay. Having written all of that, as far as picture-taking goes, I never really see what my camera sees until I am stopped somewhere and take the time to review the images. Often times, I don’t even do that. I just wait until I’ve downloaded them on to a computer so I can see them bigger then 1″ x 3.” That also should give you an inkling into how I work. I rarely chimp. When I do, it’s mostly to check the exposure not to see what I photographed. Who can tell anything on that little itty bitty LCD?

Anyway.

These are all New Mexican pictures. The brownish image is made at the end of Route 66/Central Avenue to the west. The darker blue image is made on I-40 northbound in Albuquerque, and the lighter blue image is made on I-25 southbound, just south of Santa Fe. I like the light. I like the feeling. And, most of all, I like that I didn’t get killed making them.