About ten miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, there are some strange hump-like hills. These are volcanoes. Theyare long dormant having last erupted some 30,000 years ago when most of the land around them was ocean bottom.

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ew Mexican skies. There’s nothing like them. Along with the light, that’s what draws artists from every place in the world.

That’s not why I went there, but I exploited those things every chance that I could. So, you get to see a lot of sky photographs.

This place is interesting. If you read the caption you know that the hump-like mountain is really a volcano. You also know that it has been dormant for 30,000 years, which is certainly older than you or me.

The clouds in the sky looks almost like smoke. It isn’t but, the shape is interesting to me.

I used to like driving here. You could leave Albuquerque by what was left of Route 66, make right hand turn on the road facing the volcano, drive north for about ten miles, turn right again and head towards the city.

This was especially good working on PAD projects because you could see a lot of different stuff along the way. And, as you know, if you want better pictures stand in front of better stuff.

Do you stand in front of better stuff?

O

nce again, I’ve failed you. There is almost no technique to discuss.

See it. Stop your car. Photograph it. Get back in your car. Drive away fast, like you robbed a bank.

Kidding.

Post production is fairly simple.

Once again, I learned that darkening the picture works really well.

And, rather than make really detailed clouds, I’ve been reducing the sharpness with a slider called structure in the app called Snapseed.

Move the structure slider so that it is 100% soft and you’ll make these kinds of dreamy clouds.

Move it the other way and the clouds will have a surprising amount of detail.

How detail oriented are you?


Leaving town.

There are many ways out of Albuquerque, but this is my favorite. If you are going on a road trip you can kind of say goodbye to the city as you leave. Even if you are not, you can pretend.

This is what is left of Route 66 west of Albuquerque. Just a little over the rise in the far center of the photograph is where it meets I-40 and all points west.

There are little bits and pieces and parts of Route 66 that run along I-40, but not enough to really get anywhere. But, that doesn’t mean they aren’t photographable. They are.

There have been a lot of reflective articles lately about photography. There have been a few concerning how it relates to social media. I’ve said on Storyteller that each has their specific place in the branding world, but do they?

I have never gotten even a nibble from anything that I post on Instagram, which is distributed to Facebook. Oh sure, I get a lot of likes. But, you can’t eat likes. I read Twitter mostly for NOLA Twitter and news. I really don’t know most of the local folks who post on Twitter. And, I read news at the source.

So, why do it?

A photographer/writer who I read and like, reckons that we waste 2.5 hours per day on social media. Think about it. That’s 17.5 hours per week, or 70 hours per month, or 840 hours per year.

That’s 35 days.

What could you do with 35 days?

I have to think about it for another ten minutes, but I think I may do that. There are plenty of ways to reach, find, and talk to me.

Or, I can stay around, not post and just read here and there.

We’ll see.

No worries, I’m not going anywhere here, on Storyteller.

Wowie Zowie. Look at the big ball of light. Wouldja? Oh wait, that’s the sun as it blasts its way through the windshield.

Yes, if you leave Albuquerque at around sunset, this is your view.

There are some big businesses outside of the city limit so you have an inbound rush hour of sorts.

The finished picture takes some explanation.

I tried to keep some details in the sun. Yeah, right. But, doing that made the surrounding everything very dark. It also added a lot of contrast which is no problem for me.

Of course, all of that created a lot of shadows and silhouettes. A lot of people don’t like that which is why HDR was invented.

I like shadows and silhouettes. If anything, I want to make them stronger and more defined.

It’s all a matter of personal taste.

For me, this is how it looks and feels if you are leaving Albuquerque around sunset.

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


I seem to be on a roll with Ry Cooder songs. Most of  these songs are from an album called I, Flathead. Strange desert, country music with a Ry Cooder twist. Makes me think of some of the stranger places that I’ve photographed along Route 66 for that project. So. These pictures were made in a couple of locations. Some were made in Gallup. Others were made in a place called Budville. And, some were made near Continental Divide just over the border in New Mexico when you are traveling east from Arizona. The thing about these places is that you can see most of them from Interstate 40. But, they get much more interesting when you get off I-40 and drive the bits and pieces of what’s left of Old Route 66. Technically, there really isn’t much more to making these pictures that “see the picture, take the picture.”


I wrote about Seligman, Arizona, a few days ago.  I realized then that you haven’t seen enough of the place. So, today’s post will be a little long and full. Thirteen pictures, I think. There’s no overall picture and that’s too bad. But, my detail pictures should give you a sense of the place. It’s quirky. It’s a little weird. It suits me. Listen to Ry Cooder when viewing.


I found these chairs in Seligman, Arizona. I know, I know. Where the hell is that? Seligman is one of the last true Route 66 towns left in America. It’s located just off of I-40, east of Kingman and west of Williams. It’s almost a ghost town. But, not quite. It is a great rest stop for people traveling on I-40. It’s also a place that I’ve been passing through for well over 45 years. It started when my parents took us to the Southwest. And, I’ve driven through it from time to time since. People come to Seligman from all over the  world. I’ve heard tourists speaking every kind of language. It’s a funny kind of place. I’ve stopped there when the entire town lost power. I’ve been there when the entire town lost water pressure. And… yet, I’m always drawn to it. 


When I lived in New Mexico, I used to make a lot of pictures on Route 66. It was an easy “go to.” After all, old Route 66 runs east, west, north and south in Albuquerque. Yes. It’s true. The pre-1937 Route 66 comes down From santa Fe in the north and can be traced down to Los Lunas in the south where it turns left on the map and heads west. After 1937, Route 66 was made a little more direct east-west highway, and ran along what is now Central Avenue. That’s the short story. There’s a lot more.

These pictures were made for a piece of a book project and were made from Albuquerque, west to Seligman, Arizona. As they say, all art is about the maker. Although these pictures might not look it, they are personal to me. They bring back memories of my childhood when my parents liked to travel to The Southwest on vacations and holidays. Some of the landmarks from my childhood are still landmarks for me today. Some are gone. Some are changed. Sort of like life, eh?