Sunday, December 10, 2017

Blue Blue Mood


Some years ago, the artist Ulrich Gleiter, of Saint Petersburg by way of Strasbourg and Munich asked me to take his passport photo. He was emphatic that he could not smile as the impudent act would render his pic unacceptable by his Russian watchers, I mean hosts. “Der vill be no smilink” or words to that effect. 

I think “Uli”, a diminutive he no longer welcomes since he's forty, looks a gulag bound deer in the headlights.

Gleiter was born in Germany in 1977. He studied at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, the Suricov Art Academy in Moscow and the Repin Academy in Saint Petersburg from 2004-2010. The man speaks four languages fluently which means that, according to sworn testimony, he doesn't have to translate as he moves seamlessly between German, Russian, French and English. Oh, his physicist father helped discover the nanoparticle. There's some kind of gene pool thing going on.

This outtake was made with two Profoto flashes and matching 48 inch Chimera softboxes. The shutter sync lagged a tad which accounts for the pesky black stripe at the bottom.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Alta Vista

A stream wanders to the east between Tucumcari and Concha Lake

It’s not just the arrow straight roadway from Corazon Hill to Las Vegas that makes NM Highway 104 so magnetic. It’s how high desert becomes prairie at the height of land and tiny villages punctuate the landscape every dozen miles or so. Settlements with lyrical names like Trujillo, Trementina and Alta Vista appear ahead then disappear in the folds of memory. 

Be aware, the only gas between Tucumcari and Las Vegas is at Concha Lake 35 miles northwest of Tucumcari. That leaves 75 miles of empty between you and the known world.

A bare tree on the prairie near Trujillo



Sunday, November 26, 2017

Vanishing Points and Big Skies


New Mexico Highway 104, a regular on these pages, slices a diagonal course from Tucumcari to Las Vegas or the reverse if you must know. It's a mighty scenic, mostly empty and a favorite in the Immel household. In April we traversed the road in both directions since it's the most direct path to and from I-40 and the mind-numbing boredom of freeway driving across the flats of eastern NM and Texas. While the tarmac twists and turns as you ascend from the nothingness of Tucumcari it runs arrow straight when you reach the height of land past Concha Lake, like a horizontal plumbline into slowly gentrifying Las Vegas. 

I have a thing about vanishing points and big skies don't hurt my feelings in the least.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Precious moments


The lissome lass has leapt from Vermeer's easel it seems to me. The alabaster child and her loving papa pose serenely beneath a gnarly oak at the Taos Wool Festival and are the beneficiaries of the much ballyhooed open shade referenced in last week's post.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Commending Open Shade


On occasion a street photograph enters the realm of environmental portraiture. This may be one. Two things were at play. First, this vendor at the Taos Wool Fest this year was awash with woolly garments and was posing pensively almost poignantly for my camera. That she had the grace to place herself in the open shade in front of her booth is a marvel of good modeling. 

Let’s raise a glass to a photographer’s best friend; the soft light provided by a canopy of something or other. Once again I attest to the glories of diffusion at midday. The stuff shot with direct sunlight moments before and after was harsh, harsher and harsherer.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

El pago en cash


This hand-written sign made me smile. Staffing that graveyard shift must be a bitch. If ever there was a blatant effort to beat the system this is one. Could they be more obvious? Apparently paying $12.00 an hour cash money for a dishwasher on the vaunted 12am -4am  shift Fridays and Saturdays is the only shot at getting a pearl diver. I've waited decades to use that term.

Ask yourself who in the hell would report at midnight for a four shift? $48.00 tax free dollars is, well, $48.00 tax free dollars. I get that.  But this is 2017, chico. This little Tacos al Carbon operation is throwing caution to the wind it seems to me. Does getting caught cheating Governor Brown’s Tax and Revenue department and the IRS mean anything to you? And, did I mention the INS and ICE?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

LA Noir


Cops in shorts

More questions than answers

After a couple of weeks of technicolor skylines from the City of Angels comes a grittier look at street level. How better to portray the human condition in the urban environment than in glowering black and white?  The monochrome strips away the gloss and renders the scenes darker and more soulful it seems to me.

Call Moon and Yang.