Sunday, August 24, 2014

Alter Ego

Apropos of absolutely nothing and mostly because I’ve been on the road for a week and can’t find my words here’s a simple portrait of esteemed Taos photographer Lenny Foster. Lenny is a smiling kind of guy so showing a little attitude in this one seems like a good idea.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Baudinard Fog


My medium telephoto reveals a trip to France in the near future, maybe September. And so, an image from our last sojourn in Provence, that would have been 2011, seems most appropriate today. The photograph is from our little street in Baudinard, the lovely Chemin d’Artignosc. And on this lazy summer weekend I am the soul of brevity. Do I hear applause and murmurs of appreciation?


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Members of the Wedding

These images, with all their flaws, reveal unfettered happiness. Yes, my shutter speed didn’t quite stop the action, a little flash would have softened the contrast and that tree trunk interferes big time but, man, those guys were literally jumping for joy. It was life affirming somehow and made me feel good about the human animal at a time when positive signs are all too rare. Kudos to the intrepid wedding photog who choreographed this high stepping sprint down Peachtree Avenue in Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood. It took all of my considerable persuasive powers to get them to do that.







Sunday, August 03, 2014

Famous last words


A couple of years back I had a brief flirtation with long exposures. I had just purchased a graduated neutral density filter with which I planned to make really long exposures, thirty seconds and more, even in bright daylight. Sad to say, I’ve done little with the device since. There’s always tomorrow I reckon.

The effect on these images of the Martinez Hacienda in Taos is to render a milky sky and richly textured adobe. The hacienda had just received a fresh coat of mud so the earthen colors were particularly robust. It appears to me that the long exposures and the moving light creates roundness and volume in the shapes and shadows of the building making it appear even more organic.

 


Long exposures are not for the tripod averse and I am that if nothing else. In our recent sojourn to Spain the thing was effective ballast at best. Next time will be different.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The horse I rode in on

Seems like the only photographs I take are ones from trips and almost never from Taos. And that over the last couple of years I’ve been shooting for the blog and not for the “art.” That’s neither good nor bad just is. And because I’ve been making images to support a weekly byline, ones that are more or less photojournalistic I’ve neglected the art for art’s sake. Certainly I want to believe that the odd photograph made in recent times could leap from journal to art but that hasn’t been the mission.
 
It’s been a long while since I’ve had to dig into my archives to find images to post. Today I did that and in the process of looking at the hundred or so photographs in my folder of potential victims I clicked on a couple of moldy oldies that feel, at least to me, like the stuff I used to do, ones that are freestanding artistic efforts whose grand moment would be as framed prints on a gallery wall somewhere.

And, speaking of prints, I don’t anymore.  Was a time when the artistic effort wasn’t complete until I held a fully massaged print on rag paper in my hot mitts.

In that spirit I have just printed these little numbers to prove to myself that I can still produce a so-called fine art print.  It’s liberating on some level, decidedly more personal and tells me that I should do more printing and I should photograph with printing in mind.
 

 
Both of these are from Ghost Ranch or just south of same. Thanks for asking.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Urban Geometry

 
Visiting a real city is a treat if for no other reason than the zooming geometry of metal and glass piercing the sky.  The competing angles of adjacent buildings from different eras vying for air space in the blue yonder offer up unending juxtapositions such as these from Atlanta Midtown last weekend.

 





Atlanta, as all big cities, is full of neighborhoods like upscale Midtown and Buckhead to its north. Atlanta Five Points, Grants Park and East Atlanta were new to me and, thanks to my guide Garrett Immel whose sensibilities are eerily similar, have been added to a growing list of locales that demand a closer look very soon. More to come.





 

 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The rise and fall of Charles Bent

As I started back to Taos from the Amache Camp in Granada I debated the merits of taking the most direct route or a slight detour to Old Bent’s Fort near La Junta, Colorado.  Like Amache, Bent’s Fort had been on my shot list for a few years and since I was so near I tacked northwest to visit the fort which was built in 1833 as the major trading post on the mountain route of the Santa Fe Trail and that lasted a scant sixteen years. That’s a lot of fort for such a short lifespan given its importance during our nation’s Westward Ho moment.


William and Charles Bent built the massive fort on the banks of the Arkansas River and it became the trading hub of an empire stretching from Kansas City to The Rockies and from the Platte River to Santa Fe. At Bent’s trappers peacefully traded buffalo robes with the Cheyenne and Arapahoe as the Bents supplied travelers, explorers and the US Army with food, water and repairs on the rugged and remote Santa Fe Trail.
 


In 1846 Bent’s Fort was the staging area for General Stephen Watts Kearny’s Army of the West which drove Mexico out of New Mexico.  Kearny named Charles Bent governor of the newly established New Mexico territory and, in a Taos related piece of history, Bent was shot, scalped alive and killed by Pueblo and Mexican attackers in 1847.
 
While the 24 room adobe fort is impressive, it’s the architectural details and human artifacting that drew me.
 




 
Old Bent’s Fort is actually quite new having been reconstructed by the National Park Service in 1976.