Sunday, July 31, 2011

Flip Flop

I can’t get enough of La Morada apparently.  Above is an abstract take on that venerable edifice with the white rungs piercing the air.  Below is a similar ladder against a motel wall in downtown Santa Fe.  These are about contrast and angles and seem to be an apt pairing. Simplicity reigns.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lift and Seperate

 I just taught a one on one workshop at La Morada de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe.  Out of the workshop comes a very different take on the morada than what you saw a couple of weeks ago. The lock, weathered woodwork and adobe speak of the passage of time and probably say southwest but don’t identify the Morada as the subject. 

While I favor black and white, this image is more effective in color since there are so many similar values.  In other words, it needs color to create separation between the elements in the composition and to give depth to the picture.  In color the metal components fairly jump out from the wood. In the black and white's gray midtones not so much.  The operative word would be "flat."  Of course, that’s just my opinion.  What’s yours?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Peeling The Onion

Peeling paint tells a story of seasons come and gone.  The tales of a dormant railroad car in North Conway and long demolished general store in nearby Bartlett are heavy with personal history. 

New England was my home for 30 years and these decade old photographs stir thoughts of crisp autumn air, wood smoke and long friendships.  It doesn’t mean these two photographs were necessarily taken in fall it’s just that those are the flavors of northern New Hampshire to me.  I know exactly where I stood when I pushed the shutter release in each of these images.  That kind of recall is probably part of every photographer’s memory bank but this is the first time I’ve appreciated the precision with which I could remember the moment.  It seems even more remarkable given the tens of thousands of images taken since.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Another Point Of View

Here you see both crosses from last week's entry and with a lots more context.  We're looking southwest from Taos Pueblo and you can see how large La Morada really is. Usually these lay chapels are quite tiny which may reflect the size of the Penitente community and its limited resources in 1830 or so but the Morada of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a substantial edifice..

We do know that this morada is the largest and least altered one in New Mexico. It may also have been the first and most important of all the moradas in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. These lay chapels were built in response to the secularization of the Catholic church by the Franciscan Brotherhood which left "genizaros", those of mixed Spanish and Indian blood, on the outside looking in. The genizaros were usually former slaves who, even after becoming free, were not accorded the rights of truly free men.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

A Tale Of Two Crosses

 Cruz Negro

Cruz Blanca

La Morada de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe is a lay chapel established in the early 1800s by an ultra conservative Catholic sect known as the Brotherhood of the Penitentes.  That's penitente as in penance and there was penance aplenty suffered by the brothers at their own hands. 

Abutting Taos Pueblo the morada has an epic view of Taos Mountain.  If you picked a site for your dream house this would be it.  In contrast to the severe iconography of the black cross the white cross seems pure and hopeful as it rises from the decaying adobe.