Sunday, January 13, 2019

The mother of all winters

Mother winter has made a bold return Taos after years of scant snow. Within ten days we’ve had two 12” snows and a -19 morning. The curator at the Millicent Rogers Museum told us it’s the most snow she’s seen in decades. What is this Maine?

Saturday the snow abated in early afternoon by which time we’d photographed at the Immel Rancho, the historic Torreon and at the Overland Sheepskin complex in El Prado. Add those to a somewhat abstract image of the frozen ice shot Friday at the Millicent Rogers and I have a disparate bunch for this post. I even threw you a color number. This one is all photographs and little text. Is that applause I hear or a massive sigh of relief?

Sunday, January 06, 2019

And the winners are

#1 The New Sherman, Salida CO

#2 Perros on Diego Rivera's Street, Guanajuato, Mexico

Tie #3 Bicicleta in the Rain, Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico

Tie #3 Caught, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

#4 Hank's,San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

#5 Kara and Eero, Santa Ana Pueblo, NM

Lucky Strike Extra

#6 Bicycle, Taos, NM

It goes to show that judging art is purely subjective and one person’s winner is another person’s dud. And so it was in this year’s sweepstakes. Beyond the numbers are the surprises. For example, Fire Truck received no votes and I like that a lot. One participant called it too processed and too different than my other stuff. Campo, the one of riders headed to San Martin de Terrero for The Blessing of the horses also got no love. I loved the gesture and the angle of that one. What the heck do I know?

On reflection I should have included the second bicycle shot at the bottom and haven’t the foggiest why I didn’t. To make up for the slight I’m adding it to the winners list. So, we’re having a top six this year.Or is it seven since there was a tie for third?

I included iphone images from my daily Instagram posts and several others are from a pocket camera, so only three in the original group were taken with a full frame DSLR and just one of those made the final cut. That is fascinating and instructive. It foretells that smaller is better is our future. Richard Feynman had it right. I don’t have the guts to give up the big gun quite yet, but I do see the writing on the wall. Hell, I want to travel light without sacrificing image quality. By the way, any image with a frame around it was made with an iphone7. Only Kara and Eero is from my Canon 5D MIII. Caught is from my new Sony Rx100 VI and it really does rival a full frame DSLR. And I can carry it in the front pocket of my jeans. Looking back, and I wrote this in a post years ago, if I could have a small camera with a 24-200mm lens and a large sensor I'd rule the world. Be very careful what you wish for.

The rub with the iphone is sensor size. It’s tiny and won’t stand up to a major enlargement. The images are more contrasty and jiggy than those from a “real” camera. But maybe it’s an advantage. They look like they were created with some nineteenth century alternative process. They are somehow more painterly.  What do you think? But wait, five of seven were shot with an iphone. Seems like you've already told me.

Thanks to everybody who played.