Sunday, April 30, 2023

Cloud Cover, Edition Three

Just as I threatened last time, I’ve been able to pillage my archives for not only a third edition of Cloud Cover but a fourth that will follow next week. Big Whoop!

Around fifteen years ago I took an advanced Photoshop course from John Paul Caponigro at the Santa Fe Workshops. Like virtually everybody else in the class I was over my head from the jump. To compound the felony, we used Apple computers which added another layer of difficulty, entirely different macros. I was and still am a PC Guy. Still, it was instructive and John Paul, the son of photography icon Paul Caponigro, was a master teacher.

As part of the course, he asked to see examples of our work and commented freely. At the time my best stuff was from the still life arena. Several of those images remain among my best. But when it came to landscapes, not so much. John Paul allowed that landscapes were my weak point. Still, I’ve plowed ahead over the last decade and a half and have scored the occasional winner.

Thanks in large measure to clouds I offer you these examples.

Sabron du Ponteves

We wouldn’t have known about Bargeme if we hadn’t seen a poster for British photographer Michael McKenna’s one man at show at Le Souffle des Arte in the spectacular village. Bargeme is the highest point in France’s Var region and it's crowned by the Sabron du Ponteves, a medieval castle at the belvedere or height of land.  Once again, the dramatic clouds of a September afternoon created a timeless tableau in the village, one of Les Plus Beaux Villages du France. I asked the gallerist how she could command an exhibition from a world-renowned photographer in such a tiny and remote town. She told me that she was a friend of Kenna’s and that he was having a Paris show right after this one. I learned later he had lived in the village from 2006 until 2011. So, it is who you know. And where you live, apparently.

Sangre View

Sangre View
was taken from a partially buried potato storage cellar in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado. I liked the way the eaves of the building framed the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the layer of clouds beyond the pastureland in the largest alpine valley in the United States

The Stroll

An elderly woman was walking along a footpath next to Cottam Road. She looked down on Taos Valley with the Sangre de Cristos, two bands of clouds and an arrowhead of rain pointing into the frame. I call it The Stroll.

Storm Over Taos Mountain

We had just photographed the cloud show on Los Cordobas Road and the junction of the Rio Grande and the Rio Pueblo. It was one of a dozen of my best photography events thanks to Peggy who insisted that I get out of bed and make the effort. The sky as increible as we say in El Norte. On the way back into town was Taos Mountain in its snowcapped, cloud swathed majesty. It’s called Storm Over Taos Mountain.

Upper Oro Mine

The abandoned mines above Leadville are compelling subjects unto themselves but when backed by a powerful sky they’re epic subjects. This is the Upper Oro Mine.

West Rim Morning

West Rim Morning
. On the way to Leadville on an early August morning I crossed the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and entered a scruffy patch of land referred to as the West Rim. It’s earned a Wild West reputation where even the police are hesitant to intrude. The humble spread was bathed in early morning light as I drove north to US 285 toward the Colorado border and the Route of the Silver Kings.

1 comment:

Blacks Crossing said...

Clouds Three brought more excitement and mystery to your blog site and I am glad you continued your search. The clouds definitely win, don't they? Love the Sabron du Ponteves, Sangre View, and the massive buildup over Taos Mountain. Magnificent shots all. It is exciting we get yet another offering next week! Muchas gracias, Esteban!