Sunday, July 30, 2023

Curating Three

Here is the final tranche of candidate images for Immel + Immel Side by Side, Peggy’s and my show that opens September 2 at Wilder Nightingale Fine Art in Taos. And like last week, the captions are the stories. Tell me what you really think.

Barely half a mile from Casa Immel is the historic Martinez Hacienda, the northern most Grand Hacienda in New Mexico which dates to 1803. On the this chilly morning all of the canales were resplendent with icicles dripping slowly against the January sky. It's Canales y Hielo, literally channels and ice.

I call this slender number Simplicity, simply because it is. This is a window on the north facing wall of Martinez Hall in Ranchos de Taos that 's across the street from historic Ranchos Church.

You'll recall this distinctive number from a post a few weeks back that included a batch of images that I submitted to Shadow and Light magazine's annual Color it Red issue. This one dubbed He and His Shadow and five others earned a mini-portfolio. My dear friend and wonderful photographer, Daryl Black, won a well-deserved full ten image spread. Her images were extraordinary.

And speaking of Ranchos Church, here's the iconic place of worship at last light. We'll call it Ranchos Glow.

Into the Clouds Two. This memorable shot was taken on one of the most memorable mornings of my long photographic life. As we ascended a shallow hill I pulled to the side of the road, got out of the car and photographed the tarmac as it appeared to enter the cloud. We were heading west toward the junction of the Rio Grande and the Rio Pueblo at a place called Taos Junction.

That's all folks.


Sunday, July 23, 2023

Curating Two

I was driving the Enchanted Circle with the extraordinary photographer David Michael Kennedy last year. He was on a reconnaissance trip to prepare for an upcoming photo tour with frequent clients. We drove to the height of land in the village of Lama where I knew of a stash of abandoned homesteads that might appeal. This window framed the sky beyond so I called it just that, Sky Beyond.

More than 20 years ago I was exploring the sleepy downtown of Bartlett, NH. What had been the general store in the the hamlet was long shuttered and would soon be leveled in the name of progress. That factoid speaks to the need to photograph that withering thing you've passed a hundred times before it goes the way of the Bartlett store. It wasn't until I was processing the file that I saw that the photograph was really about the sky, the Reflected Sky.

Perhaps fifteen years ago I was shooting the cover photograph for the Taos Art School's catalog. The owner had arranged for the truck's owner to park his pristine 1939 International pick-up truck in front of Ranchos Church. You can see it's famous adobe buttresses beyond. It's called Iggy Peralta's Pick-up.

At the bottom of our street in San Miguel de Allende was a street light and a tangle of wires. It, as always, began as a color image but leant itself to the spot color treatment we know and love. It is Night Light.

Rusting away in the abandoned mining camp, Elizabeth Town, NM, was a convertible that some artistic soul had decorated with plastic flowers as if it were a grave. I call it Adornment

Continuing our ruthless culling of the brace of possibles for Immel + Immel Side by Side in , here are five more victims for your critiques and comments. Other than captions that describe the place, time, and circumstances of their capture, that’s photo speak for taking the picture, these candidates will speak for themselves. That opinions are personal and that no two eyes see things the same way was illustrated last week when some people choose Pozos Gold as the best of the five image batch while others didn’t think it stood up to the other the other four contenders. For what it's worth it was my favorite of that grouping.

Sunday, July 16, 2023


Turn Signal, El Prado, NM.

Alpha Cloud, Ranchos de Taos, NM.

In a short seven weeks Peggy and I will have our fourth biannual show at Wilder Nightingale Fine Art in Taos. Mounting a show as successful as 2021’s boffo event is a dizzying prospect. But that’s the goal. For me the mission is choosing from existing images, hence the title of today’s blog Curating.  And I hope to add new selections, too. Peggy has the more daunting task called painting to a deadline. This is not a novel experience for her.

Upper Oro Mine #3, Leadville, CO.

White Cross. Dark Sky. La Morada de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Taos, NM.

We’re calling the show Immel +Immel, as always, with the subtitle Side by Side. That subtitle recognizes our 56 years as a married couple and that we’re exhibiting our work Side by Side once again. I will continue my exploration of Spot Color alongside the traditional midcentury black and white I’ve been devoted to for more than sixty years. Peggy will display her richly rendered oil paintings of New Mexico and the Southwest. While we work in different mediums our strengths in composition and craft lend cohesion to our work.

Pozos Gold, Mineral de Pozos, Mexico.

For at least two weeks and likely longer I’ll be posting my candidates for our September 2 show which will close September 28. I figure we’ll each offer 15-20 pieces as we did in 2021. Here are the first five possibles.

Tell me what you think.

Sunday, July 09, 2023

Music to my eyes

The crowd of 6,000 begins to assemble for the quite incredible Robert Plan and Allison Krauss at Kit Carson Park. Last year it was Sting. Even world famous musicians want to play in tiny Taos. I just read that Plant is worth $200 million and still rocks his brains out.

In a more intimate setting 14 players gather every Wednesday on the patio of the Taos Café for a blue grass jamboree. In winter they jam at the Taos Ale House.

Actor and singer Chris Brochu and an unnamed local sideman play a bluesy set at the first ever Taos Roundup. If you look closely you'll see the the musician on your right is the same hefty guy with his back to you in the image above this one.

Taos is known as an art town, an art colony for that matter. The legend of Taos began with a broken wagon wheel north of town in 1898, took flight with the Taos Society of Artists in the early 20th Century and has lured a who’s who of American and European artists for more than a hundred years.

Hats and hair at the Taos Roundup. Portland has nothing on us. We've got hipsters, too.

I'm guessing five years old.

It was an all ages affair. The falling sun made this striking lass glow.

And speaking of hats, hair and hipsters, that dude was muy photogenic. 

But Taos is an artist’s town in a broader sense. It has a literary scene, a chamber music group, some mighty fine bebop, a whole lot of Americana, a picante spike of Norteño, and a potent dose of Rock and Roll. Oh, and an opera society, an opera school and SOMOS, The Society of the Muse, with its annual Writer’s Conference. Not too shabby for a remote town of 6,000 in sprawling county of 35,000 oddballs that occupies 2,203 square miles of high desert and mountains. There aren’t many of us, but we punch above our weight.

What started as a post about the music by local musicians and major players like Robert Plant and Allison Krause has tilted toward the audiences. The last four shots occupy a subset of street photography it seems to me. 

I contend that you can hear live music every night of the week in Taos. To quote Bill Maher, "I don't know if it's true. I just know that I'm right."

Sunday, July 02, 2023

Color it Red 2023

The photograph from San Miguel de Allende was once called Rough Rider for reasons you can readily discern. It became He and His Shadow when I applied the vaunted spot color technique which has brought me such wealth and fame.

This table top and stool after the rain is dubbed Chance of Showers. The image is also a victim of the dastardly spot color treatment. They lived in Telluride, Colorado and the red seat was once turquoise. Turquoise seemed a poor fit for Color it Red but I liked the design so this happened. 

As you’ve been told too many times I have a byline in the online photography magazine, Shadow and Light. It’s a bi-monthly publication that I've contributed to for five years and counting. Among the six issues editor and publisher Tim Anderson publishes two special issues meaning that my series Telling Stories appears four times a year. As a kind of game and to demonstrate gamut I've started submitting to the special juried issues like an ordinary Shmoo. If you know Shmoo, Li'l Abner, you're as old as I am. 

The special issues are Language of the Land and Color It Red. I secured a third-tier placement in the last Language of the Land and was proud to make the cut. The other work was stunning and honorable mention was about right. I just submitted to Color It Red 2023 which will publish on July 15. All digits crossed.

Roussillon, France was the ochre capitol of the world till that industry like tanning moved to North Africa. This crude weaving was dyed with ochre pigments from the cliffs that abut the village. I've called it Roussillon Rouge.

Candy Apple Red is Iggy Peralta's 1939 International pick-up in Ranchos de Taos, NM. It's still  Iggy's daily driver. 

Emblematic dwells in El Prado, NM. It's a portrait of lustrous reds and golds.

As to Shadow and Light, I encourage you to take a close look. It’s handsome journal that I’m proud to be part of. You can acquire six annual online issues for a princely ten bucks. You won't see a year of better photography than in Shadow and Light. Simply highlight and right click the link to go to the website.