Sunday, 31 July 2011

Canyon Road

No one visits Santa Fe without visiting Canyon Road. The dozens of galleries, art gardens and the few food establishments must be enjoyed as a pedestrian. This road has a gentle slope to it and the surface is a bit uneven which slows you down and this is an advantage. However, if you take your time and explore the alleys, the lanes running off of Canyon Rd., and obviously the road itself, you will find wonderful examples of folk and fine art, sculpture and art glass. The folks that run these establishments are well informed, friendly and wonderfully laid back. As photographers, the challenge is to see all of this wealth of visual input and create an image unlike the thousands of other pictures taken of the same subjects.

Kelley Moore "Raw Art"

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Buried treasure collaboration

This is the third year of Buried Treasure collaborative project on Seth Apter blog:

Seth invites artists to repost their favorite posts from the depth of their own blogs. Our blog is less than one year old, so not a lot of digging was required, but I'm pleased that I can introduce to you a very talented artist and an extraordinary teacher, as well as show you some of my digital art.

Frankly dear, SHE DOES give a damn!
 (Original post from 26/03/11)

This little play on a phrase made famous in the 1939 classic film,” Gone With The Wind”, is dedicated to Carol Leigh whose Advanced Photomontage online class is about to finish. I think Carol is an exquisite teacher, she shares generously her knowledge, stimulates creativity, teaches us to pay attention to the tiniest details and she takes time to give us detailed critiques to enhance the learning experience.
I present here some of my homework, with immense gratitude to Carol.
If you like what you see, all credit goes to Carol.

As an awe-struck husband, I’m compelled to throw in my 2 cent observation. Elena being the most intelligent and more importantly most capable person I have ever known and believe me when I comment that this is no mere compliment considering the level of intelligence and achievement attained in our level of friends. It doesn’t matter whether it is neuroscience, culinary arts, horticulture or art, Elena is consistently at the top of the skill sets. What prompts me to offer this heartfelt thanks to Carol and her photomontage course is that unlike neuroscience, where the discussion of ion channels, neural receptors and plasticity may be limited, the creation and discussion of art is wonderfully inclusive. I’m not surprised by Elena’s growth in art, but I’m wonderfully impressed with the results. So thank you Carol, I agree, “Frankly dear, YOU DO give a damn.”

Friday, 22 July 2011


Not far from Santa Fe is the little town of Cerrillos, population 229.  Once a bustling mining town, Cerrillos is now a vestige of a frontier town, with its dirt streets, store facades and the lone Catholic Church at one end of the main street.  The easy diggings in the little hills that yielded turquoise, lead, silver and gold played out and by 1900, Cerrillos started to experience a population decline.

Now, it is an enchanting source of photographic opportunity, especially if you walk the dusty streets and allow your reverie to translate what you see to what might have been.  The sky is a cobalt blue and the buildings interesting faded colors, now showing the patina of bright leaded paints aged by years of arid unrelenting sun.  This is a perfect mix for location directors who have used this location as a backdrop for motion pictures.  

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Madrid was a coal mining town with a unique history of being a progressive “company town.”  The coal mine owners created a community philosophy for their employees based on the concept of participation.  Each employee contributed a small amount of their paychecks to a community fund that developed a community center, parks, a baseball park with a semi pro baseball team. 

When the coal played out, the population plummeted.  Most of the homes were owned by the son of the mine operator who began renting out the homes to artists at a very fair rent.  This kept the homes occupied and somewhat well maintained resulting a charming town on the Turquoise Hwy south of Santa Fe. 

Madrid was the filming location for a number of scenes for the movie Wild Hogs starring: Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, John Travola, and William H. Macy. Since the film was released, Madrid is a popular stop for the so called, “shirt and tie bikers,” weekend motorcycle enthusiasts. 

For photographers, Madrid is a wonderful mix of eclectic galleries housed in fascinating buildings, landscapes loaded with great views and unlimited detail features that can keep you snapping pictures for hours.

Pecos National Historical Monument

What a remarkable place!  This adobe sits on a rise looking over two valleys with mountains beyond the valleys.  The light has a quality that defies definition.  The Park Service supervises the archeological processes and the restoration is in the Native American tradition. 

The history here is palatable.  You can imagine how impressed the 1st Spaniards must have been to see a community of 2000 people, comfortably trading with tribes hundreds of miles distant.  Then looking down into the one of the river valleys, you see the layout of the 1862 Civil War battlefield where the Confederates were defeated and the westward strategy of the Confederacy was terminated.  But I digress…photography here is a blast…enjoy. 

Saturday, 16 July 2011


What a find was this place!  You get out of your car and set your watch back 250 years.  I was struck by the excellent condition of the original structures, especially the little details like a door lock.  This lock had a faceplate nailed in place by hand forged nails and the mechanism was essentially as it was when made in Spain many years ago.
Then after you have set your mind to a different era, you start to notice really strange things.  Like the Church exterior, including the bell tower, the roof peak cross and the exterior ladders were all wrapped in strings of white lights. 
Chimayo is a special place for persons of faith.  Legend has it that 200 years ago a crucifix was discovered in the ground.  Upon discovery, healings began and a small chapel was constructed over the blessed dirt in 1816.  Pilgrims arrive daily to pay homage resulting in a bustling plaza business in blessed dirt and more practical items like chili powder, tin items, woven goods, wood carvings and wonderfully interesting paintings of saints on wooden planks.  Elena and I couldn’t resist the charm of the place and purchased a selection of chili powders and other local spices which now are integral ingredients in my locally famous chicken fajitas.
Once again, “kudos” to Carol & Chris for including Chimayo as a must see place while in Santa Fe.  It is accessible from the “high road to Taos.”   If you are ever visiting Santa Fe, put Chimayo on your must visit list.