Every Fall, I set aside several days for a for a trip to a photography “destination.” I have made several trips to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula “The U.P.,” a couple recently, to Vermont, last fall to Virginia, and this year, we spent 4 whirlwind days in New Mexico. I am fortunate to have relatives in the out-of-state locales, which has allowed me a staging point, as well as mixing family with photography.
These trips often find me driving frantically from one distant site to another, trying to be there before first light, or before sundown, or trying to cope with the “bad” light of the mid-day, knowing I may not have another opportunity. During fall, 2005 and 2006, for a week each time, I drove nearly the entire state of Vermont (I still have some of the far Southern portion to cover in a future year). I have, likewise, driven the length of the U.P. (longer from East to West than the length of the entire state of Vermont, but still easier to “get there from here”).
This year, during the first weekend of October, we covered over 800 miles in 4 days, to reach and seek a number of very diverse photographic subjects, from mountainside Aspens in full fall color against snow covered mountain backgrounds, to former “Ghost Towns,” now alive with “Southwestern” color and architecture, to the Southwest’s gorgeous “redrock” formations, to the famed Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.
I commented on one of the forums that I frequent that this spectacular Hot Air Balloon Festival is “low hanging fruit” for photographers. The day we were there, we experienced light winds, deep blue “textbook” Southwestern skies, and a riot of colors, sizes and shapes, in constant moving compositions. We arrived there pre-dawn (having left the house at 5:30 a.m.) and left there just after 10:00, to head for “The Turquoise Trail” and the formerly abandoned, turquoise and silver mining town of Madrid. After spending an hour there, we headed north, with a quick stop in the authentic old mining town of Cerillos, for Santa Fe, and Canyon Road, home of many, many galleries and artists. I found the architecture in these towns all different, and all compelling. ‘Tis the season (Fall, that is–the only season as far as I am concerned) and Chili Ristras in various shades of red, ubiquitous in New Mexico, could be seen hanging on every shop and building. Against either the Southwestern Adobe, or the bright pastel pinks and blues, how can the lens resist?
And then, quickly, off to catch the late afternoon sun and the yellow, gold and orange Aspens in the Santa Fe Ski Basin — A day in the life of a “vacation photographer.”
I have often thought that I would like to have the luxury to spend a month in a locale, to scout and return to good locations until I “get it right.” In a way, I envy–and I certainly deeply respect–the “pros” who do it for a living. They work hard at getting things right, often at great personal economic cost and often at some personal discomfort. I truly appreciate the fact that I do not have to photograph — but that I can. And I appreciate that it is not difficult to find, almost anywhere in the beautiful country of ours, something compelling to point the lens to.
Hope you enjoy my new additions to the website, in both Landscapes/New Mexico, and Cityscapes.
Thanks for reading . . . . . . .
Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY, TRAVEL | Tagged: Albuquerque, Albuquerque Balloon Fiests, Aspen, balloon, balloon fiesta, chili ristra, color, fall, fall color, ghost town, hot air balloon, Madrid New Mexico, New Mexico, redrock, Santa Fe, Southwest, Turquoise Trail |