For me, this photo has the quintessential qualities of Northern New Mexico, beautiful clouds, blue skies, and adobe architecture. Much of this trip was spent simply walking around Santa Fe and Taos, not necessarily on a photo trip, but still looking for great photographs.
A Photo Tour with Geraint Smith
Of course you cannot be in New Mexico without trying to capture at least some of the beautiful scenery this state has to offer. Having grown up in New Mexico, I’m certainly familiar with much of it. However, who would not wish to see New Mexico through the eyes of one of New Mexico’s great photographers, Geraint Smith of Taos. Since 2005 Geraint has posted a photo a day, most of them taken in the small town of Taos and surrounding areas. While I enjoy photography, I’m in awe of his dedication to his art. Before I retired, looking at Geraint’s website from my Chicago office computer is how I would start my day. His beautiful, often simple compositions, played a role in my desire to retire and return to New Mexico. Any photographer wishing for some inspiration would do well to peruse Geraint’s website and his ‘Photos of the Day.’ https://geraintsmith.com/ …and if you are in the area, sign up for a custom daylong tour.
So Geraint drove me around the area taking me to special vistas I had never visited before. He knew right where to go. Just a short drive off the main highway north of Abiquiu was this great view.
We also visited the White Place or Plaza Blanca, which Georgia O’Keeffe painted many times. She could see this dramatic geological formation from a window in her home.
New Mexico’s landscape has been the backdrop for many movies, including City Slickers. Here is a photo looking out of Curly’s cabin, in the 1991 comedy staring Billy Crystal.
As a photographer I still feel a bit odd taking small detailed photographs in the middle of a grand landscape. But walking by these grass shadows on the side of a rusty car appealed to me.
Abiquiu, New Mexico – Home to Georgia O’Keeffe
It is easy to understand the appeal Georgia O’Keeffe found in this area. It is full of simple designs and subtle color changes. Below is an example of one of Georgia’s paintings from this area, “The White Place in the Sun.”
Here are two more photos which are Georgia O’Keeffe-like, consisting of simple layers and natural forms. On the left is the silhouette of the mountain she often painted, Cerro Pedernal. She loved this mountain so much she chose to have her ashes scattered there
Georgia O’Keeffe lived in Abiquiu for many years, using these simple landscapes as inspiration for her famous paintings.
Santuario de Chimayó
El Santuario de Chimayó is a Roman Catholic church in the town of Chimayó, near Santa Fe, and is a frequent stop when I return to New Mexico. Great New Mexican food is nearby, as are many scenes unique to New Mexico. This is the typical scene people see and photograph when visiting this church, which is believed to have healing powers.
I walked around and looked at some of the other sights in the area. They are uniquely New Mexico.
There certainly appears to be a lot of divine competition in the Chile business.
Walking Around Santa Fe
The photographs I enjoy capturing the most are what I call ‘found’ photos. These are photos that are not obvious to everyone else. My goal is also to keep a photo very simple with no more than three subjects in the scene. The above triptych is such an example, created only by light and shadows on the adobe walls of city buildings in Santa Fe.
There are no wild adventures to tell of, just some artsy photos taken while walking around Santa Fe for a couple of days.
It has always amazed me how my mom would work so hard on the plants in her garden, trimming, fertilizing and watering trying to get them to grow. Yet, while hiking in the woods, or in this case walking the streets of Santa Fe, one can see thriving plants not being cared for by anyone growing out of small cracks in the rocks or sidewalk. These ‘volunteer’ flowers make for a scene common in New Mexico, hollyhocks and adobe.
So, goodbye from New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, and from one of the most photographed churches in America. Here is a triptych of the San Francisco de Assisi church in Rancho de Taos, New Mexico.