A Walk Around New Mexico


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.

White Place Cave

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.

White Cliffs Silhouette


Don’t you just love New Mexico?


Curly’s Cabin

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.


Three fronds, four shadows

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

Rock Abstracts

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.”

“The White Place in the Sun” by Georgia O’Keeffe


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.


Hills around Abiquiu, New Mexico

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.

El Santuario de Chimayó


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.

A Santa Fe musician.


There are no wild adventures to tell of, just some artsy photos taken while walking around Santa Fe for a couple of days.

Ageless photo of an Indian pot on display.


Hollyhocks and Adobe

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.



19 thoughts on “A Walk Around New Mexico

  1. Those are beautiful pictures and a story to go with it. Ryan and I are looking into fun vacation spots around here. Abiquiu is a great idea. Did you stay in an AirBnB?

    • No AIR B&B. There is only one hotel which is very nice near the only store in the area. They also serve a good breakfast. Abiquiu only consists of a post office, one store and one nice hotel and a gas station….

  2. Fantastic! So close to my heart. Lived in Abiquiu for 5 years. Never got enough of the beautiful places. Rode my horse through much of it!

  3. Love this blog and your photos, Harold. We’re going to spend the winter in Santa Fe this year for a change. You’ve inspired me to look for some good photos while we’re there. Thanks again for sharing your beautiful photos and commentary.

    Bonnie and David

  4. New Mexico is indeed a picturesque state. Your vistas in Abiquiu are very colorful. The grass shadows are interesting. Chimayo is very New Mexican. I wonder what color those hollyhocks are.

    • At first I wondered about your hollyhock question. YOU don’t care for black and white images… the hollyhocks in this case were white. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. More and more, I’ll post fewer color photos. If the colors are not a critical part of the photo, B&W it shall be.

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