Thursday, July 30, 2020

New Mexico Rainbow

After returning to northern New Mexico to escape the Texas heat and growing COVID-19 infections, we have experienced a most unusual summer. 

While raining most days starting about noon, the mornings are for outings. When I get a chance, I slip out and snap a few photos, try some new techniques... after the rains move in, sit at the laptop, work on new editing techniques or cook up a new dish.

Played with a new fisheye lens here... looking west across the sage brush of Moreno Valley.

Using the fisheye lens, zoomed in to eliminate the black border.  Note the curvature of the horizon, still an interesting shot of clouds. Those far distant peaks are in Colorado.

Looking north across Black Lake at Wheeler Peak with a regular lens.
Black Lake is at the southern end of Moreno Valley in northern New Mexico. 
The lake is on private grazing land so one cannot actually go there. 

The bands of light and shadow across the valley floor contrasting with the evergreen trees, ridges and distant peaks attracted my attention. The rumbling clouds were icing on the cake.

Now looking west at a sunset peeking out from under the rain clouds, 
still near Black Lake.

Ventured out to take more flowing water shots using the iPhone and a Slow Shutter app. This smooths out the water for a more silky appearance. Is critical that you use a tripod so everything but the water comes out crisp and sharp. It helps that there is no wind too.

Am not sure when or if I'll ever use the slow shutter technique in competitive image work, 
 but wanted to experiment with it, practice a bit and learn.  

Below, I applied other editing steps to the slow shutter shot to sharpen the rocks and mute the colors. 
Makes you want to reach out and pick up a rock?

Sunday morning I walked downtown to Angel Fire's weekly Farmers Market.
This was the only produce vendor there. The other vendors were two bakery booths, one chicken/ duck egg farmer and two herbal scent ladies. Slim pickings... 
Bought a half dozen duck eggs, a peach scone and six gingerbread cookies.

Every one here wears their face mask and practices social distancing.

The produce vendor fires up his roaster with a fresh batch of the Hatch Green Chiles. Hatch is a small town in New Mexico famous for their green chiles. The harvest season is in full bloom.

This roaster looks like a cement mixer with mesh sides and a gas burner underneath.

As they roast, the chile skins soften, turning black, yellow and brown. The roasting process loosens the skin from the flavorful meat, making them easier to peel. This batch is not quite done yet.

That afternoon a thunderstorm moved into the valley. As it moved over us a rainbow appeared, dropping out of the rain clouds. 

I grew up hearing how you could find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. My South American wife grew up learning that a rainbow was a colorful ribbon mother nature uses to tie back her hair after washing it. Interesting how different cultures have different folklore.

Then a sight we have never experienced before, sunlight streamed in over the lower storm clouds, illuminating this cloud, creating an unworldly brilliant view.  

The valley floor is still in shadow from the rain clouds overhead while the mountain peaks are in sunlight. Note the rainbow is still evident on the left.

Every day here we see something new, learn something new, gather new experiences. Life is good.

Stay safe my friends, stay healthy, mask up and wash your hands.