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.

CCjon

9 comments:

  1. Yummm! Hatch green chiles… One of my favorite salsa ingredients. And beautiful photos. I play around with the slow shutter feature on the phone but the "no wind" has been hard to find.

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    1. Hatch chiles are not like jalapeƱos either. Different taste and texture. The more we are here, am acquiring a taste for them. But still enjoy a fresh japalo.

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  2. I remember the farmers' market in Angel Fire. Glad to hear you're there, amigo, and not in the Houston petri dish.

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  3. Thanks Tony, finally convinced the bride we would be safer in the mountains than in Houston, only 13 cases county wide up here versus 66,000 back home.

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  4. Ah! Abu! These photos are beautiful! Makes me want to pack up the house and head on West :) Looking forward to my copy of the last pic!!! I have to ask now, What is your favorite season in AF?

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    1. When we return will try printing that last photo for you to make up for not getting the aurora borealis shot.
      My favorite season is Fall, while I love being up here anytime of the year. In the Fall, it's dryer, air crisper, maybe sun, maybe snow, cooler nights, warm days, the aspen leaves are changing color, the movement of the animals is noted more, they know winter is coming and they need to prepare. You feel the season in the air.

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    2. You lost me at "...maybe snow..." :) It's a beautiful place and am so glad you two are up there enjoying it.

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  5. Yes, I did want to reach out and pick up one of the rocks! Nice shot, all of them were great as usual!

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    1. Thanks, most of these shots are with the SONY RX10 III, but because it would be trashed if dunked in the water, I use the waterproof iPhone for the flowing water pix.

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