Thursday, February 18, 2021

Cold Snow, Cold Photos

Wednesday morning temperatures were in the single digits... like 5 degrees when I went out. It had snowed all night so I knew everything would look different. 
Drove up to 9400 ft elevation to see the vistas

Rather than more details, the snow covered most everything. Places I had driven to a day earlier were now beyond the reach of my all-wheel drive truck. Being alone, and no other vehicles up here, decided not to risk getting stuck in this remote back country with freezing temperatures. So I stuck to roads that were...  semi-plowed. 

Had to make my own details in the snow.  By trudging across an open field...
(Was wearing my thirty-five year old Alaska insulated snow boots. Hope the seams hold).

 ... to capture the back side image 
of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Chapel.

Drove down to Rancho de Taos to the San Francisco de Asis Church, 
but the snow was falling harder there.

Was careful to protect the camera lens from wet flakes.

And for the color shot of the day, 
mule deer were out foraging for grass under the snow.  You can see the snow on their muzzles where they had rooted deep for food.

That wraps up another day in Angel Fire, New Mexico. Have not decided exactly when we'll return to Texas. So much depends on how fast everything returns to normal there after the infamous power outages and now limited water supplies.

Stay awake and healthy my friends,


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Fresh New Mexico Snow Brings Fresh Images

During a fresh blowing snow front, captured a few more photos in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. Practicing and learning how to control the exposure and focus when it's single digit temperatures with a hard blowing wind. Blowing so hard my tripod toppled over several times. In order to work the camera dials glove free, kept a pocket warmer in the jacket so I could jam my bare right hand in to thaw the fingers between shots. 

Wind whipped dry snow created a mystical effect,
at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Chapel in Angel Fire.

By wandering across the snow covered fields,
 discovered a new view of the chapel.
Am liking this angle.

Below looks like dust on the lens, but 
its the camera capturing the swirling snow as the wind whipped it around the buildings.

Off to a different location, 
have taken dozens and dozens photos of this old cowboy line cabin. Some close up, 
others from a distance trying to capture its abandoned character. 

A line cabin was where the cowboys could take refuge from a storm or nightfall when working the remote sections of a cattle ranch. Back before the valley was developed with a ski resort. 

As the sun was setting, experimented with several different techniques with snow and shadows.
Am not yet satisfied with the results. More work to be done, settings to try.
Since there is no one perfect way of doing anything, its the journey of discovery that satisfies and entices.

Revisited the rusty barbed wire gate. Blowing snow was accumulating 
along the fence that stretches across Moreno Valley. 

Finally for a color shot, 
seeing the white snow on this ristra of chili peppers inspired me to capture this image... 

Fire and Ice

That wraps up another day of photography. The forecast is for more snow tonight, so hopefully I can still get out in the morning and see what we can find interesting to shoot.

Stay safe and healthy my friends, 
hot cocoa by a roaring fire sounds perfect right now.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Waiting for Snow

Been sitting here in Northern New Mexico waiting for a good deep snowfall so I can take some photos. The locals tell me, "Oh, you should have been here a couple of weeks ago". 

It is cold with snow patches on the ground, but none of that soft drifting sea of white I was hoping to see. Here is what I have captured so far...

First up, a plowed country lane, deep shadows, edited for that 1950's era look of a Kodak Brownie camera.

Then tried a complex yet simple composition of a leafless aspen grove. All trees vertical save one. Would not want to attempt a crossword puzzle of this image.  

Driving higher, found a quiet meadow of unbroken snow field with long afternoon shadows. Tried for that frozen, frigid yet pristine look. 

Yes, am experimenting more with black & white photography.  But this image needed that late afternoon color to make it pop.

The next morning, waiting for the coffee to brew, looked out and saw the sun peeking thru a hole in the clouds, highlighting a distant mountain ridge.

Going for a minimalist look, edited out the surrounding dirt and weeds, keeping the soft shadow and the golden grass against the white grainy snow. 

That's what I have been up to these last few weeks in the mountains while we build up our COVID resistance with the help of two vaccine shots. 

See you on down the road. Stay safe, healthy, mask up.