What a Year!

This year started out great for photography with acceptance into the  2020 Anza Borrego Desert Photo Contest . This contest was preceded, in the spring of 2019, by a spectacular super bloom in the Coachella Valley and surrounding areas, a super bloom of quality and quantity that had not been seen in decades. And I was there for both of these shows!

Anza Borrego Desert Photo Contest

One of my favorite places is the Anza Borrego Desert State Park in southeastern CA. It covers over 600,000 acres of wilderness and  mountains, much of it inaccessible except on foot. What is accessible are vast areas of badlands, palm oases, slot canyons, 4 wheel drive roads, broad vistas – a landscape photographer’s paradise. Each year a photo contest, limited to images taken within the park boundaries, entices hundreds of photographers to show their work.

Although photographing there for years, it did not occur to me to enter the photo contest until last summer, after having spent many hours pursuing the fabulous wildflowers of the super bloom. I had lots of images to choose from and submitted, digitally,  the 10 allowed. I was surprised and pleased when 8 of those 10 made the first cut, the final couple hundred from which the judges would pick winners in each of the six categories. Submission then required the images to be printed, mounted and delivered to Borrego Springs, a small town that sits in the middle of the Park. Wintering now in the Coachella Valley, it was a pleasure for me to make the delivery. Here are the 8.

The last two images, Palm Oasis and Feast for a Desert Prince,  were awarded Honorable Mention in the Black and White and Animals category, respectively, and were displayed, along with all the winners, during the month of February at the Borrego Art Institute in Borrego Springs.  At the excellent critique session that preceded the opening reception I discovered, to my surprise, that almost all the winners were local, professional photographers. I was in very good company.

Super Bloom 2019

The images above with wildflowers were taken in the spring of 2019 during that amazing super bloom. I was enchanted with the wildflowers, vast fields of which replaced the drab greens, grays and tans of the desert with purple, pink, yellow and white. They appeared not only in the expanses of the neighboring parks but also on every vacant lot, every patch of bare ground in the urban sprawl of the Coachella Valley.

I marveled at the vistas, but also saw stunning arrangements of flower varieties set among rocks, in dry arroyos, up hillsides and, of course, individual flowers. I photographed them all hoping, someday, someway to give others a glimpse of this glory. A book? Sure, but then I was daunted by the task of identifying all those flowers and just set the whole idea aside. The Anza Borrego Photo Contest spurred me to cull these photos for suitable entries, but the real motivator to create a book was the COVID19 pandemic with its mandated stay at home regimen.

The book, Super Bloom 2019, was just published by Blurb, You can see a preview of the whole book here. What follows are some of the images not in the book.

Sky’s the Limit: New Mexico

The New Mexico Art League’s latest exhibition features representations – in a variety of media – of the  fabulous skies in this state. All three of my submissions were accepted (a first) and the one above was taken right up the  street from my house. It’s titled Eldorado, the name of our little unincorporated community about 12 mile southeast of Santa Fe.

Another image, A Proper Perspective, is a variation on a theme. You’ve seen it before in black and white. Here is the color version.

 

A Proper Perspective (410 x 600)

A Proper Perspective

The third image, Virgas, may also be in a gallery on this site, called there Into the Rain. It was taken in NE New Mexico, near a town called Roy,  where the land begins to become plains. I changed the title because on closer examination I thought the rain wasn’t actually reaching the ground, hence virgas. What do you think?

Virgas (aka Into the Rain)

Virgas

Lay of the Land New Mexico

The New Mexico Art League has juried in two of my images for the above titled exhibition. It will be an exhibition of prints, drawings, paintings, mixed media and photographs. That’s quite a mix so I’m pleased to have been included. The image above, Gorge, is one of them and the other is O’Keefe Country, below.

O'Keeffe Country

Not far from Abiquiu, NM

The show runs from Sept. 4 through Oct. 6, 2018 at the Art League, click for directions. More information about the Art League and its programs can be found here.

Trees: A Show at the Vista Grande Library

 

Some thoughts about trees

Most of us are familiar with Joyce Kilmer’s poem with its vivid imagery of trees suckling at the breast of mother earth and his self-description as a fool for trying to describe in words such a magnificent creation. I share his frustration.

I am always attracted to trees, to the patterns and textures shown by the bark, the limbs and sometimes even the leaves. Their visual complexity is alluring, especially in the spring when the gloriously complex structure of deciduous trees are tinged with a delicate yellow green halo of small leaves.

I’m often tempted to anthropomorphize: trees “hide” their structure with a covering of leaves or needles; some “show off” with stunning coats of color in the Fall; all “go with the flow” of wind and weather. But here is a lovely example of the opposite:

“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreen and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You’re too this or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”

-Ram Dass

I hope you will enjoy the woods that I have created.

Here are some images of trees that do not appear elsewhere on this site.

 

New Mexico Art League’s Black and White Show

Black and White: An Exhibition of Drawings and Photographs

The show will be exhibited from April 17th through May 26, 2018 at the New Mexico Art League gallery, 10 am-4pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

The image featured above, Taos Country, was chosen to be in this show. It’s the same one that garnered an honorable mention in the New Mexico Magazine’s annual photo contest in 2017.

I made this triptych for my friend Charlie who lived here while he worked at what was then the Southwest Regional Office of the National Park Service in Santa Fe. He moved on to other positions in other locations but always loved this area and wished he could return. Alas, it was not to be. 

The image on the left is the Rio Grande gorge as seen from the road to Taos, an iconic image. The middle is Taos Pueblo North. I am especially fond of this image because, unlike most that emphasize the towering massiveness of the Pueblo, it is put in the proper (to my mind) context of the land and sky. The image to the right was taken while camping at Wild Rivers Recreation Area near Questa, NM. Here the Rio Grande and Red Rivers converge at the bottom of an 800 foot canyon. This image is looking north, up the Rio Grande. Putting them together in one frame would, I hope, give my friend and anyone else looking at it a taste of this magnificent land.

 

 

 

 

Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show

Each year hundreds of photographers submit thousands of photographs to the Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show (ANMPAS) which showcases the finest photographic work being done in New Mexico. A jury of professionals selects only the best photography from Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque, and elsewhere in New Mexico for inclusion in the annual show.

I read that somewhere and saved it for an occasion like this. I probably would not have been so extravagantly boastful. I’ve known about ANMPAS for about 8 years now, since I began to show my work but have managed to submit entries only half those years. Traveling in the RV during the winter I either forgot or didn’t have the right images with me.  When I did submit I usually got at least one entry juried into the show. This year I was determined to not let the deadline slip by and got a couple of images accepted:

Yellowstone Magic

YELLOWSTONE MAGIC     The hot springs and pools at Yellowstone National Park provide           endless variations of color and abstraction.

Bunker Hill

BUNKER HILL                                 Not Boston’s, LA’s!



Here are images accepted in previous ANMPAS shows , 2011-2013.

 

The show runs from April 1 through April 23 and the Fine Art Gallery at EXPO New Mexico will be open  from 10 am to 5 pm. Opening reception is Sat., March 31st from 2-4 pm.

Shades of Gray

For the second year in a row the Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show (ANMPAS) has presented an all black and white photography exhibition. This juried show features about 200 images from New Mexico photographers who may submit up to three images.  I am pleased to have images selected for both shows. Here are five images of mine that have been juried into the exhibit in 2016 and 2017.

 

The opening reception for this year’s show is Sat., Dec. 2 from 2-4 PM at the EXPO New Mexico (the old Fair Grounds) Fine Art Gallery. It is open to the public Sunday, Dec. 3rd through Wednesday, Dec. 27th; closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Gallery hours are 10am – 5pm.

Ta Da!

This post opens my web site to the public. It is not the first post as I  created many in the process of learning how to use this site. I have left a few that I thought might be fun and  give you a sense of who I am besides a photographer. The primary purpose, though, is to  provide a place online where others may view my images. The Galleries are organized by theme and each has 7-15 images relating to the theme. The images that are there now will stay the same for quite a while but I will either replace them eventually or add sub galleries with different images. I will also add new themes as they arise.

Each gallery features a collection of images in a grid. Clicking on any one of them will launch a slide show that you control using the forward and backward arrows on either side of the image that appears.