Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cumbres-Toltec Railroad

The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway runs from Chama New Mexico to Antonito, Colorado. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was originally constructed in 1880 as part of the Rio Grande’s San Juan Extension, which served the silver mining district of the San Juan mountains in southwestern Colorado.Today it operates strictly as a tourist attraction covering 64 miles through scenic mountains. This was our first shooting location when we reached Chama. The train was scheduled to depart at 10:00 am so we made it out early and shot around the rail yard until the train departed. The morning light and steam created a great opportunity to shoot the train as it sat in the yard making preparations for the trip north.

Shooting through the train windows as people boarded was fun.  The reflection of the yellow station gave the scene and interesting look.
After the train left the station we made our way up the mountain in our vehicles stopping along the way to capture some of the beautiful scenery. 
We made a stop and waited for the west bound train from Antonito to pull into sight. It was fun waiting to see it come around the bend with its billowing smoke.
It pulled out of sight after adding some water to make steam for the rest of the rip to Chama. It was a fun morning with my tour participants shooting the old railway.  I will be heading back to New Mexico next fall with another photo tour. Hope you can join me there!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Abiquiu~ New Mexico Photo Tour

Last week was busy! After getting back from my New Mexico Photo Tour on Sunday, my Johns Hopkins class for beginning Digital photographers got started Tuesday night, I made an iPhone presentation at Lenox Laser, and conducted a field shoot in Fells Point on Saturday. In between, I have been working my way through a few images I made while in New Mexico. Abiquiu is a small community made famous in modern history by Georgia O'Keeffe. She chose to live there the last 30 years of her life before her health deteriorated forcing her to move three years before her death. On my tour we fit in a one hour guided tour of her Abiquiu home. I find that incorporating events like this enhances the photographers connection to the land through history ultimately enhancing your imagery. After lunch we returned to Abiquiu and it began to rain gently while we toured and photographed in Abiquiu with Dexter Trujillo as our guide. I made a few shots while walking the town. The opening shot here I made because I enjoyed the negative space created in the composition with the wet roof line, textured adobe and single window. He guided us behind the St Thomas Apostle Parish, where this shot was made, to show us remnants of The Old Spanish Trail. The Old Spanish Trail is America's 15th National Historic Trail. Abiquiu was the far distant outpost on the edge of civilization, at the time when settlers, traders, trappers and outlaws blazed this trail to the Pacific Ocean. Indian attacks, rough terrain, varying landscape and temperatures killed many. The Genizaro's of Abiquiu were very talented guides along the trail and those who'd venture would make their way to Abiquiu, wait for a group to form..and hire a local Genizaro. By the 17th century, Spanish peoples of Los Angeles craved the sheep and woolen blankets of New Mexico. The history of the Genizaro was shared by Dexter, as well as the faith and deep beliefs of the community. He opened the Morada for us to sit and share in the traditions of Abiquiu's people, as well as make a prayer for our journey. I will be going back next year for this great Photo Tour. If you would like to join me click here for the link to more info and registraton.
Abiquiu, Georgia O'Keeffe's home lies behind the large trees on the right of the image.

Dexter Trujillo
Religious artifacts St. Thomas Apostle Parish
Religious artifacts St. Thomas Apostle Parish
View from the Morada

Landscape view Abiquiu
Abiquiu The Penitente Morada

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fells Point Sreet Field Workshop Shoot This Morning

Today I conducted a field shoot for Capital Photography Center in Fells Point. We had a full class with enthusiastic photographers. After a few moments of soft golden light in the morning the sun broke out and we had some fun shooting reflections, architecture and subjects on the street as well as subjects in the farmers market. Street photography is about maximizing whatever opportunities present themselves and using available light. Architecture is great front light in bright sunlight.

With a steady breeze, backlit flags against a bald sky are great subjects.

Textures of unique architectural details in soft morning light can be interesting subjects.

Fun camera techniques like zooming in and out with a telephoto lens, suggested by a workshop participant created a fun image of large painted letters on a building.

Garlic knobs displayed in a galvanized bucket were great to shoot in diffused light, created by the overhead white tents.

Early morning sailboats against the city scape were also great to capture.

And always there are shots of colorful reflections in the early morning waters of the harbor.
It was a fun morning with lots more opportunities to shoot people, dogs, street scenes....
I have some openings on my New York City Day Shoot October 18 if you would like to join me for some street shooting in New York City, Click here for the link to register. You can meet met there or ride up on the bus from White Marsh if you live in Baltimore.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Aspen Impressions, New Mexico

Aspen Tree Swipe
One of my objectives during my recent New Mexico Photo tour was to encourage participants to begin making "swipe" images of aspen trees. I just love the way the white bark stands out against the dark pine tree background and blends with forest vegetation. We had a terrific grove to work in at the top of the mountain just outside of Santa Fe and again north of Chama. We made swipes and I made a few multiple exposures. I love the impressionist feeling of the images that results from this in camera technique. Every "swipe" looks different because of the hand held camera movement while making the exposure. Side lighting or front light is great for this technique.
Swipe with reduced clarity in ACR, for a watercolor wash feeling.

In camera multiple exposure

In camera multiple exposure

In Camera Swipe

In Camera Swipe


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Canyon Road, Santa Fe The Colors of New Mexico

There is no other single road in Santa Fe that projects the colors and art of New Mexico as does Canyon Road. Santa Fe is the second largest art market in the country next to New York City. I really enjoyed walking up the road while my tour participants went off in different directions photographing whatever struck their eyes before we met again for lunch at El Farol. 
I made shots walking the road along the way to lunch at El Farol. Often I would run into a tour participant and we would share what we had seen along the way or discuss composition. It was a sunny day and we found shots on the sunny side of the street as well as the shady side. Lunch was great and everyone came away with awesome shots.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Eaves Movie Ranch

Monday morning the first full day of my New Mexico Photo tour was spent photographing on the Eaves Movie Ranch. Thomas Wingate the manager for the ranch set, was super and was modeling for us. It was a blast. We had a bonus of two cowboys to photograph when his friend Rudy showed up to visit with Thomas, and I suggested he go along and have his time with Thomas, just let us photograph him too. So Rudy graciously allowed us to make a few images of him as well. Rudy is the real deal! sporting his rodeo belt buckle from 2008. I made shots in between helping the group work out compositions and exposures, while setting up the shots. All the shots below were processed in Photoshop and filtered with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. I will be going again next year so if you would like to do some shooting in New Mexico with me join my mailing list or shoot me an e-mail.
Church on set at the Eaves Movie Ranch.

Poker Anyone?
Thomas Wingate

Movie Set Window

These boots were made for ridin'


Monday, September 17, 2012

Lewis Antique Auto and Toy Museum, Moriarty, New Mexico

Sunday before my New Mexico photo tour began, I had the pleasure of finding and photographing in this amazing "Museum" in Moriarty, New Mexico 87035, on Rt. 66. I didn't even bother to do any shooting inside as the rusting collection of over 300 cars surrounding the museum was awesome. I spent the two hours I had available in the morning outside shooting, from details to wide angle shots. It was a typical abundant sunshine, New Mexico blue sky day.
I met Archie Lewis, the owner, and enjoyed talking to him about his business. He is now 76 years old and moved his business 9 years ago from Albuquerque. He said his dad worked on cars and ever since he was 17 he had been collecting. The lot was amazing with cars as far back as Model T's. The two hours of photographing I had available was no where near enough time, but I really had no idea there was so much here. I was tipped off to the business by Johnnie Meier of the Classical Gas Museum in Embudo. Johnnie writes for Rt. 66 Magazine and is now working on an article about Archie and his business. The small sample of images here were processed in Photoshop and filtered in Topaz Adjust 5 or Nik HDR Pro 2. I will be planning a New Mexico Tour for next year, including a visit to see Archie and his cars.
If you are interested in visiting New Mexico with me, next September please shoot me an e-mail at karenmessick@aol.com, to get on the New Mexico Photography Tour mailing list. I will be posting more blogs over the next week from my recent New Mexico Photography Tour.
On another note my Ireland Tour with Irish Landscape photographer Peter Cox, in the spring of 2013 is filling up with only 5 spaces left, don't miss this opportunity to tour and photograph the "Magical" South-West of Ireland.