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Thread: New Mexico during Christmas

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    New Mexico during Christmas

    We are thinking about a road trip from southern California to New Mexico during Christmas for about a week. Any tips and recommendations for spots to shoot?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Les
    Join Date
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    Re: New Mexico during Christmas

    As you likely know, the whole SW is full of these interesting nuggets. I'll start with White Sands, Sandia PK, Shiprock, Bandelier, Bisti and Laguna Pueblo (there are other pueblos). Hugo, a week is not going to do the trick. Oh, and you can divert to Rte 66 near Barstow and explore places along there. Flag may have a nice surprise for you (amount of snow ?), tho the nearby peaks can be v. photogenic. When I was there I found a nice place to eat near NAU and away from the busy and fast-food I-17 (or S. Milton Rd).

    Enjoy yer trip.

  3. #3

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    Re: New Mexico during Christmas

    If you like man-made structures, there are the pueblos, true. As to certain places like Tent Rocks, Bisti Badlands, Bandelier, etc., snow and snow made into ice by daily doses of sun, might make some trails slippery. Too slippery. Last winter, the ? agency closed trails to Tent Rocks for much of the winter.

    But I would pass the pueblos on the way, including Acoma ("Sky City"), Laguna, both on I-40, and the pueblos along I-25 (toward Santa Fe), because instead I suggest Santa Fe itself--the plaza, the basilica, La Fonda, many others near the plaza where there are many geometries and light of interest. Expect sun to work for you.

    Then, in the same vein, go to Taos. Some things there that can't be found in Santa Fe--like Mabel Dodge Lujan's house. Nearby is Taos pueblo, just north of, and nearly tangent to, the town of Taos. That's a pueblo to photograph. Again, expect the sun to go to work for you, particularly in the evenings.

    Why evenings? Because at sunrise, it will be below freezing. Daytime temps with that aforementioned sun, make 5pm sunsets--that's when it sets this time of year--easier on the body. At least, on my 74-year-old body. YMMV.
    Peter Collins

    On the intent of the First Amendment: The press was to serve the governed, not the governors --Opinion, Hugo Black, Judge, Supreme Court, 1971 re the "Pentagon Papers."

  4. #4

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    Re: New Mexico during Christmas

    The middle crane pond near the entrance to Bosque del Apache south of Socorro, around sunrise. Ideally with a bit of fog. There should be cranes and snow geese and several flights.

    The VLA can be interesting.

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexico during Christmas

    There is Saguaro National Monument and a couple nearby missions around Tucson. I was photographing around there at a Christmas time years ago. It was nice near Tucson, so headed to White Sands. But hit a snowstorm somewhere east of Lordsburg, NM -- eventually said the heck with it, wimped-out, and headed back to the good weather around the Saguaros! Camping in my Mazda pick-up in the snow did not sound inviting.

    Mission outside Tucson (5x7 negative, salt print)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Lions.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #6

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    Re: New Mexico during Christmas

    And--
    Hello, Hugo!
    Peter Collins

    On the intent of the First Amendment: The press was to serve the governed, not the governors --Opinion, Hugo Black, Judge, Supreme Court, 1971 re the "Pentagon Papers."

  7. #7

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    Re: New Mexico during Christmas

    Peter,

    I forgot that you live in Albuquerque! If I do come to your town, can I buy you a lunch?

    Other photographers in NM,

    I would love to meet your guys as well. I will bring three Chamonix cameras for my trip: 45H1, 57Fs2 and 810 Alpinist with a few lenses. So stoked!

  8. #8

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    Re: New Mexico during Christmas

    Much of New Mexico (and Arizona) has to be seen and felt directly, can't be captured in photographs, but that being said...

    I lived there in the 1970's and 1980's but hope much is still intact. I presume the light will be. In the winter the light gets sensational because it's always low on the horizon.

    1) From Santa Fe, take the High Road to Taos. That road provides wonderful views. Visit the Santuario de Chimayo, a very old church believed to have miraculous healing powers. (Probably built on top of an existing indigenous healing shrine). The whole area around there is spectacular.

    2) Another road from Santa Fe goes up to the ski area in the mountains outside of town: once you get to a certain altitude, you will encounter Aspen trees and spectacular views. If I recall correctly there is a similar area outside of Albuquerque, with wonderful views and trees.

    3) Another road to take is a circle which goes around Los Alamos: again up from the desert floor into the high forest. In this area there is a rather large caldera (Spanish for Cauldron), the circular plains left over from an ancient volcano.

    4) One last trip I remember is the drive from Santa Fe to Abiqu. As with all of these places, if the factors come together (weather, light, subject, receptive photographer) then there are amazing things to be seen.

    5) Another approach is to explore open country with no destination in mind and hope for the magic to happen. That way we avoid photographic clichés. For that you can simply look at a map and find areas with small old towns and rolling hills. That's probably what Ansel did when he stumbled upon Hernandez. it was not a special destination in the 1940's (I've seen it: there's nothing to see), but something very special appeared just when he arrived

  9. #9

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    Re: New Mexico during Christmas

    I spent a Christmas in Santa Fe years ago. The luminaries in the plaza are certainly something to see (there was about two inches of new snow on the ground IIRC) Beautiful!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  10. #10

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    Re: New Mexico during Christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    ...Saguaro National Monument...
    Now Saguaro National Park, with two units, one on each side of Tucson.

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