October 15th 2020: Rodeo

Rodeo is part of New Mexico culture, and there is a small one very close to my house. Of course the words “very close” out here means about 20 miles away. These shots are from one of my visits. We can all see rodeo events on TV, but you rarely see this part, the part where a man dies right on the hardpack ground. These men are tough, but they are not immortal. In the bottom photo is a young cowboy, 25 years old, being carried from the arena. He had a wife and new child. The paramedics were there quickly, but to no avail. It still upsets me to this day. That’s his hat laying on the ground.

I decided to include the “Junkyard Jesus” photo. This is another interesting site relatively nearby. I guess it’s called Outsider Art. Someone in the boonies has been collecting what other people would call “junk”, and he, or she, has arranged all of it into an enormous stretch of make-believe. It changes all the time. I find it rich.

The first shot was taken at one of our reservoirs.
It’s a quite large expanse and people boat and swim there.

September 21st 2020: Critters+

The visit to Sicily was one of the best of my life. I loved the place, the people, everything about it. Maybe it was the history of the place that kept getting to me. It’s unavoidable. It’s everywhere: Greeks, Phoenicians, Arabs, Romans and probably many others as well. Some of the other shots are taken here in Santa Fe, NM.

Then, of course, dog pictures. That’s a recurring theme for me. Well, animal pictures in general hold some special allure.

The Roman villas and artwork in the form of mosaics are stunning. The level of craftsmanship and artistry was overwhelming at times. Talk about an embarrassment of riches.

September 11th 2020: Graffiti+

Peru, Santa Fe Railroad, Machu Picchu

Here we have one of my favorite and recurring “haunts”, i.e. the railyard. I’d gotten a fisheye lens and was really enjoying discovering what that’s all about. It’s not a lens I’d want to use all the time, but, as a spice, it’s a ball to work with.

A fisheye lens allows you to see more of everything, all scrunched together. It takes my breath away sometimes. It alters “reality” that much!

Then, Peru: As someone who loves to “work the earth”, I was naturally drawn to these farmers harvesting potatoes. As I watched them I was literally stuck with the realization that these people are not only interacting with their biosphere, they are part of it. They are it, in ways that modern people are not and who live with no sense of that—at least not like these people do.

In that moment I almost could not discern where human beings began and earth ended. I’m tempted to say that it was a kind of metaphysical breakthrough. It was that compelling. It’s a hard life, but a good one, utterly devoid of luxury. Is that, perhaps, what makes it good? I don’t know for sure.

It was an odd experience to feel envious of them though. It made no sense at all. But there it was. They were poor, very poor, but far from miserable—rather the opposite I would say. Isn’t it odd to say that I envied their simple but physically very demanding lives? One of them was about to celebrate his 93rd birthday.

Regarding the photos from Peru: I was there a few years ago. Coming from Santa Fe, I was glad to notice that I was not effected by the altitude. Flat-landers, on the other hand, struggled.

August 1st 2020: Quail!

Sometimes, when I’m feeling lazy or preoccupied by something, I’ll take the point-and-shoot Sony and just sit on my back porch and watch the parade fly, flitter and soar by. I’m fascinated by flight and I never tire of watching these little guys. They are amazingly tame out here in the boonies where I live.

The tool I’m using for these shots, what is called a “Super Zoom” camera, is amazing for what it can do. It’s like having a telescope with a camera attached to it. The trade off is—not very high quality images. Some of the newer versions allow RAW capture, but the one I have does not.

I rarely use it, except for this. It might be time to get a telephoto for the “good” camera. But still, there is a place for these Super-Zooms and here are six examples. These feathered friends would never let me close enough otherwise.

I just ordered the telephoto.

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