Thursday, April 30, 2015

Week 17 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 113

This week also has a lot of water. Hard to pass up all those beautiful reflections not to mention the things on the water like the geese. Expect more geese because soon there will be goslings. But I made an effort to get out and about with my camera. But just because you take a picture does not make it note worthy. Water photographs were just turning out better this last couple of weeks.

Day 114

The sculpture above stands at the United Church of Angel Fire up church road. It is suppose to be the three crosses. I am, however ever unclear about the tubular bell shape. Do they ring? But the rusty iron before the purple mountains gets me every time.

Day 115

Herons slipped into the migratory pattern this last week. They never seem to stick around long enough for them to get totally used to my camera. So my shots are always from a distance. I like this one among the willows with the almost mirror like reflection.

But the black and white photograph below of sun rays slipping through the trees is one of my favorite reflection photographs. The sun makes the trees look ethereal. I said in last week's blog that rules were made to be broken and three of the watery reflection photographs in this week's blog does that. The waterline in these two is really close to center. And in Day 116 and Day 117 the sky is included. In the black and white I do not have to worry about the difference in the color of sky and water.

Day 116

And in Day 117 the clouds break up the lighter blue of the sky. You can tell spring time in the Rockies because of the nature of the clouds. No longer the low hanging blanket of cloud.

Day 117

The clouds are above the tops of the mountains and have tops and space unless it is actually during a snow storm. This may be the winter of snow-capped mountain photographs. I seem to have gotten Old Mike and Wheeler Peak often and from many different angles. I like it best with clouds and with the snow fields broken up by wind and melt. It gives the mountains more definition and depth.

Day 118

And back to water and reflections. And this one with absolutely no land. With post processing I think it looks like the water in a Cezanne or Monet painting.

Day 119

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Travels With Charley - Part IV

Heading West

There comes a point in every journey where the conscious person realizes it is not about the destination. As we left Las Vegas bound to drop Barb-from-Santa-Barbara off in Barstow I felt like Alice Through the Looking Glass. Penny had shotgun and I tried to sleep. I had not slept since before my last final, four hours before our departure. The trip could no longer be counted in hours but in images and flashing across my memory like slides shown in the backyard.

Slides were after film and before digital. Dad was an avid recorder of our family adventures. He gave me a Kodak camera when I was eight and his Rolex when I went off to college. For some reason I left it back at the dorm as if this forbidden escape should not be recorded except in my mind. It it was. Each image recorded like a power point presentation with a caption.

"Why Barstow?", I asked Barb as we got her bags out of the trunk at the railroad station there. "Because we moved here."

So Barb was more like me than I wanted to admit. We were the homeless of college. Our parents lived in towns where we knew no one, but our parents expected us to visit. The college listed the strange town on our records.

"You going to see any of your friends in Santa Barbara?" I asked.

"Probably not," she said with a sadness I felt deeply. "It is over three hours from here."

My school friends were in the same town as the university but once I had moved into the dorm I no longer seemed to fit with them, the townies. I definitely did not fit in Denver. I resisted my father's efforts to switch to University of Colorado in Boulder. At that moment it seemed home was in the car with Charley. Penny at shotgun navigated us to Union Station in Los Angeles. Bunny, Penny and I waved as our chariot and driver took off to San Francisco with Penny's instructions.

"Damn," Penny said as we walked into the grand and cavernous space. "The train isn't due for two hours."

Penny's lie to her mother was that we had taken the train from Kingman. She was picking us up. Bunny was catching a commuter train to a town I forget. The timing was right for her. There was only time for a wave.

"Let's clean up," Penny said, as if she had done this a thousand times. But then a summer in Europe probably was like that. She was the first person I knew who was not in the military and carried a duffel bag. I had a Samsonite. But at least it was not pink. Mother always picked pink for me. "If we go to Europe this summer and do Vespas you will have to ditch that suitcase."

When I had returned to college after the summer I had started talking about never going home again. Penny, my roommate, had hatched the plan of touring Europe on Vespas. It sounded wonderful but since I was under 21 would require my parents sign off on it. A four day escape from their control was one thing. An entire summer quite another. I wanted to do it but did not know if I had the guts. Till that moment in the municipal public restroom at Grand Central Station.

Dressed in clothes I had not been in for what seemed weeks I felt more presentable even if they quite suddenly did not seem like mine. New suitcase and obviously new clothes. Madras was in at college. Wrinkled Madras. Buttoned shirts and wrap around skirts. I had sewed up a couple of those and made mother buy me Lady Arrow shirts over the summer. She put her foot down at Madras. My hair needed washed but I could not see myself doing that in a public restroom. But I did take a scissors out of my makeup case and whack away at my perfect pageboy. Penny stared at me as she washed her air.

Done with our petite toilette we wondered off to the gift shop across the empty marble lobby to kill time.

I was immediately drawn to the carousel of paperback books. Right in front of me was Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. I started to laugh, and elbowed Penney. The clerk looked at us rudely and suspiciously as if we were going to steal it. I picked it up and put it on the check out counter, adding a blank journal and Double Mint chewing gum to the pile. I pulled out a fifty to pay for it. It was hard to surprise Penny. I enjoyed it when I did.

"Let's say I won at slots. No worries about our trip back to college."

"You going back," she asked.

"For now. You?"

"For now."

As good a place as any to quit.

Note: Things and me were never quite the same. And immediately after finishing Travels With Charley I got a list of all of Steinbeck's books and started with his first. And that journal, called a blank diary then, was the first of a whole series of diaries which continued steadily till on line journals became popular. We call them blogs.

Penny and her Republican boyfriend hitched to Kingman at spring break to pick up the repaired Buick, and never returned to college. I called her mother, and my hostess for that trip to Laguna Beach but she had not heard from her either. They had her listed as a missing person.

I did get a post card from Charley. He went to work at the Van Yves plant in California.

I did go home the next summer but home by then was Dallas, Texas. And the last summer with family. You do not have to burn bridges to leave.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Travels with Charley - Part III

Hoover Dam before 2010 and the bridge

I had never been further west on Route 66 than Flagstaff, Arizona the summer I graduated from high school. Dad took the family on the grand tour of National parks in the four corners area. All other vacations had been to visit family in Missouri at Christmas, or fishing trips in Colorado. Now I was hitch hiking with a Playboy bunny from Chicago and three other class mates who had been rewarded with summers in Europe after prep school graduation. I grabbed shotgun. And they climbed in the back to get some sleep.

Riding shotgun, my pilot father used to explain, is a lot like being co-pilot and navigator; duties I was more than willing to fill because I could see the entire panorama of the scenery before us. It also meant keeping the driver awake and engaged. So I knew more about Charley, our host, than the others by the time we got to Hoover Dam. Charley was the first man I had met outside my high school English teacher who did not look at me sexually. He didn't even look at Bunny that way.

I did not know about homosexuality. It was the 60's. We didn't talk about such things. I was riding in a just off the assembly line car which did not come with factory installed seat belts. Seat belts were only used in drag racers. Air bags were not yet invented. And the convertible did not have a row bar. The term serial killer was not coined until 1974. None of us were concerned about dying let alone rape and murder. It was a time of innocence. But I just knew my parents would not approve.

Charley was the only person besides my roommate from Clovis, New Mexico whose existence was more sheltered than mine. He was in his thirties and this was his first time ever out of Michigan. He didn't live with his mother but his mother lived with him. It was not my first time lying to my parents but this was probably the biggest lie. I technically was still a ward of my parents but I did not think I was ever going home. I considered calling my mother when we got somewhere with a phone, and elaborating on the lie to keep her from finding out I was riding west across the desert at 80 mph in a convertible with leather bucket seats.

Mother had fostered in me what I term the headline mentality. When I slipped off to Juarez with some college friends the year before the headline in my mind was "Coed thrown in Juarez Jail for Sex Trade in Mexico." This one would be "Four Coeds and Pimp Apprehended Crossing State Lines." There was always a sub-headline where my mother would swear I had always been a good girl. Frankly, that line always bothered me the most. In spite of always being a good girl the major headlines in my head always sounded sort of fun. But this time I was not going to let anything get in the way of the fun I was having. I drunk in the western badlands while chatting with Charlie about the process of designing car interiors. He had designed the one we were riding in. Who knew someone got paid to do padded dash panels?

I was enthralled with Hoover Dam. I was sent off to college to get my MRS degree. I returned my sophomore year because I wanted to be an engineer, or architect, or now car interior designer, or anything but a wife and mother. I was seriously, but unconsciously, looking for other female role models. While on the dam tour I watched Bunny work Charley and our guide. She was the only woman I knew in my brief history who was not afraid to be her sexual self. I also watched Penny be jealous over the attention Bunny gave all the men in the tour. Barb-from-Santa-Barbara saw nothing because she was irritated with everything and everyone one it seemed. She was expected home already, and we hours yet. She had a call with a lie to make for herself. Though hers was less a lie than mine because we did have car trouble. It just wasn't fixed.

Making our telephone calls would not happen until Las Vegas, Nevada. No calling cards then. Coins. Or collect in which case you got your first dime back. Collect was out because the operator would say, "Collect call from Jacqui in Las Vegas, Nevada." Yes, a real operator. Not voice activated machine. I gave Barb my change so she could make her call. I decided the less my parents knew the better. I had learned as a military brat, lies were easiest to keep, if they were very simple. And Dad always said it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. We were long past permission. I knew the bigger a lie got the more distance it put between you and those you lied too. But after the summer there was already a chasm between my family and myself.

Las Vegas Strip in the 1960's

As Barb and I left the phone booth, Charley handed us each two rolls of nickels for the slot machines. Yes, they took real coins in those days. I wanted to just pocket my $10 because I knew we were all short of funds to get home if the Buick wasn't fixed. Charley wanted to make us happy so we played. I loved the bells and whistles. The sounds of coins when someone won. I won a small jackpot on nickels. Cashed in for quarters and went quietly to the more expensive slots. Ultimately I cashed out with $250. Worries of how to get back to college were over. Barb's parents had believed her lie. Charley had won at Black Jack and wanted to buy us dinner. He was indeed thrilled to have company. We started with oysters on the half shell. Everything, in the words of e.e.cummings, was "puddle wonderful." Except the General Motors was still on strike.

To be continued

Side note96 workers died building Hoover Dam. None are buried in it. It was built by a consortium called Six Companies, Inc. And decades later I would work for one of those six, Morrison-Knudsen, as a cost engineer.

Seat belts would not be mandatory until January 1, 1968.

Legal age to gamble is 21. None of us but Charley were.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Travels With Charley - Part II

I had originally stated on part one I would be continuing the saga of Travels with Charley on Sidetracked Charley, but following several requests, have decided to also post it here too. It is, after all, the beginning of my own personal creative journey.

Welcome to Kingman
Get Your Kicks on Route 66

Actually to be precise the Buick did not blow up in Kingman, Arizona but outside of Kingman. That particular day we saw Kingman three times. When we drove into the town on Route 66 just before dawn the car was knocking, and we again needed gas. Fortunately this time a station was open. There was no self serve in those days except for illegally siphoning it. You pulled in, waited for a gas jockey to make it out to your car, said fill it up with regular, and check the oil. Then we all made a dash for the bathrooms. They were always gross. But in the Route 66 days there were no rest stops with or without facilities.

The attendant said the Buick was two quarts low. He added oil and some STP oil treatment stuff in case we had a crankshaft leak. The Buick was a year old and had just been serviced by the dealer in Albuquerque. We were all a bit road weary. Nobody questioned the information until the first long steep hill on the California bound side of Kingman when there was a big bang and then flames.

This was the 60's so there was also no cell phone. In this day and age with six coeds there would have been six cellphones. Out west there wasn't anything between towns and the towns were few and far between. No Google Maps, no roadside emergency telephones, no gps. But we were not worried about that just then. We were looking for anything to put out the flames. Oh, and no bottled water. In much of Arizona no water at all. You bought soda pop from the vending machines when you stopped for fuel.

There was a lot of sand. And any engine gloriously in flames would not be hurt by sand. So while Penny and I flung sand on the flames, and the others unloaded the trunk and car of our worldly possessions we didn't notice the pickup with the three men pull up. "You little ladies need any help there?" one asked. In 64 we were still fighting for civil rights for blacks (they were blacks then) and nobody had considered equal rights for women. When we heard the question we all stopped and noticed there was hardly an inch of the pickup which did not have an Elect Goldwater for President bumper sticker, so good we didn't argue the little lady comment. The passenger got out a fire extinguisher, and more effectively put out the fire. I quietly walked to the back bumper to peel off the Kennedy sticker (we had not yet replaced it with Johnson) to find it covered with a Goldwater sticker. 

Penny caught my eye about then and I shrugged and smiled. We did know one young Republican. In point of fact, Penny was dating him. We all stared in disbelief with our political conversion, but grateful, very grateful about then. Coats were surrendered to stupid but freezing college girls and our bags flung in the back of the pickup. And we climbed in on top. Except for Bunny and Penny who got to sit up front. Then back to Kingman to get the car towed. "It should be cooled down by now," we were informed by the pickup driver, who bought us good Republican ladies breakfast at the Frontier Cafe while we waited for the Buick dealership just down the block to open.

Seems like we spent a lot of time in the Frontier that morning waiting for an assessment by the mechanic, "It's toast. Your block is cracked. Threw a rod through the oil pan. Hence the flames." And the verdict. "No half blocks available. There's a strike on. Can't tell you when it would be fixed. There's a strike on."

We dumped all our money in the middle of the table. Funds were not equal but clearly we couldn't all catch the train. There was a Greyhound bus. We could afford that, but then have no money for our three days in Los Angeles let alone the trip back to school. We were all out of the dorm on a lie. Calling our parents was not an option unless we wanted to start putting ourselves through college.

The Princess, I really cannot remember her name, had the most money and obviously the most moxie because she called her parents and got money wired to her to catch a small commuter plane. To be fair she surrendered her extra funds to us so we could afford the train, but the next train was going back to college. It didn't leave until later in the day.

Throwing caution totally to the winds we decided to try our luck at hitchhiking. There were four of us after Marge chickened out. Marge, never one of us, said she was going to take her share of the joint funds, and take the bus back to Albuquerque. Omens were not good. The rest of us agreed we would try hitchhiking for two hours, and if we had not gotten a ride we would take the train back to UNM. And defeat.

But we figured our chances were good to get to California. We were after all not on a back road but Route 66. America's highway. We picked a sunny and well traveled spot. Made ourselves comfortable on our luggage and launched in to the first round of Get Your Kicks on Route 66

And that is when Charley, who worked for the Pontiac plant which was also on strike, cruised into our lives. He designed interiors for the luxury cars and was on his first ever vacation without mother. "I can take you to LA if you are willing to tour Hoover Dam and Las Vegas for a couple hours on the way."

He looked like he needed company so we said yes.

To be continued.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Travels With Charley - I

Map of Steinbeck's Travels with Charley

After my father got out of the military we settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I can remember being really upset when after a couple of years there and we didn't move. Military children are used to moving. As I remember we lived in three different states in the second grade. One was a base in Roswell, New Mexico and my first look at mountains. Then it was Missouri again and El Paso, Texas. Most of my truest friends were dogs and books. And after leaving Roswell I missed the mountains more than my school mates.

So Albuquerque, I thought, would be just another temporary stop and I was quite upset when I was informed by my parents we were staying. I was a freshman in college before they moved again. And they left me behind in the dorm. Dad used to joke, after a couple drinks, that they could not get me to run away from home so they ran away from me. My family are elephants. They never forget what they think is an amusing story. I never found them that funny.

College, especially as an inmate with homey knowledge, was amusing. And it was freedom. The only time I went to visit my folks, then in Denver, was when the dorm closed and kicked us out like at Christmas and term break. Us underclassmen were suppose to go home. It took me only one horrific summer in Denver to know I didn't want to go home again for long. My dorm friend, Penny, a graduate of eastern prep schools was very experienced at ways around dorm hours and sign out rules. And semester break of my sophomore year I signed out to the house of a classmate from high school and hit the road with Penny and four other coeds for California.

Mother would have had kittens if she knew I was on the highway in the middle of the night through the mountains of Arizona in the beginning of winter with only girls, instead of safely with Mrs. Berry and her family in the valley. It was bitching, big word at the time. Bunny, a former Playboy Bunny, taught us how to remove our bras without taking off our sweatshirts or stopping the car. She even did it while taking her turn at the wheel. Barbie, from Santa Barbara, siphoned gas from a car at a dark house, when we ran out of gas in the middle of the night while we stood around shivering watching for the police.

Everyone but me was from big cities and crowded areas and didn't believe they closed filling stations and they were at least 300 miles apart.  We laughed and told jokes. Most of us had just been through finals and not had much sleep. And we had packed for California. Always sunny in California. The high deserts of Arizona were freezing cold at night. Six girls in a Buick Special was crowded.

 Then Penny's Buick blew up just outside Kingman, Arizona. Middle of the desert in the middle of the biggest General Motor's strike I can remember up till then. Just before dawn. Only thing hot was the engine.

(To be Continued on Sidetracked Charley)

Note: I began this on Creative Journey because it is really a part of my personal creative journey. The events set off by this trip to Los Angeles turned me from an art student to an artist. It made me a voracious reader and a writer even if I could not spell.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Week 16 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 106

This week was about water.

Clear, cold water.
Water just shy of being ice.
So clear
Its only color
was what it mirrored.

Day 107

I did not set out with a purpose of only photographing water this last week but it happened because the ice melted and the sediment settled and it is not warm enough to grow anything in this mountain springs and ponds. The water is so clear you can see the bottom or the pond or right through the little waterfall on the irrigation ditch. And at the right angle just after dawn it becomes a mirror. If it has a color at all it is the sky it reflects.

Day 108

The returning geese are checking out the ponds. They have been here before. There were this week three pairs. And some fights. The water may have been still but the air was filled with their protests.

Day 109

The temptation with reflections is to put the seam of real vs. reflection right in the middle of the composition. Makes a great jigsaw puzzle. But I rather like the seam to be by the rule of thirds with the reflection getting the biggest chunk. A how to I read said to not put the sky in because the reflected sky will always be more blue than the real sky and ergo suffer by comparison. I have a picture in this next week's lineup where I have broken both of these rules. Rules are made to be broken.

And the cascade pool pictured below makes another appearance this next week. If you want to see each day as it happens check out Binford-Bell Studio. It is rather like a hand mirror or Alice Through the Looking Glass. When the waterfall is turned on there will not be such clear reflections.

Day 110

Water and the objects in the water like the weathered gazing ball below stuck in the reeds of last year is run to play with. Both mirrored ball and water were reflecting the sky.

Day 111

As is the water in this photo. I knelt down low (got my knees wet on the grass - the sacrifices artist make) so I could get just the right angle on this red willow on the shore. And get just the blue of the reflected sky in the water. It is the same pond as the first photo seen in just a bit different light and from another direction. It is always wise to know your ponds.

Day 112

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Week 15 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 99 - They're back

Black Lake/Moreno Valley area is primarily summer pasture for cattle. Round up crews and cattle trucks arrive in October to haul cattle away and come spring the trucks come back with the breeding stock and yearlings to put weight on. It is a good time to get interested in landscape again. There is a hint of green in the meadows, snow still on the mountain tops, spring storm clouds, and cattle, horses and elk.

Day 103 - Elk cows returning to the meadows

The elk are the ones on the stilts. The elk cows are pregnant as are the cows in the herds of cattle. The cattle are already starting to calve. The elk will wait until May or June. It is highly likely it will snow again, but the ponds have thawed and the streams are running. What more could a landscape photographer ask for?

Day 100

Dry trails and no snow drifts to have to traverse to get the detail shots. I love the willows and aspens at this time of year. The sap is running and the willow stalks begin to change color. The buds are puffing up. And here and there is a seed stalk from last year. But green has not dominated the landscape yet. Green is not my favorite color in photography or painting. There are so many other prettier colors. And green can be rude on a cliff face.

Day 101 - the Palisades

Now is the time to capture the Palisades in Cimarron Canyon if you want the photo go be about the rocks and not the vegetation which manages to hang on to life there.

Day 102 - Shack on Church Row

I love this old shack but it seems every time I drive by there is snow or wind or mud. This week just the wind. They just finished church number two up the road from this old cabin is disrepair. No doubt the parishioners of one or both churches will think it is time for it to go so as to not disgrace their creations to their gods. Frankly, I think this building in the sage at the foot of the top of the Cristos is better than any sermon which might be uttered at the two churches up the road.

Day 104 - in memory of fire

Speaking of sermons and pray seems a good time to remind myself and others of the fire danger ahead. A few years back Cimarron Canyon had a fire. Forest management leaves some of the reminders of those events around. It is good for the soil and new growth and good to remind the campers to be careful of fire.

Day 105

I have been trying to find out who is Rick. In New Mexico the cross by the road to mark a fatal accident is not unusual but this cross and this rock are not right by the road. Instead they stand by the Cimarron River. I would say it is his favorite fishing spot but the willows at just this spot block access to the river. And it does not look like a comfortable place to sit.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Week 14 - 365 in Photographs

Day 92

More structures. Always a good default when the landscape seems to be the same - not winter and not spring yet. Lots to practice with structures like getting the camera level or failing that adjusting the tilt correctly in post processing. Then because of angle between you and the subject there is which line to adjust too. In the photo above I picked the purple bike rack. It was the subject of my interest and by making it the one object the most square for the viewer it draws their eyes there.

Day 93

In this photo it is the flag poles because they frame the statute. I learned this principle placing and hanging light fixtures at my day job - electrician. The measured middle of the room does not always look like the middle of the room. The center of the statue would often be picked as the center of the photograph. It is in reality her leading foot. The heel is in the center of the flag poles which trisect the composition. Ergo it is the poles which must be true vertical.

Day 94

Lots of vertical lines in this photograph including the subject - the boy in blue. I took this with my long lens at a distance so no curve of the lines like with my wide angle. I tend to want to take structures with my wide angle lens and distortion, even if it is not a fish eye lens, can happen. On this particular day in Las Vegas, New Mexico I was trying to catch candid shots of the filming of Longmire television series. I had my 70-300 zoom lens on which required me to back away from my subjects.

Day 95

This resulted in not getting the whole building but also not getting a lot of trash like poles around the buildings. It is like a pre-crop - what we used to do in the film days. We called it framing your shot. And the best benefit was all the lines are straight. The vertical ones at least. And those are the ones we get our balance from. As humans we are used to slanting sidewalks and receding lines of perspective.

Day 96

But we want what is right in front of us to be vertical. The columns were fun. Only editing besides making it black and white was cloning out a no smoking sign. I debated the 800 but decided I like it.

Day 97

Obviously I like this church. And I like the shadows on the church walls. What I like most about the church are its lines. As a car dealer would say, "It has classic lines." And even if the photograph is about the shadows the lines have to be straight. At least the vertical ones at the may point of focus for the viewer. Not necessarily in the center of the picture. In the one below it is the like from the top of the arch on the biggest window of the transept to the bottom. Yeah, not actual like there to follow.

And it isn't always easy to get this right in the field. And even in the film world we made adjustments in the darkroom. Yes, even Ansel Adams. BTW adobe buildings are a real lot of fun because they have no verticals really.

Day 98

As I went to post the first photograph of the new week - Day 99 - on my FaceBook Page Binford-Bell Studio I realized the cupboard is now bare. I have to get actively out with the camera and take pictures.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Week 13 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 85

I used to be a binge photographer. In the days of film cameras I was the one who could not remember what was on the roll in the camera. This is the fourth year I have participated in 365 Days of Photography. It has made me more conscientious about taking strictures, broadened my range of subjects, and made me a better photographer I believe. And then there are the weeks where I take the camera with me and cannot seem to find a single thing worth photographing.  Until Monday of week 13 that was the case.

Fortunately I had stockpiled some photos left over, as it were, from the week before. That is the case through 89. In fact, I am not entirely sure why I posted that particular photo for that day. I took it because of the contrast with the red willow branches and the grey of the ice.

Day 86

I took day 87 because I liked the patterns of the ice on the partially melted pond. And the red willow picture was just to the side of this one.

Days 85 and 88 were left over from my trip down to Las Vegas to try to get a glimpse of the Longmire cast shooting the funeral.

Days 86, 87 and 89 were on a day I forced myself to take some pictures because my folders for this year's 365 day challenge were empty. After my first year I realized I was going to get totally lost if I didn't organize my photos. Ergo sub-folders in a yearly folder. Copies of pictures from upload folders. Not every photo makes it to the daily challenge. But I also post on my Facebook profile page just for fun, and on an elate photography group I belong to, and Memories and Photographs of New Mexico. It was that last site which got me in trouble this week. More later on that.

Day 87

Day 88

Day 89

Thankfully the weather changed and I was inspired. I also found a road I had not traveled before in my neighborhood. Combined with a bit of spring fever, and a promise to get out of the house on something more than errands and pet sitting jobs, I went out and made up for almost five days of not taking a picture.

There were clouds. Everything looks better with clouds. At least New Mexico clouds. When I lived in the east I was not fond of eastern clouds. I like the big fluffy things with sky peaking through and a hint of possible thunderstorms.

Day 90
Even the barren aspens I have looked at all winter (and photographed) look better with clouds. Actually the aspens are not all that barren right now. If you are a frequent visitor you probably notice they look fluffier. That happens when the begin the budding process.

Road to Black Lake

So back to how I got in trouble with posting a photograph on Memories and Photographs of New Mexico. I posted the photograph above in the unedited version to that page. It was an immediate success and has almost 700 likes currently. It was going to be day 91. But with the traffic it was getting I did not want to repeat myself. So I edited a photograph taken from the same place. Editing included cropping out the road, cloning out the back of the road sign and doing it in black and white for day 91.

Meanwhile everyone is raving about the effect of the road to the photo. I have to agree. It is all a learning curve or in this case a curved road. This had been a new pull out on highway 434. Previous spots to photograph this valley and the mountains beyond get the road curving the other direction, because just over that hill by the road sign it curves to the right.

Day 91

Ansel Adams said the secret to photography was standing at the right spot. I would add on the right day at the right time.