Saturday, April 30, 2016

Week 17 - 2016 in Photographs

Day 113
 Spring can be an iffy thing in the mountains of New Mexico. Winter has respites from bad weather. And spring has breaks from nice weather. But I rather like spring snow. It is wet and melts fast but when it is around it sticks to things and adds a new dimension like to the branches of an Aspen tree with a early Robin.

Day 114

 Spring also changes the clouds and even the color of clouds. And if creates temporary ice sculptures.

Day 115

 And, as I said, the snow and the storms which brought the snow don't hang around long.

Day 116

You have to be out and about early with your camera to capture the fairy land created over night.

Day 117

Consequently many of the photographs are in my neighborhood or very close by. An hour later and they will have melted back into spring. The photo above in my road. And the ones below are neighbors' property.

I love the dark Payne's Grey of the clouds after a spring snow. It is such a wonderful contrast to the frosting on all the trees.

Day 118

Day 119
So, as a photographer and someone who lived on the front lines of a forest fire, I do not bitch about spring snows even though it is interrupting my gardening.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Week 16 - 2016 in Photographs

Day 108
 April is oddly enough one of my favorite months in the mountains of New Mexico for a number of reasons. Number one may be that all the tourists are gone. It becomes the state of my youth with vast open spaces and very little population. Even some of the locals leave to take vacations while the getting is good. And I stay because they leave their pets in my care. My day job is pet sitting. Rough making a living as an artist these days but it is always great to be an artist in New Mexico. So much inspiration.

One of the elements this week's photographs have in common is clouds which brings me to reason number two about why April is one of my favorites. It is where the skies transition from winter to spring, and whether they are bringing spring snow or rain the clouds are no longer the low clouds of winter. The clouds themselves become an art form.

Day 109

The skies become noisy. I like the use of that term with New Mexico clouds. I first read it in a photography article about what makes a good black and white landscape photograph. He meant busy or complicated but clouds this time of the year also begin to become noisy in a very real way because we can get thunder snow or thunder showers.

Day 106

And the building of towering thunderheads become an afternoon event. I probably spent too much time watching clouds. But they do make a landscape and it is always good to know where the landscape will most likely produce great towering stacks of clouds to digitally record. Fortunately one of the best spots is the hill across from my house. The clouds are leaving the volcanic plateau of Taos and being thrust high enough to clear the mountain range between there and here.

Day 107

Day 112

New Mexico has an alarming amount of clear blue skies but they are largely boring. Clouds make the mountain range because of the shadows the cast on the peaks and fields of snow.

Day 110

 Frequent readers of this blog and fans of my photography on Binford-Bell Studio Facebook page are familiar with my favorite places, but the photographs above and below are from a new spot. One which usually has tourists everywhere, Monte Verde Lake at Angel Fire Resort. But in April it is free of most visitors except for the newly arrived Canadian Geese. Don't bother looking. On the morning I took these two shots they were not there.

Day 111
But the clouds were.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Week 15 - 2016 in Photographs

Day 105

The ponds had all melted and the geese and ducks had flown in and were setting up housekeeping and a sudden sharp freeze coated their ponds with ice. It was strange seeing them standing where the day before they had swam. Spring in New Mexico.

Day 104

Changes in weather are fast in the spring. Sunshine one day and winter next.

Day 103

And days where you do not want to go outside because of bitter winds so you photograph the flowers in the green house and studio.

Day 102

Then the sun comes out and ice melts and snow falls.

Day 101

Below is the pond the geese were sitting on the day before.

Day 100

Then back to the pretend spring of the greenhouse.

Day 99

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting outside with a friend and having a chat. Today snow.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Week 14 - 2016 in Photographs

Day 92

The first two photos in this week were taken before the snow. In fact the weather was spring like and winter snow was rapidly melting. It was the first week in April. There is a quality of light which occurs after the spring equinox which I find enchanting. Water is more reflective and contrasts more dramatic. If you have been working hard in March to come up with great landscapes you almost feel as if you are cheating when you get to April.

Day 93

And if it happens to snow then the snow looks almost magical. The five photographs which follow were taken after the sun came up on the newly fallen snow.

Day 94

We got about six to eight inches but the clear blue sky and projected high temp for the day said it would not be here long. Thus inspired I threw on my snow boots with my pajamas and chanced out to capture the first two shots of the newly fallen snow.

Day 95

Then changing out of my PJ's I hopped in the pickup and made the rounds to some of my favorite locations for photographs. The deer in the photograph below were an unexpected gift as I circled Monte Verde Lake hoping for photo opportunities of geese on the lake.

Day 96

Yes, I have my favorite places to go. But then every once in a while a new opportunity shows up. The light through the tall pines in the photograph below was too good to miss.

Day 97

Day 98, however is a familiar assemblage of trees and one of my favorite ponds. On this particular snowy morning the contrast of blue and white was wonderful.

Day 98
The snow was rapidly melting and falling off the branches of the aspens. By April 2nd you would not have known it snowed at all. It was as if it was an April Fool's prank. One I fully enjoyed.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bad Hair Day

Image provided by Magpie Tales

this was not
what she looked like
when she went out
the night before?

Definitely not
what was reflected back
in the mirror
when she left 
her hair dresser's chair?

She walked
to the ball
because no way
it would fit 
in her car.

The mirrored
elevator doors 
told her she was stunning
not a hair 
out of place.

But the dark windows
of the diner 
in the predawn
told a different story.
It was a bad hair day.

And all the stares
she garnered
walking home
were not of admiration.

J. Binford-Bell
April 2016

Week 13 - 2016 in Photographs

Day 89

 Strange week. Should have technically published this weekly blog on the 31st of March. Not sure where my head was at but not in my schedule. It snowed on April Fool's day so I was out taking photographs instead of writing this blog. But I also did not post the daily photograph of Week 14 for three days.

Day 90

Cannot blame it on the flu because I am finally getting over that. But there was also a lot to catch up with once my head and chest cleared up too.

And I felt well enough to paint so that is what I did.

Day 91
 But Week 13 was a good week for photography. Maybe too good because I seemed to have run out of time to post about it.

Day 85

Day 86

Day 87

Day 88