Monday, July 28, 2014

meet Joe Bacon

One could say that Joe Bacon is all about wool but that would be an oversimplification.  He is an extremely creative weaver, working in the styles and colors of Central and South American traditional native weaving, but above all, he is an artist.  Of life and the world.  He is another person who has agreed to be part of my environmental portraiture project, and our photo shoot last week was lively and wonderful.

Here are just a few of the many images from the afternoon.  The first is a shot of Joe at his loom, working on a new weaving utilizing only unprocessed fleece as the weft.  It was absolutely full of lanolin.

Just for grins, we used the wool in a few more photographs

The image below was shot with a 70-200mm AF-S Nikkor lens.  I absolutely love it because, in addition to providing great mid-range telephoto options, it offers superb "bokeh" for portrait shots.  Ken Rockwell has an excellent online piece explaining bokeh - the way lens elements render out-of-focus points of light.

No doubt you will read more about Joe Bacon in future posts, but I wanted to give you an initial look at the artist and the man.

until next Monday,


a passion for the image

Monday, July 21, 2014

fleeting beauty

Every time we watched the news this week, our hearts sank.  It would be easy to use this blog as a political forum, and at times like these, it seems that would be a more significant and helpful use of cyber space.  The last thing I want to do is be a purveyor of fluff.  But perhaps there is also a desire for beauty, however fleeting.  Thus, the day's blog features beauty that presented itself during the past few days.

I could say the dog ate my homework and that is why the blog is a bit late this morning.  But in actuality, I was chasing the most perfect specimen of swallowtail butterfly I have ever seen around the garden.  Flying from one flower to another, the swallowtail made it challenging for me to photograph the full wing span using my 70-200 mm lens.

With the recent rains, the cushion cacti have exploded into bloom on the mesa.  The blooms only last  a day and I found I had to train my eyes to look across the landscape to see them.  They are everywhere.

In bright sunshine, the blooms are almost like fuchsia on fire.

May every single person on our fragile and endangered planet be able to catch a bit of beauty this week, fleeting or otherwise.

until next Monday,


a passion for the image

Sunday, July 13, 2014

celestial meanderings

Saturday night, there was the first in a sequence of three"supermoons".  Scientists writing for the online publication NASA Science News indicate that "the scientific term for the phenomenon is 'perigee moon.'  Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than the other ("apogee").  Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon's orbit seem extra big and bright."

Some photographers "major" in night photography - whether photographing man-made phenomenon or the sky - they do a majority of shooting at night.  I am not that kind of person and, as a general rule, don't do much night photography.  Thus, I am here to say I am lacking dramatic moon shots.  But the entire idea of celestial events made me think about our reaction to them as opposed to those of the people who came before us, including the ancestral Pueblo peoples at Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico.

The supermoons that occurred in the period when Chaco was occupied - 850 and 1250 A. D. - were no doubt noticed, given the image below.  It is said to be a petroglyph of the super nova of 1054.  I dare say Chacoans were probably more aware of their surroundings than many in our tech-laden world.  

According to the National Park Service, the complexity and size of the buildings at Chaco are a testament to the "organization and engineering abilities" of the people who lived there.  The photograph below is of the back wall of Pueblo Bonito

Window at Talus House

The next "supermoon" will be on August 10.  Given the fact that Chaco has been designated as an official International Dark Sky Park, perhaps it would be a good idea to visit this amazing place next month.

until next Monday,


a passion for the image

Monday, July 7, 2014

following the bloom

There is so much happening in the garden and landscape right now that I hope you will indulge me in one more blog featuring flowers.  Despite the year's relative lack of precipitation, which to date is just above three inches, some of it fell at the perfect time for wildflowers to take note and make a grand appearance.  Along with the blue flax, gaillardia seeds were part of a wildflower mix used to recover areas along New Mexico highways.

The gaillardia are making quite the splash and butterflies have taken notice.

The spits and spats of rain that have fallen also helped the garden flowers, such as this bloom on a clematis vine.

Although the blue flax is on the wane, there are still some jewels in the mix.

until next Monday,


a passion for the image