Cuba imports by far the majority of its food supply but there remain a large number of private gardens. On the streets of Trinidad men selling strings of garlic and onions make the rounds to the local paladares. I spent a good chunk of May working there on assignment with Espiritu Travel. Read more about my time in Trinidad, Cuba here (starting on page 64).
I took this shot just after sunset from the bell tower of La Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco in Trinidad, Cuba. I spent a good chunk of May working there on assignment with Espiritu Travel. Here, smoke from evening cooking fires fills the air. Trinidad was built on the back of slaves who worked the dozens of sugar mills in the nearby Valle de los Ingenios. The earliest architecture was influenced by North African styles. Later European neo-classical styles dominated the town’s construction. Read more about my time in Trinidad, Cuba here (starting on page 64).
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance asked me to spend a week in the Chihuahuan Desert of southeastern New Mexico documenting some of the last wild places in that ecosystem. The region has been hit hard by a century of largely irresponsible over-grazing and for the past 40 or so years by oil and gas development, much of it un-regulated. Still, there remains spots of intact ecosystems that need to be protected. Contact the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance if you're interested in helping to protect the Chihuahuan Desert.
Nikon D3000. Nikkor 18-55mm. 1/60s. f/7.1. ISO 200.
I couldnt resist putting up another shot of Sandhill Cranes this week. They are just incredibly lovely birds. Yesterday I went back up to the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge in southern Colorado. Every year about 20,000 cranes come through the San Luis Valley on their way north to the boreal forests of Canada and Alaska. The valley is an arid one and thus water is vital. The 15,000 acres of the national wildlife refuge is critical habitat not only for the migrating cranes but also for ducks, avocets, ibis, rails, geese, snipes, coots and many more. The water, flowing off the high peaks surrounding the valley creates a ribbon of life cooridors throughout the valley.
Cranes may in fact be the oldest surviving bird species on the planet. In Nebraska, a skeleton of crane was found that dates back to around ten million years. Yes...you read that right. TEN MILLION YEARS.
Watching them dance and fly and strut you can't help but feel that they are ancient creatures.
Nikon D7000. Nikkor 85-300mm. 1/800s. f/5.6. ISO 200.
It is a two for one deal this week! I loved both of these shots from New Mexico's Wheeler Peak Wilderness area that I couldn't decide which was the BEST. This was about 8pm a few nights ago at 11,040 feet in elevation. The top photo shows Wheeler Peak, New Mexico's highest mountain.
Both photos were taken with my Nikon D7000 and the Nikkor 85-300mm lens. 1/30s. f/3.5. ISO 1600.
The Sandhill Cranes are on the move in the southwestern USA. These two sailed over me on Sunday at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge in southern Colorado. I counted about 50 at the refuge, a small number compared to the hundreds and possibly thousands that will be at the refuge by mid-March.
Nikon D7000. Nikkor 85-300mm. 1/160s. f/9. ISO 100.
Nikon D3000. 1/10s. f/11.8/ ISO 100.
Shrine of The Stations of the Cross - San Luis, Colorado, USA
Nikon D3000. 1/320s. f/10/ ISO 100.
Columbine Creek. Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Area. Taos, New Mexico. USA.
Nikon D7000. Nikkor 85-300mm. 1/30s. f/8/ ISO 140.
It was these images I was playing with when the eagle swooped in. I've been trying to capture the sense of movement of birds in flight, especially when flying against the flow of the river. These Goldeneyes were flying upriver. Arkansas River, Pueblo, Colorado.
Nikon D7000. Nikkor 85-300mm. 1/250s. f/5.6. ISO 200.
The horse on the right had only one-eye, the other a breath-taking, inch-deep hole crusted in crackled mud. He was cautious but curious and very sweet, eventually coming close and wanting his chin scratched.
Nikon D7000. Nikkor 85-300mm. 1/640. f/5.6. ISO 200.
Water fowl were my goal the morning of December 26, 2015. I was taking purposfully blurred images of them in flight up the Arkansas River in Pueblo, Colorado. And then? An eagle. He scared off the Goldeneyes and swooped in right in front of me on several failed fishing runs. At one point he had a trout but then dropped it.
Nikon D7000. Nikkor 85-300mm. 1/250s. f/5.6. ISO 200.
Saturday morning the kids and I were once again at the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally. First of all we are hot air balloon lovers, having flown a number of times. But also there are some pretty impressive breakfast burritos to be had at the rally.
Nikon D7000. Nikkor 85-100mm. 1/160s. f/9. ISO 200.
I lead occassional photography tours/workshops in various places around the northern part of New Mexico and Southern Colorado. One of the tours is along the High Road to Taos, a road lined with small colonial Spanish communities and their impressive churches. On Sunday I led a tour along the High Road. One of the stops along the way is the Santuario de Chimayo, sometimes called the Lourdes of North America. The small village is home to a church built over a clay deposit that is said to hold healing powers.
Here is the Santo Nino Chapel, located just to the west of the main church.
Nikon D7000. Nikkor 85-100mm. 1/80s. f/9. ISO 200.
Bratislava, Slovakia. Nikon D3000. Nikkor 85-100mm. 1/640s. f/5.6. ISO 200.
Two days ago, I made the seven-hour round-trip hike to the top of Ute Mountain (10,093ft) on the northern edge of El Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. I've posted shots of Ute before here. Below, snakes the Rio Grande river, cupped deep inside its gorge. In the distance, near the top of the photo is Ute's sister volcanic cone, San Antonio Mountain. Between, stretches the plateau prarie of El Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.
Nikon D7000. f/16. 1/250s. ISO 200.
Nikon D3000. 1/50s. f/5.6. ISO 400
Wild horses race at the base of San Luis Hills Wilderness Study Area in southern Colorado near the Rio Grande
Nikon D3000. Nikkor 85-300mm. 1/200s. f/10. ISO 200.
Yesterday I had a photo shoot for a conservation project just inside the Colorado border at Lobato Bridge. I took the kids with me. Along the way we could see this beast of a storm coming our way but I really didn't think it was moving that fast. But it was. Just as we finished the shoot, I turned around to see this scene pounding down on us at an incredible speed. We had to drive back through it to get back to Antonito, Colorado...pouding rain, hail, lighting, flooded roads....quite the exciting evening.
This is looking SW about 450pm. Nikon D3000. Nikkor 50mm. 1/60s. f/11. ISO 100.
Sunset. June 29, 2015 in Taos County, New Mexico on the west side of the gorge.
Nikon D3000. Nikkor 50mm. 1/125s. f/9. ISO 200.