April 2016 Featured Shoot

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Taos is one of those magical places which attracts artists from all over the country and even world. Although it is a somewhat small community nestled near mountains in Northern New Mexico it is rich with creative and very interesting people. My shoot for April took place in this beautiful area with a wonderful model, Sara.

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Sara had a wonderful style and look that translated perfectly along with the backdrop of the Rio Grande River canyon and rim. The canyon of the Rio Grande River can be accessed by taking a dirt road from the top near Carson, New Mexico (state route 567 turns into 570) and driving down to the river. This road is sort of scary in parts as it can be very narrow and very rugged. I have been taking this road down to the water's edge for over 35 years now and I still get a little nervous around those tight curves with the steep edges. The drive down is always worth it as you can see so much beauty. Animals, reptiles, beautiful plants and amazing rocks are abundant everywhere you look.

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Towards the top of this dirt road that descends down to the river, there is an area with large black rocks. I have been told they are from a volcano that erupted between 1.4 – 8 million years ago. Hard to believe they are that old. I find them fascinating. Big, giant black rocks and many are covered in a beautiful sage green Lichen. The pale green against the deep black colored rocks looks so beautiful so I naturally wanted to shoot in and around these beautiful wonders of the earth. We took many wonderful images in and around these beauties. Time was a factor as this area gets shady pretty quick as soon as the sun begins to set.

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Driving back up to the top of the dirt road (570) allowed us more a little more time to work since I was using natural light this evening. The sun was our only source and I wanted to make sure we were able to work some more images in before it was too dark. This girl was great at making the best of the environment she was in. Her colorful choice of clothing really popped with the gold light. I was so pleased with our results.

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As the sun dropped so did the temperature. It got chilly really fast. The crisp air felt good after arriving from the desert of Southern Nevada to this magical, cool place. The top of the State Route 570 has many incredible hiking tails. So many views and great vistas to enjoy on any one you decide to take. State Route 570 is only 8 miles long but it is worth taking and checking out this unique area. The Rio Grande Gorge is a Rift that was carved out millions of years ago, so the water flow followed the route. The Rift was here first, then came the river. An unusual yet special way for a river to begin and end.

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Despite the cold temperature, Sara maintained perfect composure which allowed us to achieve the best images possible. What a beautiful setting and person to get to work with. I always love it when all of the elements are ideal and every thing flows. Working indoors in a studio is always nice but being outdoors is always a million times better. I love working with natural light and New Mexico has some of the best natural lighting I have seen. Every sunset and sunrise is inspiring and full of magical surprise.

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6,000 years ago was then they traced back first signs of humans in this area. From that time period some traces were left behind. Arrowheads, pottery pieces and pictographs can be found from these first nomadic people that came through. It is amazing to think you can stand on this ledge and see what they saw with the natural landscape and environment kept in tact. Across the Gorge you can see the lights of Taos. The Taos Pueblo sits there and is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. I can see why they choose this beautiful place to live.

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I really enjoyed working with Sara. We got so many great images in one of my favorite parts of the world. Where the 567 meets the 570 is where we wound up finishing up our shoot. Two roads that offer amazing trails, views, sunsets, animal sightings and historical significance and geological delights. I can not wait to visit this spot again soon.

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