Category: New Mexican Culture

Marigold Parade Side-Eye

Marigold Parade Side-Eye

Today was the first time in 13 years that I didn’t spend the first Sunday in November at the Marigold Parade in the South Valley. I didn’t go because it didn’t happen — the organizers are taking a break this year to regroup and possibly find another direction.

The Marigold Parade has been one of my favorite days of the year for over a decade. It’s always happened very close to my birthday (some years on my birthday itself) and I must say, I felt slightly depressed all day. It seemed like a very special day that fell completely flat this year.

In honor of the many years of joy that parade has brought me (and countless others, no doubt), here’s one of my all-time favorite shots. I took it 5 years ago, on an uncharacteristically cloudy and rainy day. This little girl was standing close to me with her Halloween bag, collecting all the candy parade participants were throwing to the crowds. I took several photos of her when she wasn’t looking — but in this one she saw me. I thought her side-eye was incredibly impressive — and adorable.


State Fair Midway

On the Midway at the State Fair

Taking pictures of the rides on the midway at the State Fair is one of my absolute most favorite kinds of photography. There are bright colors! bright lights! and lots of motion! And, for some inexplicable reason, dozens of folks jumping in front of my camera virtually begging me to take a photo of them. I could maybe understand it if photographers were a rare breed, or cameras were hard to come by — but these days, when everyone who doesn’t live in a cave has a phone camera in their pocket? I don’t get it.


Bluebird at Valles Caldera

Bluebird on corral fence at Valles Caldera

I call him the bluebird of suspicion because he really didn’t want me to get very close. Nonetheless, I was able to sneak up on him, kinda sorta.


Classic: Springtime Shadows

Mosquero Lamp and Shadows

The combination of the shadows, iron lamp fixture, and stucco are both classic New Mexico and classic spring (the only time of the year we see shadows like this). I took this shot in the tiny town of Mosquero, northeast of Las Vegas — one of the friendliest places I’ve ever been.


Moonrise Over the Blue Swallow

Moonrise Over the Blue Swallow

Years ago, in 2006 I think, Ned O’Malia and I led a class on a Route 66 and Photography tour through the auspices of UNM Continuing Education (where I still teach). It was on that trip that one of our students told me that so-and-so (another photography teacher at UNM) had said that no real photographer would ever take a picture of a sign. I remember being so grateful at the time that I was self-taught — I never knew you weren’t supposed to take photos of signs and I definitely didn’t agree. After all, I’m a real photographer and I routinely take photos of signs, especially in New Mexico. There are so many great ones and they often are so evocative of what New Mexico is, at least of what it is to me.

Fast forward to last weekend, when I stayed overnight in Tucumcari for perhaps the first time since then. I wandered over to the Blue Swallow, a Route 66 icon if ever there was one, to see if I might be able to snag a photo of that great neon sign with the sunset behind it. Instead of the sunset, I found the full moon rising over the other side of the Blue Swallow, with the Tepee Curios neon sign behind it. Who could resist?!?

And yes, the play on Ansel Adams’ Moonrise Over Hernandez is deliberate. That’s the kind of photographer he was. This is the kind of photographer I am. 🙂


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