Saturday, August 30, 2008

Penitente Morada-New Mexico

Throughout most of my life, my interest in photography had always been just one of general interest and curiosity only. I appreciated a nice "Picture", but never really understood what all went into the making of that "Picture". I would always thumb through issues of Arizona Highways, looking at all of the great desert sunset shots, not really thinking of the feeling that the photographer was instilling into this medium.
Having lived most of my life in North San Diego County (California), I have become accustomed to the coastal way of living. I went to work, then came home each day and went through the normal day-to-day requirements of an adult life without even a thought of the spectacular beauty that was just a couple blocks down at the pier. That way of thinking changed dramatically in 2004, when my wife and I decided to purchase a vacation home in St. George, Utah. I don't know what happened, but seeing the "dry, arid, red rock landscapes" of Southwestern Utah, brought a more artistic personality out of me. I suddenly had this great desire to capture and print all of these great landscape areas that I was blessed to be able to live within. Then in September, 2006, while we were on vacation driving through Taos, New Mexico, both my wife and I had this over-whelming urge that we had found our true home. Within a couple of months we had purchased our second vacation home and we both immediately became entranced with the beauty and history of Northern New Mexico.
In about three weeks the both of us will be heading back over to New Mexico. During that time I will be taking a private workshop with Craig Varjabedian (http://www.craigvarjabedian.com/ ) with Eloquent Light Workshops ( http://www.eloquentlight.com/ ). Craig is a long established New Mexican photographer, who has published many books. A recent publication titled "Four and Twenty Photographs, Stories from behind the Lens", had a very profound affect on what I wanted to portray in my own work. One such photo in this book was titled "Moonrise over Penitente Morada". The story and the power of his image seemed to give me direction.
I was able to meet Craig a few months back and asked him where this morada might be. He just smiled and told me he had made an agreement with the Penitente Brotherhood, to never divulge the where-a-bouts of any of their sacred buildings. A little disappointed, I still understood and thanked him for the great meeting and hoped to see him again soon.
A few months later, my wife and I were again in New Mexico and were driving around site-seeing, when we decided to go up a road we had never been on before. A few turns here, a couple of stops to photograph some beautiful scenery and then around another bend and grade in the road, we came across "The Morada", that Craig had put in his book. Awestruck, both my wife and I checked to see if it was okay to photograph the building. Seeing nothing instructing us not to we both both began shooting. Above is one of my images.
With that introduction, I welcome you to my blog. From here on, I will try to pass along the story behind each of my images. What happened along the way and what inspired me to create the image. I hope you enjoy.