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Author Topic: Sante Fe help needed  (Read 5511 times)
aboudd
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« on: July 20, 2012, 10:36:08 AM »
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I am heading to Santa Fe for 5 days in August and I haven't been there before. We are renting a car so I would like suggestions of interesting places to shoot within an hour or two from town.

dweckphoto@gmail.com
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2012, 04:41:01 PM »
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Don't know if you realize, but while you have to be a member to post, anyone can read these messages.  Do you really want to post your e-mail address?

Mike.
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rgs
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2012, 05:46:58 PM »
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Really tough question and it depends a great deal on your interests. Both Santa Fe and Taos are very interesting cities and the road between them is very worth a trip. From Taos, there is a road that goes north through the mountains (and ski areas) to Red Rock and circles back to Taos. They call it the "Enchanted Circle" and there are many possibilities along the way. Lots of mountain shots to be made. Cimarron Canyon State Park is just east of the highway near Eagle Nest. It's and interesting place, especially the area known as "The Palisades".

Visit some Pueblos and old churches. Don't hesitate to visit museums. The central squares in both Sante Fe and Taos are tourist traps but areas very near by are not. Take time to investigate and talk to locals.

West of the Sante Fe/Taos area are many very "southwestern" areas just a short drive away. Lots of internet information is available.

Be sure to get some authentic New Mexico food. The Shed in Santa Fe is a very good stop. The wait is long because the food is so good. I enjoyed the green chili more than the red. Sante Fe is a great trip. Enjoy.
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aboudd
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 06:57:46 PM »
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Thanks for the suggestions RGS, they will be very helpful. I'll try to visit the Shed while I'm there as well.
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bill t.
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 08:16:13 PM »
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Go to "Santa Fe, NM" on the google maps.  Zoom out a bit, click Maps->Photos.  Take notes.

Nice easy drive to Los Alamos and Bandelier with oodles of photo-ops.  And as mentioned the High Road to Taos is the very essence or rural Northern New Mexico, but a lot more than an hour trip.  D. H. Lawrence highly recommends it.  The low road along the river is also pretty nice, and much quicker.  And don't miss the Taos gorge.

Santa Fe is on the border of both distinctly desert and distinctly mountainous areas.  Take your choice.  Whatever else, August is a pretty month in New Mexico and Santa Fe in particular will be at its loveliest.  Lots of monsoonal marshmallow cloud buildups.  Plan outdoor activities for early in the day.  Intense downpours are possible in the late afternoons but only for brief periods, usually.

Some nice photo galleries within an easy walk of the honky-tonk Plaza.  Verve, Andrew Smith, and Monroe galleries are especially worthwhile, there are others as well.

Don't leave without a bowl of green chili chicken cream soup.  Also, I hope you like green chili a lot, because the only food in New Mexico that does not contain at least a 'tich of green chili is ice cream.  Red's OK, don't get me wrong, but Green is the real thing.  Non fire eaters should order an extra side of puffy, fried sopapilla bread with honey to dilute the heat a little bit.

Also, my favorite gallery-gal Jeannie highly recommends Il Piatto restaurant at 95 Marcy St, which would be one block north of the Plaza, possibly walking north on Lincoln.  Good food, and low prices by central Santa Fe standards.  Maybe even not so much Green chili.
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sailronin
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2012, 08:29:15 AM »
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Good information. I'm also heading to Taos in August for a week. Planning a couple of days in Taos and then "Valley of the Gods" area for a few more day. Additional suggestions very welcome.

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Dave
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bill t.
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 08:34:03 PM »
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In Northern New Mexico summers, there is this great daily pageant that begins with achingly blue skies in the morning, followed by puffy cumulus buildups, ending in towering thunderstorms and monsoonal downpours towards sunset.  Pretty often.

Keep an eye on the western horizon starting from a couple hours before sunset.  If it looks like there's going to be a clear space between clouds and horizon for Mr Sun to peek through, you had better darned well get yourself over to some location that can benefit from the kind of multi-hued spectacle those conditions can generate.  Doesn't always pay off, but foresight is the key to success.  Taos Valley in particular can really put on show with those kinds of conditions, with the face of the mountains directly illuminated.  Rainbows, glowing curtains of rain, it's all possible.  But don't get impatient, it takes a few tries.
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jule
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2012, 05:25:07 AM »
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My absolute favourite place in that area is "White Place". Amazing rock formations... and has the most incredible feel. Loved it. ... spent days going back there and wantering and clambering around.

Julie
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James Clark
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2012, 03:14:55 PM »
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In Northern New Mexico summers, there is this great daily pageant that begins with achingly blue skies in the morning, followed by puffy cumulus buildups, ending in towering thunderstorms and monsoonal downpours towards sunset.  Pretty often.

Keep an eye on the western horizon starting from a couple hours before sunset.  If it looks like there's going to be a clear space between clouds and horizon for Mr Sun to peek through, you had better darned well get yourself over to some location that can benefit from the kind of multi-hued spectacle those conditions can generate.  Doesn't always pay off, but foresight is the key to success.  Taos Valley in particular can really put on show with those kinds of conditions, with the face of the mountains directly illuminated.  Rainbows, glowing curtains of rain, it's all possible.  But don't get impatient, it takes a few tries.

Truth.  But I've been out here for a week now and sunset color has been oddly lacking.  It's not been overly cloudy, just not very spectacular at the golden hours.  That said, the midday clouds have been really wonderful for the most part and I'm getting some solid B&W work done. Great suggestion on the Monroe Gallery by the way - one of my favorites.

Anyway, to the OP, Santa Fe offers a huge range of possibilities.  I could spend a full day shooting nothing but architectural detail in the plaza area and the surrounding historic neighborhoods.  If you have a thing for shooting doors and facades, you'll be in heaven - just head up any of the residential streets off Canyon and go nuts.  The drive out west to Ghost Ranch is great, especially when you get past Abiquiu, and the high road to Taos is not to be missed (as already mentioned).  If you have time, I'd hit White Sands, but that might require an overnight stay (pretty far from Santa Fe), or maybe head up north toward Durango if you want another overnight trip. 

Finally, I'm a red chili guy.  Sorry Sad 
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rgs
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 02:59:43 PM »
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Finally, I'm a red chili guy.  Sorry Sad 

How can we possibly trust your judgement in other things?  Cheesy
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bill t.
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2012, 07:51:31 PM »
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Red or green, be sure to check out the fajitas at the barbecue cart on the SW corner of the Plaza.  It's a Santa Fe tradition.  Just follow your nose.

Yeah, the monsoon has been a sorta ho-hum this year.  Definitely drought conditions, but still enough rain to green things up to almost normal Summer levels.
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Schewe
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2012, 03:46:12 AM »
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I am heading to Santa Fe for 5 days in August and I haven't been there before. We are renting a car so I would like suggestions of interesting places to shoot within an hour or two from town.

You realize that 1-2 hours drive time in the US southwest is "next door" right? The distances are pretty vast...

Bandelier National Monument is worth the trip up near Los Alamos. Noon light sucks but morning or afternoon is pretty nice. The drive out to Abiquiú, New Mexico takes you to  Georgia O'Keeffe country...can't get into her house but you can "see it" as well as lots of interesting rock formations around Lake Abiquiú. If you have the time Chaco National Park is worth the rather long drive. But it's a loooong drive and a large part isn't nice on regular cars, you need a 4-wheel SUV which isn't a bad thing to rent if you can vs. a low ground clearance car...plan on spending some quality time walking Santa Fe Plaza–yes, it's a tourist trap but a really nice one. May as well walk Canyon Road.

I agree with a side trip to Taos...particularly the Taos Pueblo...just be sure to check the schedule for when you are there-it's sometimes closed to the public for religious ceremonies.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2012, 09:06:30 AM »
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Red or green, be sure to check out the fajitas at the barbecue cart on the SW corner of the Plaza.  It's a Santa Fe tradition.  Just follow your nose.
Yeah, the monsoon has been a sorta ho-hum this year.  Definitely drought conditions, but still enough rain to green things up to almost normal Summer levels.

The fajitas there are famous, mostly from tourists, you can do better <g>.

Monsoon’s typically run July through September so we’re just getting started here and it will rain on and off here all week. But there is a famous saying about the weather here: Don’t like the weather, wait an hour. It is looking like a (hopefully) wetter season this year than usual.
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Andrew Rodney
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bill t.
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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2012, 11:47:22 AM »
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May as well walk Canyon Road.
Yeah, it's the scenically narrow little road for heavy hitter art with giant price tags.  Not very much photography, usually.  But a charmingly quaint location with galleries occupying mostly old adobe houses.

On my wiz-bang visits to old Santa Fe I usually try to check out at least a few of the newer galleries down at the beginning of Canyon Road, near Paseo de Peralta.  There's an enclave there labeled something like the "225 Area" which is actually an offshoot to Canyon Road.

Manitou, Meyer, and McLarry galleries are all located within a short walk of each other, no high altitude huffing and puffing required and easy parking.  They usually have a nice stock of classic style paintings that are a good reference for those of us interested in the landscape genre.  It's good to know where one's roots came from.  In particular, McLarry gallery artists Dick Heichberger, Peter Hagen, and David Ballew have a great a sense of bigger-than-life drama and color which appeal to my admittedly corny sensibilities.  Like it or not, we all have archetypes of these kinds of images tucked away in our heads somewhere, and so do our customers.

Also, for the next month or so there's a nice show by David Bottini at Greenbery Gallery, 205 Canyon Road which is just outside the 225 enclave.  Huge photorealistic paintings of back lighted color in park like settings.  You'd swear you were looking at giant Cibachromes.  Kind of inspiring and immensley appealing work.  I took notes, HDR was made for this.
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James Clark
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2012, 03:05:33 PM »
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Also, for the next month or so there's a nice show by David Bottini at Greenbery Gallery, 205 Canyon Road which is just outside the 225 enclave.  Huge photorealistic paintings of back lighted color in park like settings.  You'd swear you were looking at giant Cibachromes.  Kind of inspiring and immensley appealing work.  I took notes, HDR was made for this.

I was looking at this exhibit on Sunday.  It was, indeed, cool stuff.  And I couldn't agree more that we, as photographers, can take a ton of lessons (or at least "refreshers") from painting.  The Greenberg exhibit is one example, but I always harken back to the Hudson school painters when I try and remember that not everything has to be in the current contemporary hyper saturated look.  Sometimes there is great beauty in subtlety and the classic painters are a great reminder of that.  

Anyway - I digress.  And ramble.  Another thunderstorm is rolling in so we'll see what will be left by 7:30 or 8 tonight Smiley

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aboudd
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« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2012, 07:47:14 AM »
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I want to thank you all for your contributions. Keep 'em coming. By the way I am chili neutral  Tongue
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digitaldog
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« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2012, 08:18:34 AM »
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By the way I am chili neutral  Tongue

Then when ordering, ask for Christmas.
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Andrew Rodney
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sailronin
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2012, 07:17:21 PM »
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Thank you for the inputs (and letting me hitch along on this thread). My plan is fly into Albuquerque in the evening, leave early next morning for Taos, two days there then NW through Durango to Bluff to base there for VOG. Then south and back to Albuquerque, about 825 miles round trip. Hope to shoot in the early mornings and drive during the day. May decide to spend more time in Taos (Rancho de Taos and Taos Pueblo) and shorten time in VOG depending on conditions in Taos.
What is the "White Place"? Is that Bisti area?
Thank you
Dave
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Thank you for looking, comments and critiques are always welcome.
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bill t.
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« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2012, 02:07:57 AM »
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The "White Place" is near Abiquiu, to the west of Taos.  The stuff that looks like snow is it.  On the link click on "Map" at upper right, then click "Photos."

Mornings will give you mostly clear blue skies.  Thunderstorms usually start to build up around 10 to 11, then dissipate after sunset.  My approach would be travel early, find a good location during the day, and be there in the evening.

Just noticed the first quarter moon.  Will be full around Aug 1.  In lieu of finding Hernandez, some time exposures at the old Plaza Blanca could be pretty cool.
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sailronin
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« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2012, 02:12:20 PM »
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Wow, interesting place and pretty close (relatively speaking).
thank you
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Thank you for looking, comments and critiques are always welcome.
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