“Just needs a little TLC”, said the realtor.



IPhone 4s / ACDSee / Snapseed



Now for a replay, from When a Painter Snaps, back in July, 2013:

Today, I thought it might be fun to show you how this photograph came to be. It started with this image, taken along the high road from Taos to Santa Fe:

I cropped it and worked a few simple fixes and adjustments in ACDSee on my laptop.

I liked the result, but thought it would be fun to try a vertical, eliminating a lot of the unnecessary part of the wood on the right hand side of the image, thereby bringing sharper focus to the skull. I also decided to try it in black and white to enhance the drama in the scene, along with tweaking the lighting to increase the contrast. I cropped the image, applied a subtle black vignette, then topped it off with a lightly blurred vignette.

I was almost satisfied with the result, and could well have stopped at this point, but decided to try a softened border.

Nope, that was looking a bit contrived, so I got rid of it. It was then that I decided to try re-applying color to the image and even pumping the color up a little. The image below was the result. The result I've chosen to stand by.

Well, that was then. This is now. I couldn't resist tweaking it a tiny bit more, now that it's on my iPad, using good old Snapseed.

COW SKULL PROCESS/ Camera Unknown / ACDSee / Snapseed

So. Here's the final, final. For now, anyway.

Hasta mañana.




Posting this series of Rodeo and Charreada kids got me thinking. Thinking about the various events where these photographs were taken. My first experience of Charreada happened when Thea and I were visiting with friends in San Miguel de Allende, in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, in March, 2001.

A sandwich board, temporarily set up across from the Parroquia caught my eye. There was to be a Charreada on the coming weekend. I had, for years, been photographing rodeo stock, horses and cattle alike, as research for my paintings, and had attended rodeos throughout my life. But I had never been to a Charreada despite extensive travels in Mexico.

I decided to check it out. On Saturday, I caught a bus out to the Lienzo Charro on the edge of town. I bought a ticket, but rather than enter the covered seating area, I made my way around the outside of the arena in search of critters to photograph. This took me past the area where the Charros and Charras were unloading and saddling their mounts, adjusting their gear and costumes, exercising their horses and practicing rope tricks.

A loud cheer arose from inside the arena and these two boys quickly stood up on their saddles to look over the wall and see the action, creating their own “grandstand”.

I fell in love that day, with the action, the color, tradition, culture and people of Charrería. The freedom of movement and access, the warm friendliness and openness of the people, and the amazing displays of horsemanship, combined with the all-ages inclusiveness of this family oriented sport keeps me going back for more.

I have since photographed at Charreadas many times in Mexico City, in Puebla, and at National Championships in Ciudad Juarez, Zacatecas, and Apaseo el Grande.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go pack for the Championships at the end of this month in Puerto Vallarta.

Hasta mañana.



TINY CHARRO / Panasonic Lumix FZ20 / ACDSee / Gimp

Back we go to the world of children and horses, with this handsome little blue eyed Charrito that I spotted at the regional championships of Charrería in Puebla, Mexico.

I just realized that it has been too long since my last Charreada. Hmmm, is that what's making my feet itch? Or is it the snow outside my window? Or is it both?

It's both. And more. Time to get scratching!

Hasta mañana.



YOUNG CHARRO / Panasonic DMC-FZ20 / ACDSee / Snapseed

The Mexican Charreada, like its American counterpart, the Rodeo, is a family affair. From toddlers to old timers, male and female participants, all engage in keeping their traditions alive. This is a common theme among horse cultures worldwide.

I photographed this handsome young horseman at the Lienzo Charro Constituyentes, in México, D. F., in 2011. This is a large arena, in a very large city, but it has a small town feel that I like, and I visit there often.



READY TO RIDE / Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 / ACDSee / Snapseed

In keeping with yesterday's post, here's a shot from closer to home. I photographed these young cowboys at the rodeo in Galisteo, New Mexico. I prefer shooting small town rodeos over the larger, more professional productions. These smaller rodeos are more accessible and provide more and better photographic subjects. The same can be said for Charreada, the Mexican version of rodeo.

Either way, I like going behind the scenes and using a candid approach more like street shooting, as opposed to aiming mainly for the sports and action subjects.

I originally photographed rodeo horses and bulls as research for my paintings. I soon realized that there were many other photographic opportunities to be found and shared at these events.

Hasta mañana.



TAOS CAT / Panasonic Lumix TZ5 / PhotoForge2 / ACDSee

While photographing this old truck covered with snow, I saw something move in the shadows beneath it. Soon, this little fellow peeked out, a tiny kitten, perfectly framed by the old truck.

You never know what you might find if you keep your eyes and your mind open when out photographing. I certainly got lucky on this day.

You can click on the image for a closer look.

OK, I promised I would start today telling you about the projects I've been working on lately. All I can tell you right now is that I wrapped one of them up late last night. I can't spill the beans just yet, as I still have a bit of tidying up to do. But…

Tomorrow, I will give you a sneak peek!

Hasta Mañana.