BULL RIDER STILL LIFE / iPhone 6s Plus / Snapseed

Today was the last day of the 2016 Campeonato Internacionál de Charrería. Tomorrow I rest and try to get all four days' images sorted, saved and backed up. It won't be a day off, but it will be a day off my feet!!!

What's next? Stay tuned…

Hasta mañana.






THEA'S WINTER GARDEN / iPhone 6s Plus / Snapseed

I don't think we'll be having breakfast out there any time soon. Mexico beckons!

Hasta mañana.




HE'S BACK! / iPhone 6s Plus / Snapseed

As we were having breakfast this morning, the low hanging sun dipped below our portal roof, peaked through our kitchen window, caressed our kitchen burro, and said shoot this! So, of course, I did.

Something has gone haywire. Blogsy, one of my favorite and most often used apps, the app I use every day for posting to this blog, has been telling me, as it usually does, that my post has been successfully published. It hasn't. Not just yet, anyway.

The first time it happened, I tried three or four more times before giving up and going to bed. The next morning, there it was. It had posted twice at around 7:30 am. Same thing yesterday.

We'll see what happens with this post. I've tried a couple of fixes, and if they don't work, I'll try a couple more.

Hasta mañana.



RELIC / iPhone 6s Plus / Snapseed / PhotoForge 2 / Photone

I've been playing again. I grabbed a quick snapshot while driving past this old wagon, recently, and tonight, while the tv was blathering, I decided to have some fun. First, the snapshot:

Which I cropped to get rid of unwanted elements, mainly my rear view mirror.

I dropped it into Snapseed and started to play. I cropped it further to get a composition I liked, and began pushing the colors and adjusting values; sharpened it a bit. Almost stopped here.

Tried a tighter crop, but decided I liked the more open version better.

I went back and started really pushing colors around, toying with various tools, going for extremes.

More playing, pushing, pumping the colors. Really liked this one. Decided maybe I shoulld try a black and white version, just to be sure.

Oh, yeah. Liked this one. Couldn't leave it alone, though.

Gave in to temptation and started messing with filters until I found this effect after switching to PhotoForge 2.

Then I moved into a new, to me, at least app called Photone and gave it this sort of gold tone effect. Hmmm, pretty nice, no? Still not satisfied, I decided to take it back into my old pal PhotoForge 2, push it around a little bit more, and add a border.

I showed all the various iterations to Thea, and she picked the one you see at the top of the page. Obviously, I agreed. Which do you like best?

Hasta mañana.



We had friends over on Sunday and I took some good natured ribbing over my recent series of posts. You know the ones, shots taken through our kitchen window, of the two dried sunflower stalks in the snow.

Well, on Monday, at 4:50 pm, I looked out my office window, and saw this.

I took a picture with my iPhone with thoughts of an “O K, here's a view out a different window. So there.” But I had already started work on the blog of the little Escaramusita. She won. That got me going on a series of Rodeo and Charreada kids.

Then, yesterday, Wednesday, I just happened to look up from my iPad and glance out the office window. I pulled my iPhone from my pocket and grabbed this shot, at 4:51 pm.

So there! Now, back to the kids! 😉

Hasta mañana.



The Comanches are coming.


Listen, the Comanches are coming!

What? What are you talking about?


The muffled sound of drums. Approaching. Listen!


It was our first New Year's Day in our new adobe on the ridge overlooking the valley of the Rio Chiquito and the Rio Grande del Rancho. We were having breakfast with our overnight guests, Merrill and Jeanne Mahaffey, and Thea's sister, Alicia. Our neighbor ran over yelling They're coming. Hear them? The Comanches are coming.

We stepped out the kitchen door, as the drumming grew louder, and down our drive came a group of brightly feathered and painted… Indians? No. These were obviously Hispanic individuals, dressed as Indians.

They formed a circle in front of our house, a band of singers and drummers let out a few yelps and war whoops, then broke into song. The “Comanches” began to dance. A group of spectators, having followed them into our yard, formed a semi-circle on the other side. Our neighbor explained that they were here to bless our house.

Another neighbor, our good friend, CruzValerio, broke away from the group, went over to the pen housing our chickens and two turkeys, and began drumming and chanting, blessing them.

After several songs and dances, the group introduced themselves, wished us a Happy New Year, and drifted up to our neighbor's house for a repeat performance, then back up to the hiway and on to other houses. We could hear them until mid afternoon as they blessed other houses in the area.

We subsequently learned that there were other groups in the area, and, in fact that they also appear as far south as El Paso. None of our group could remember how it all started. They had been doing it longer than any of them could remember. The real Comanches, however, used to come into this area from out on the plains on raiding parties. They would take crops, livestock, and captives, striking terror into the hearts of the Spanish and Pueblo people living between the Sangre de Cristo mountains and the Rio Grande.

Some believe this ritual began as a sort of prayer to keep the raiders away, others believe escaped captives brought back songs and dances from their time living among the enemy. No one seems to know for sure.

Whatever the origin, we feel truly blessed by their visits, and have for a decade and a half, as we've watched some of the children grow into fine adults, with children of their own, continuing the tradition.

After Cruz's son, Alex, the leader of the Comanches succumbed to cancer a few years ago, the dancers became fewer, until, finally, we feared the tradition had died. But today, just as I was finishing my lunch, I once again heard the drums. They were back. Fewer in number, with fewer followers, even, but they were back.

Alex's son appears to have taken over in his father's place, and our house is once again blessed, as we are.

Hasta mañana.

P.S. To learn more about the Comanches, check out Miguel Gandert's book, Nuevo México Profundo, Rituals of an Indo-Hispano Homeland.



THE BIG ONE BITES THE DUST – ER, SNOW / iPhone 6s Plus / Sapseed

All you loyal followers will recognize these dried sunflower stalks outside our kitchen window. Theyve been featured before on this blog, here, and here.

A Mystery.

Today, when I looked out the window, this scene presented itself. Big Guy down! What happened to the larger of my models? Judging from the tracks, I suspect one of the neighborhood magpies? It looks to me like he landed on it, road it to the ground, checked for leftover seeds, then walked away, looking for easier pickings. Is that what you see?

Hasta mañana.



KITCHEN BURRO / iPhoto 6s Plus / Leonardo / PhotoForge 2 / Snapseed

This charming little guy brightens our kitchen and warms our hearts. Maybe he can bring a little joy into a corner of your morning.

Work continues on my book projects, as well as on a catalog for my upcoming March exhibition at Sorrel Sky Gallery in Santa Fe. So. I'd better get back to it.

Hasta mañana.



COTTON CANDY / iPhone 6s Plus / Snapseed

On my way home from a quick run to deliver a new painting to Barry Norris Studio for scanning, I glanced out my driver's side window and saw this delicate pink cloud. I pulled my iPhone from my shirt pocket, and as soon as I was stopped behind other cars at a stoplight, I glanced down, hit the home button and flicked the little camera button up with my thumb. The light changed and we started moving. The side of the highway was packed with buildings, trees, poles wires, and street lights, blocking my shot.

Then I spotted a long, empty stretch coming up with just a field of sage stretching away toward the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Hoping the view wouldn't be blocked by poles and wires, I kept my left hand on the steering wheel and my eyes on the road ahead. I held the camera with my right hand, reaching across to place the camera near the closed window, and fired off four quick shots as I passed the clearing.

The fourth shot was the best. All it needed was a slight rotation to level it, some spotting where there was a slight reflection, and the usual mild adjustments, all done in Snapseed on my iPad Air 2.

And there you have it.

Hasta mañana.



iPhone4s / PhotoForge 2 / Photogene

Here's another shot of the church featured in yesterday's blog. This one is also from my former daily photo blog, When a Painter Snaps.

Here's what I wrote at the time:

Five days ago, I posted an image of Thea and our friend, Jay Olson, in front of the Church at Ranchos. Admittedly, it was more snapshot than photograph. This is called When a Painter Snaps, after all.

Today, though, I decided to post my latest photograph of this beautiful building that has drawn both artists and photographers ranging from Georgia O'Keeffe to Anselm Adams. As for photographers, it's been shot with 8×10 and 4×5 cameras, 35mm cameras, and everything from pinhole cameras and Kodak Brownies to, as in this case, an iPhone.

Hasta mañana.