New Mexico Raw: 7.9.22

Raw is the right word to describe the landscapes here in New Mexico…especially when the weather is changing and the skies become very dramatic. These were taken just a few minutes before sunset. Because we’re at altitude (7000′) the air is crystal clear. Of course another reason for that is because there aren’t many people here! We’re in a rural area, so there are even fewer people and the air and the skies are even more clear than in town (Santa Fe). These low light situations with high contrast clouds as the sun catches them, “asks” a lot of the camera. I shoot RAW so I could lighten these quite easily, but I’m going for the mood of the scene and how it impressed me as I stood there. I should say, “how it captured me!” So there you have some silhouettes, solid inky black with little or no detail. The modern cameras are amazing for preserving detail and tone; and I know that I could have pulled that out of those areas.

These were taken, quite recently, with the Sony A7Riii. I’m pretty much in love with the camera. I love the size, the lightness, the fluidity in using it. It seems to read my mind, and who knows, with AI, maybe it is! I read a review of it by Ken Rockwell in which he referred to the A7Riii as “clairvoyant”. That’s really the perfect choice of words, so I’ll just lift that description from his article.

I used the very basic Sony FE 50mm f1.8 lens which “serious” photographers would probably scoff at. Well, I’m amazed by it and I am serious! And unless I were printing images one acre large, I bet that most of us would not be able to tell the difference between it and one of the breath-takingly expensive Sony G or Master lenses. Its clarity and performance are astounding.

Ski The Wintersun in New Mexico: 1.4.21

We’re not having the greatest Winter for skiing. But we have enough to go up and have some fun. Of course we’re known for our Wintersun. It’s true. We normally ski in bright sunlight with blue-black skies. I love that for black and white shots.

I get up there early and this time of year, the shadows are long and dark. It makes for some wonderful designs and patterns. I just visited Marcus’ website and read about how he feels like a kid in a sandbox when the light plays across some strong architectural features and he has camera in hand. I understand completely. And that’s how I see things when I get up into the mountains early. This is the best time of year to be up there and shooting. These strong dark and light patterns are seductive.

Don’t laugh too hard, but I like to carry the Sony HX-99 for these excursions. Purists might not take it seriously, but it makes carrying a camera into that environment possible. It does shoot RAW and that’s important, particularly for a camera that only has a 1/2″ sensor. But I am always amazed at what a good job it does. I don’t know how well the images would look if they were enlarged a lot. But for smaller prints, I bet they’d be fine. Considering that I was in motion on the ski lift for these pictures, I’m pleased with the results. I expected blurs! The HX-99 has all of the adjustments that I need and want and the layout of the controls is almost identical to the A6500 and the A7R3. It fits in the front of my ski jacket. If this camera were any smaller, I wouldn’t be able to operate it. It’s a miracle of miniaturization. Nice job Sony.

Botanical Abstracts and Critters: 11.10.20

Sometimes when we get a good snowfall, I put on the xcountry skis and go out to take shots of the interesting and prickly plant population; but “Lines and Critters” pretty much says it all.

People are often surprised to hear that Santa Fe, New Mexico gets any snow at all. We do! It’s fluffy-light-weight, low-density snow, just the kind that skiers love! We are at 7000 feet and that changes things a lot. The surrounding mountains top 12,000 feet and our ski area is excellent. Plenty of good tree skiing even at 12,000 feet, due to our southern latitude.

New Mexico: Ski the Winter Sun!

Botanical Macro and Textures: 5.31.20

Most of these were taken with a Macro lens on the full frame camera. There’s a whole new world awaiting for us when we decide to get close. The first time I took a macro shot, I was astounded at the amount of detail in something as mundane as a dried leaf—details that were completely unavailable to my sight. FYI: You can leave a comment for an individual photograph when you are in the slideshow. Click on one image above to launch that.