Truchas Peaks IV

2011

Within the Sangre de Christo mountain range, 25 miles north of Santa Fe, are situated the Truchas Peaks (Spanish for “trout”). This range of four summits include the 13,102′ South Truchas Peak – the second highest peak in New Mexico – and the 13,024′ North Truchas Peak.

The birth of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains — the southernmost subrange of the Rockies — occurred 80 million years ago as the Farrallon Plate slid under the North American Plate at such a shallow angle that it formed a wider belt of north-south mountains, resulting in a broader region of lower mountains farther inland.

During the succeeding 60 million years, erosion stripped away the high rocks to reveal the ancestral rocks beneath that have since been eroded by water and glaciers, sculpting the mountains into more dramatic peaks and valleys.

Shooting east during late afternoon light, while simultaneously stroking my camera south, enabled me to intensify the texture of these north-south trending subranges of the Truchas Peaks

The fourth and final set of Truchas Peaks images, each resulting once again from single exposure camera pans, as I blend the varying textures with the constantly changing light.

Truchas Peaks<br>Truchas Peaks IV — 2011 Truchas Peaks II<br>Truchas Peaks IV — 2011 Truchas Peaks III<br>Truchas Peaks IV — 2011 Truchas Peaks IV<br>Truchas Peaks IV — 2011 Truchas Peaks V<br>Truchas Peaks IV — 2011 Truchas Peaks VI<br>Truchas Peaks IV — 2011

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Truchas Peaks III

2011

Within the Sangre de Christo mountain range, 25 miles north of Santa Fe, are situated the Truchas Peaks (Spanish for “trout”). This range of four summits include the 13,102′ South Truchas Peak – the second highest peak in New Mexico – and the 13,024′ North Truchas Peak.

The birth of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains — the southernmost subrange of the Rockies — occurred 80 million years ago as the Farrallon Plate slid under the North American Plate at such a shallow angle that it formed a wider belt of north-south mountains, resulting in a broader region of lower mountains farther inland.

During the succeeding 60 million years, erosion stripped away the high rocks to reveal the ancestral rocks beneath that have since been eroded by water and glaciers, sculpting the mountains into more dramatic peaks and valleys.

Shooting east during late afternoon light, while simultaneously stroking my camera south, enabled me to intensify the texture of these north-south trending subranges of the Truchas Peaks.

My third continuation of six images — each being a single exposure — by panning  these magnificent Peaks at different speeds and at varying angles, and, of course, with varying light.

Truchas Peaks<br>Truchas Peaks III — 2011 Truchas Peaks II<br>Truchas Peaks III — 2011 Truchas Peaks III<br>Truchas Peaks III — 2011 Truchas Peaks IV<br>Truchas Peaks III — 2011 Truchas Peaks V<br>Truchas Peaks III — 2011 Truchas Peaks VI<br>Truchas Peaks III — 2011

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Truchas Peaks II

2011

Within the Sangre de Christo mountain range, 25 miles north of Santa Fe, are situated the Truchas Peaks (Spanish for “trout”). This range of four summits include the 13,102′ South Truchas Peak – the second highest peak in New Mexico – and the 13,024′ North Truchas Peak.

The birth of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains — the southernmost subrange of the Rockies — occurred 80 million years ago as the Farrallon Plate slid under the North American Plate at such a shallow angle that it formed a wider belt of north-south mountains, resulting in a broader region of lower mountains farther inland.

During the succeeding 60 million years, erosion stripped away the high rocks to reveal the ancestral rocks beneath that have since been eroded by water and glaciers, sculpting the mountains into more dramatic peaks and valleys.

Shooting east during late afternoon light, while simultaneously stroking my camera south, enabled me to intensify the texture of these north-south trending subranges of the Truchas Peaks.

Truchas Peaks I<br>Truchas Peaks II — 2011 Truchas Peaks II<br>Truchas Peaks II — 2011 Truchas Peaks III<br>Truchas Peaks II — 2011 Truchas Peaks IV<br>Truchas Peaks II — 2011 Truchas Peaks V<br>Truchas Peaks II — 2011 Truchas Peaks VI<br>Truchas Peaks II — 2011

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Truchas Peaks I

2011

Twenty five miles northeast of Santa Fe, within the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range are a range of four identifiable summits. Truchas Peaks (Spanish for “trout”) encompass a north-south trending subrange of identifiable summits, which includes the 13,102′ South Truchas Peak — the second highest independent peak in New Mexico, as well as the 13,024′ North Truchas Peak.

The birth of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost subrange of the Rockies, began 80 million years ago when the Farallon Plate slid under the North American Plate at such a shallow subduction, it created a broad belt of mountaIns running south down North America. The low angle moved the focus of crustal melting and mountain building much farther inland than the normal 2-300 miles. Over the past 60 million years, erosion has stripped away the high rocks, revealing the ancestral rocks beneath, which have since been eroded by water and glaciers, sculpting the Rockies into dramatic peaks and valleys.

Being fortunate to capture Truchas Peaks immediately following a first snow in late light, I found this to be one of the more magnificent mountain groups within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, blending vistas of magnificent peaks together with perfect sky and clouds…

Truchas Peaks<br>Truchas Peaks I — 2011 Truchas Peaks II<br>Truchas Peaks I — 2011 Truchas Peaks III<br>Truchas Peaks I — 2011 Truchas Peaks IV<br>Truchas Peaks I — 2011 Truchas Peaks V<br>Truchas Peaks I — 2011 Truchas Peaks VI<br>Truchas Peaks I — 2011

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Into Santa Fe Mountain’s East Face

2011

1,500’ lower, the East Face of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains continues a long descent down to the plains. Looking back 20 miles to the west across farms and ranches, the harsh light of the setting sun is blocked first by the Jemez Mountains, then by the western slopes of the Sangres, resulting in the east side appearing much softer.

The climate is also much milder in the eastern lee of the Sangres, due to considerably more precipitation.

Into Santa Fe Mountain's East Face<br>Into Santa Fe Mountain’s East Face — 2011 Into Santa Fe Mountain's East Face II<br>Into Santa Fe Mountain’s East Face — 2011 Into Santa Fe Mountain's East III<br>Into Santa Fe Mountain’s East Face — 2011 Into Santa Fe Mountain's East Face IV<br>Into Santa Fe Mountain’s East Face — 2011 Into Santa Fe Mountain's East Face V<br>Into Santa Fe Mountain’s East Face — 2011

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Nature’s Ability to Amaze…

2003

Early one winter morning 14 years ago, shortly after moving to Santa Fe, amidst its wonderful high desert landscape, I was driving up Santa Fe Mountain’s west face to continue my photographic study of its extensive Aspen stands. Upon rounding a sharp curve in the road — I happened upon an astounding and sublime surprise: a “snow spiral” which apparently had formed rolling down the steep slope. Not certain what I glimpsed, I stopped to take a closer look. And having never before seen anything like it, I just had to capture it!

Nor have I ever seen anything like it since…

Enjoy! Merry Christmas

Snow Spiral<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003 Snow Spiral II<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003 Snow Spiral IIl<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003 Snow Spiral IV<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003 Snow Spiral V<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003 Snow Spiral VI<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003 Snow Spiral VII<br>Nature’s Ability to Amaze — 2003

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains III

2015

From 20 miles north of Santa Fe, my third and final series of the west face of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. President Clinton was fond of saying, “its the economy stupid!”

Well, in photography, it’s all about the light…

On this day, the sun was “out full bore,” and because my captures were slightly earlier in the day, the sun still cleared the Jemiz Mountain range behind me; sunlight shined directly on Santa Fe Baldy, the highest peak in this section of the range. Blending the highlighted west face amongst its shadowed surroundings offered a very different series of compositions.

Sangre de Cristo Mountains<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains III — 2015 Sangre de Cristo Mountains II<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains III — 2015 Sangre de Cristo Mountains III<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains III — 2015 Sangre de Cristo Mountains IV<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains III — 2015 Sangre de Cristo Mountains V<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains III — 2015

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains II

 2015

Another series of captures from “my” 8,500′ ridge vantage point, 20 miles north of Santa Fe, offers dramatic “takes” of the Sangre’s west face — including its foothills — leading up to its 12,000′ peaks perched under a late afternoon sky.

As direct sunlight still bathes the nearby foothills, the receding Sangre peaks read as a distant blue line of demarcation that separate the Blood of Christ ridge from the Western cloud-laden sky. These three receding horizontal elements of color and texture afford an array of blending possibilities…

Sangre Mountains <br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains II — 2015 Sangre Mountains II<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains II — 2015 Sangre Mountains III<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains II — 2015 Sangre Mountains IV<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains II — 2015 Sangre Mountains V<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains II — 2015

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains

2015

Returning to one of my favorite New Mexico palettes — just twenty miles north of my home in Santa Fe — an accessible 8,500 foot ridge offers unobstructed views across the 2-3 mile wide valley directly into the entire west face of the Blood of Christ mountain range, from its foothills all the way up and beyond its 12,000′ peaks, which are so often crowned with a continuously-modulating cloud cap as the evening light descends.

An always-varying palette of color, shadow, texture and form…

Sangre Mountains<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains — 2015 Sangre Mountains II<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains — 2015 Sangre Mountains III<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains — 2015 Sangre Mountains IV<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains — 2015 Sangre Mountains V<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains — 2015

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Great Sand Dunes II

2013

15 miles north of Blanca Peak, a Colorado sand dune field emerged as a result of the last major volcanic activity in the San Juan Mountains some 30 million years ago. As the Rio Grande carried volcanic ash eastward, prevailing southwesterly winds – offset by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains’ snowmelt – maintained the unique balance of these trapped dunes:  shifting back and forth according to the strength and direction of the prevailing wind relative to the degree of the snowmelt’s runoff.

Reaching heights of 750′, these are the highest and tallest sand dunes in North America.

Native Americans have long observed this unique dune field’s wandering, shifting nature: the Jicarilla Apaches: “it goes up and down,” and the Utes: “the land that moves back and forth.”

Great Sand Dunes I<br>Great Sand Dunes - 2013 Great Sand Dunes II<br>Great Sand Dunes - 2013 Great Sand Dunes III<br>Great Sand Dunes - 2013 Great Sand Dunes IV<br>Great Sand Dunes - 2013 Great Sand Dunes V<br>Great Sand Dunes - 2013

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains X

2014

The tenth and final successive exploration (at least for now) of the west face of Santa Fe Baldy’s portion of the Sangre de Cristo range, immediately north of Santa Fe.

Eight months since my last exploration, the setting sun, through clouds scattered over the Jemez range 20 miles west, slowly diffuses Santa Fe Baldy’s own atmospherics.

Santa Fe Baldy IV<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains X - 2014 Santa Fe Baldy II<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains X - 2014 Santa Fe Baldy III<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains X - 2014 Santa Fe Baldy<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains X - 2014

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains IX

2013

The 9th of ten successive explorations of the Santa Fe Baldy portion of the Sangre de Cristo range, immediately north of Santa Fe.

Winter’s earlier, crisper light emphasizes Santa Fe Baldy’s west face, especially when framed with low hanging clouds.

Santa Fe Baldy<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains IX - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy II<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains IX - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy III<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains IX - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy IV<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains IX - 2013

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Sange de Cristo Mountains VIII

2013

As winter sets in I continue my visual explorations of the Sangre de Cristo mountain ridge surrounding New Mexico’s 4th highest peak, Santa Fe Baldy.

Blending the snow-covered mountains’ more subtle palette allows for a very different interpretation…

Santa Fe Baldy<br> Sangre de Cristo Mountains VIII - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy II<br> Sangre de Cristo Mountains VIII - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy III<br> Sangre de Cristo Mountains VIII - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy IV<br> Sangre de Cristo Mountains VIII - 2013

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains VII

2013

Continuing my visual explorations just north of Santa Fe, as the weather turns, the contrast of light, clouds and first snow intensifies against the 12,000′ Sangre de Cristo mountain ridge that surrounds New Mexico’s  4th highest peak, Santa Fe Baldy.

In turn, this further reduction of my blended elements to three emphasizes how I see and interpret this landscape.

Santa Fe Baldy<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains VII - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy I<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains VII - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy II<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains VII - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy IV<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains VII - 2013

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains VI

2013

I’m now half-way through introducing the results of my visual exploration of the 12,000′ Sangre de Cristo mountain ridge clustered around Santa Fe Baldy, New Mexico’s 4th highest peak, just north of Santa Fe.

Reducing the variables in each image – shooting from the same location, and at nearly the same time – reveals not only what I am seeing, but how I am seeing. Blending my motion-strokes against the mountain tops emphasizes the light’s particular hue, and how that hue casts upon Santa Fe Baldy.

Santa Fe Baldy<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains VI - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy II<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains VI - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy III<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains VI - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy IV<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains VI - 2013

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains IV

2013

The fourth of ten successive explorations of the Santa Fe Baldy portion of the Sangre de Cristo range, just north of Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Baldy<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains IV - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy II<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains IV - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy III<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains IV - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy IV<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains IV - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy V<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains IV - 2013

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Sangre de Cristo Mountains I

2013

Santa Fe, New Mexico’s capitol, lies along the western edge of the Sangre de Cristo (Spanish for Blood of Christ) Mountain Range, which is the most southern subrange of the Rocky Mountains. Twenty miles west of Santa Fe is the Jemez Mountain Range, with the Río Grande flowing south between the two…

Less than 20 miles north of Santa Fe is a stretch of the Sangres that includes the third and fourth highest mountains in New Mexico: Truchas Peak (13,108′) and Santa Fe Baldy (12,632′). With this section of the Sangres so close to Santa Fe and so visually accessible, I decided to do an extended study of the setting sun’s effect on these peaks during the spring and summer of 2013. My light exploration was optimally accessed by a ridge five miles west, which placed me at the upper edge of the foothills.

This vantage point allowed me to concentrate on the elements of this mountainous landscape — light, shadow, and form — while enabling me to blend these elements with the foothills, the peaks, and the sky in various combinations.

Each of the successive permutations also reflects a single capture spanning no more than an hour of New Mexico’s last light.

Santa Fe Baldy<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains I - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy II<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains I - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy III<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains I - 2013 Santa Fe Baldy IV<br>Sangre de Cristo Mountains I - 2013

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Aspen Turning

2012

The Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) Mountain range is the southernmost subrange of the Rockies; they begin in Southern Colorado and extend south to just below Santa Fe. At the north end of town, on the Sangre’s western slope is Santa Fe Mountain, whose west face is covered with very large Aspen stands.

Native to cold regions with cool summers at altitudes above 5,000 feet, aspens are medium-sized deciduous trees reaching as high as 100′. They generally grow in large colonies derived from a single seedling and spread by means of root suckers whose new stems may appear more than 100 feet from the parent tree. While each individual tree can live for 40 to 150 years, they send up new trunks as the older trunks die off above ground, so their root systems are long-lived, in some cases for thousands of years, which is why aspen stands are considered to be ancient woodlands.

Come the end of September through mid-October, the west face of Santa Fe Mountain lights up as the Aspen leaves turn their beautiful, riotous, yellow. Illuminated by the lower angle of fall sunsets, the light is just magical.

Aspen Turning<br>Aspen Turning - 2012 Sangre Foothills<br>Aspen Turning - 2012 Sangre Foothills II<br>Aspen Turning - 2012 Santa Fe Mountain<br>Aspen Turning - 2012 Aspen Turning II<br>Aspen Turning - 2012 Sangre Foothills III<br>Aspen Turning - 2012 Santa Fe Mountain II<br>Aspen Turning - 2012

 

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Truchas Peaks

2011

The Truchas Peaks are 25 miles northeast of Santa Fe in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Spanish for “trout”, it is north-south trending with four identifiable summits including South Truchas Peak, 13,102’, the second highest independent peak in New Mexico and North Truchas Peak, 13,024’.

The birth of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains, the southernmost subrange of the Rockies, began 80 million years ago when the Farallon Plate slid under the North American Plate at such a shallow subduction, it created a broad belt of mountains running down North America. The low angle moved the focus of crustal melting and mountain building much farther inland than the normal 2-300 miles. Over the past 60 million years, erosion stripped away the high rocks, revealing the ancestral rocks beneath, which have since been eroded by water and glaciers to sculpt the Rockies into dramatic peaks and valleys.

I was fortunate to capture Truchas Peaks in late light, immediately following the first snow.

Truchas Peaks<br>Truchas Peaks - 2011 First Snow<br>Truchas Peaks - 2011 Blended Range<br>Truchas Peaks - 2011 Truchas Range<br>Truchas Peaks - 2011 Truchas Range II<br>Truchas Peaks - 2011 Truchas Last Light<br>Truchas Peaks - 2011

 

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Galisteo Basin II

2011

So taken by this basin’s spectacular views at Santa Fe’s southern doorstep, I find myself returning again and again.

An upwelling of the Earth’s mantle thirty million years ago caused a pair of parallel fault zones, 40 miles apart, to cut north-south through New Mexico from the San Juan Mountains in south central Colorado to the southwestern tip of Texas; 8-10 million years later, this slice of the Earth’s crust sank as much as 5 miles, creating the Rio Grande Rift, which in turn extended a network of fault patterns that pulled apart the Earth’s crust to the breaking point. From the Rio Grande Rift west to the Sierras, these faults were the genesis of the southwest’s predominate Basin & Range topography: fallen crustal blocks created basins; uplifted blocks became mountain ranges.

Low-angled high-desert light with some cloud cover makes it possible to emphasize the differing characters of these surrounding mountains

To view more images of Galisteo Basin, see Galisteo Basin I and  Galisteo Basin III

Light Line<br>Galisteo Basin II - 2011 Sangre Foothills South<br>Galisteo Basin II - 20118 Sangre Foothills South II<br>Galisteo Basin II - 2011 Las Conchas Forest Fire<br>Galisteo Basin II - 2011 Southwest<br>Galisteo Basin II - 2011 South<br>Galisteo Basin II - 2011

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