Shooting the Taos Mountains

Shooting the Taos Mountains

Ah, the mountains!  Cool breezes, fresh air, and wicked cool clouds!  I do love the mountains, and whenever I get a chance to visit and photograph them, I'm like a kid in a candy store.  It's just what I love.  Perhaps I should move?

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Nice hat

I can't say that I have any skills at portrait work, since I have never done any.  But in some cases, you just have to take portraits, even if they aren't staged.  I caught this shot while at a Native American pow-wow in Taos, New Mexico a while back.  All these folks were elaborately dressed and made their way into the event during "The Grand Entrance".  I elbowed in a little to find a decent spot, and took a few "portraits".  This is essentially a straight-out-of-camera shot for me, which as you can probably guess doesn't happen very often!  I remember wanting a headress as a kid - I think this could be the one that I would want! Isn't it awesome?

A noble gentleman

This gentleman was part of the Native American pow-wow that I attended in Taos, New Mexico.  We arrived early and I was lucky to get a good spot to shoot from, because once their Grand Entrance began it was suddenly elbow-to-elbow.  There must have been 200 folks dressed in their tribal gear and it was quite a sight. I highly recommend going to events like this.  It's obviously a great opportunity for photography but more importantly I think it is great to learn about the culture and experience it.  I am not one for the typical portrait shots - for some reason I haven't caught that bug yet.  But I certainly make exceptions when it comes to events like this!

Full regalia

We passed through Taos, spending only about 24 hours there, which is a real shame because I like the town.  We heard there was a Native American Festival going on, so we drove out there and found it.  It was fascinating.  They were prepping for their Grand Entrance, in which they are all dressed up and they march into this large circle, with music playing and lots of dancing going on.  It's pretty cool to see firsthand.  These two gentlemen entered and took their rightful place among the elders.  I thought they looked very noble.

The wood pile

We arrived in Taos, NM a bit late for me to get the camera out, so by the next morning I had an itchy trigger finger, ready to snap some shots.  While the rest of the crew was getting ready, I slipped out the back door of the hotel room and stepped back in time.  I was in an open field, surrounded by sagebrush, and saw this big pile of wood and the old adobe shed in the background.  There were some little creatures running about - chipmunks or something?  I have no idea what they were but they were cute little furry guys and they moved fast - perhaps me and the tripod were intimidating to them.  Anyways, I was able to capture a few shots before reality encroached again.

A quiet walk at the Pueblo

While at the Taos Pueblo, we caught a native American celebration which was fascinating to watch.  The costumes were adorned with feathers and bright colors, and they were dancing about and playing lots of music.  At one point during their Grand Entrance, this lady entered and for some reason she was the opposite - quiet, a bit subdued, almost in a state of meditation.  I was happy to be on the sidelines, taking pictures of the event.

Rain cloud over Taos

 

I could look at mountains all day.  I just love them.  This shot is from just outside of Taos, NM.  We were at a Native American pow-wow and I snuck away to get this shot.  I saw this huge rain cloud moving about and thought if it would just line up over the mountain for me, that it could turn out pretty nice...

Tribal Elder

I came across this noble gentleman while at a Native American pow-wow in Taos.  He was clearly some sort of tribal elder, as he was deferred to by many and given much respect.  Asking around, I learned that he served our country in WWII and was eventually captured by the Japanese.  He is a survivor of the Bataan Death March that occurred in the Philippines in 1942.  Sometimes you can just tell by someone's eyes that they have lived and seen much.

Sweeping vista of Taos

We spent a day in Taos on my recent trip out to New Mexico, and attended a Native American pow-wow there.  It was really interesting and a fun experience altogether.  There was so much color, and I came away with some cool photos of tribal elders and the like.  I will have to share those with you all.  One of the cool things about that area to me is that you are on essentially flat land, and then *boom* the mountains just rise up to 12,000 feet almost out of nowhere.  It is great to photograph but I left wishing I could find a lens that could allow me to get it all in one frame.  I snuck away from the pow-wow before their Grand Entrance to take this shot of the mountain range in the distance.  I saw a bumper sticker somewhere around there that said "Taos is a four letter word for steep".  Sounds about right to me.