Monday, April 2, 2012

SANTA FE AND THE TRIP HOME

On our trip back to Milwaukee from Scottsdale, we stayed the first night in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We had spent a few days there several years ago and were looking forward to staying there on the way home, if only for one night.

Besides having the third largest art market in the US, Santa Fe, as the country's second oldest city, boasts the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.  This is a gorgeous church both inside and out.






I liked this monk statue, situated outside the cathedral.


We happened to be there on the day of the Chrism Mass (I had to look this up).  One of the significant aspects of this service is that it apparently involves all of the clergy of the archdiocese.  We happened to be walking back to our hotel from dinner at the time the service was concluding.  There had to be at least 50 priests, most dressed in white robes, that exited the church as we were walking by.  Unfortunately, I had not brought my camera to dinner and did not get any photos of the event.

Santa Fe has unique architecture, enforced by city ordinance, requiring an adobe facade.  It makes for interesting photo opportunities.  I wish I had been better able to take advantage in the brief time we were there.  Here are a few shots that I got.




Santa Fe also has a "street life."  On the north side of the central plaza, each day native American artisans lay out their wares, looking for tourist shoppers.


We even spotted a couple hoping to make it as street musicians.  They looked just a tad out of place in this upscale city.


Finally, I took a few photos along the road.  Here is one I shot just after sunrise on the first day, as we were leaving Phoenix.


The obvious problem with this shot was the utility poles.  I was attracted to the layers of mountains in the distance.  I just wish I had had a clear shot at them, but I would have had to have gotten to the other side of the poles and it was not going to happen.

Early on the third morning, as we were heading along a quiet country road from northwestern Kansas into Nebraska, I stopped to take a few photos of the gently rolling, nearly--but not entirely--treeless countryside.


I liked the emotional quality in the above shot.  However, it would have been a lot better, I think, without the shadow running across the road.  Here is another take on the same scene.  Again, I wanted to capture the receding line of the road.


To maximize depth of field on this shot, I set the lens to its narrowest aperture of f/22.  This was shot in low light with a shutter speed of 1/5 second--extremely long for a hand-held shot, though I think I had braced the camera against the roof of the car.

Here is another shot that included the clump of trees on the left in the above photo.


And here is another shot of this scene cropped more horizontally.


These two photos were taken five seconds apart with an aperture setting of f/10.  In the first shot, I had set the horizon low in the image to emphasize the sky.  In the second, I had set the horizon high to emphasize the land.  However, in the end I did not think much of the land shot, which led to cropping the shot more horizontally.  I thought this shot worked OK as a B&W also.


My quibble with these shots is that the base of the trees is below the line of the horizon.  In the best of all worlds, I would have worked the shot to position the base of the trees at just the point of the horizon, but, again, that was not going to happen on this trip.

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