Monday, December 7, 2020

Covid Respite #9 - More Than a Rock


This then:  to photograph a rock, have it look like a rock,

but be more than a rock.

                                                      -- Edward Weston

One of my favorite areas to photograph in the northwest New Mexico badlands is the Black Place . . . so named by Georgia O'Keeffe who would travel there from her home in Abiquiu to paint. I have visited it many times (including my first Covid Respite trip back in June) and have posted numerous blog installments about it -- here, here, here, and more.

In mid-November I went once again with my friend, Alan, this time to catch the late afternoon "golden hour" and post-sunset "blue hour" light.

The primary features of the Black Place that attracted Georgia O'Keeffe . . . and me . . . are the soft hills of ancient dried mud that have been sculpted by erosion over millennia.

At the same time, however, one feature of the Black Place has always vexed me:  rocks . . . rocks strewn like debris all over the place.  Little rocks, big rocks, flat rocks, round rocks . . . littering the entire area.  Visual clutter, the bane of a photographer's existence!

Some examples:

So on this visit, I made a point of trying to find a way to elevate the trashy rocks into something . . . I don't know . . . better, more interesting.  As Edward Weston said, photograph them somehow to have them "be more than a rock."

Here, then, are a few of my attempts (including the image at the top of this post):

In addition to the usual geological features, we were treated to a few astronomical phenomena as well.

A gorgeous sunset:

A waxing crescent moon:

And, by sheer luck, the International Space Station streaking across the sky until it disappeared in the Earth's shadow:

If you would like to see these images (and more) in a larger format, please visit my photography website, Todos Juntos Photography, by clicking here.



  1. These are great. Now have another area to add to our list. Just gonna have to spend more time @ 4 corners. Lo

  2. Lance, wonderful shots, and the space station is something Georgia OK could not see. The sense of isolation and timelessness comes through loud and clear. In summary, these images "rock". Barry