The Yard

There are several very large abandoned buildings in downtown Albuquerque that were once a steam engine company.  A few years ago a group got together to turn at least part of the real estate into something that would serve to bring the community together.  The Yard, as it is known was spruced up just enough to meet safety code and it now opens every Sunday from noon to about three in the afternoon to serve as a combination farmers' market, small local vendor outlet, local food servers and, of course, with some local entertainment.  My brother, Steve, has wanted to shoot on the site for years!  Finally, we could go in with cameras and enjoy the festivities.

There are several large buildings on the site.  Only one is open for the festivities.

A pano shot of one the inside of one of the buildings.  You cannot go in.  But you can take shots over the fence.

Vibrant green weeds actually offer a nice contrast to the endless gray.

This image of a wall is part of the refurbished building.

Still standing in one of the corners of the opened building.

The glass is rather pretty.  But, it can give a green hue to your photos1

This tarot wizard is placed at the entrance to the building.  He has a goose in the back of his booth!  The kids are picking their cards.

He is explaining to the young lad that one of the card he drew suggested that he would be very successful, but only if he worked hard and was a good student.

Walk through the door and you know you are in New Mexico.  If it ain't color it ain't NM!

Combing my purse for loose change . . . . 

Friendly guy with lots of advice for anyone wanting to grow heirloom tomatoes.



Bottle tree.  So much color, so many lines.  A busy photograph.  But at some point I realized that over-stimulation can be a problem in a place like this.

Have a seat.

Wiling to show and let you try it.

Ok, veggies, tacos, soap, candles and all sorts of attire are great.  But what people really want to do is dance.  After all, this is NM and there has to be some great rhythm going on.

Coordination is the key to dancing well . . . style too!

The band leads the way with some hip swinging, dancing down the aisles.

We had a really great time.  I hope to return with Tom.  This is a festival not to be missed if you are in the area on a Sunday.

Old Town Albuquerque

I first walked around Old Town in 2004.  My first impression was that, well, yes it sure was old!  It seemed so full of opportunities but, aside from a few tourist shops and an old central plaza, it was run down and dirty.  That has changed.  Big time!!  It is now full of boutique shops that even attract locals, small restaurants and cafes that serve more than New Mexican fare and flowers are everywhere. It still feels very southwest and full of Mexican culture and art.  Oh, and parking is tough!  LOL

We strolled around just a few square blocks, enjoyed some exquisitely different tacos, grabbed a quick massage ($1.00 per minute) and vowed to return.  There are many more opportunities awaiting us.

San Felipe Neri

Amy Jane's Designs

Sidewalk alongside the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

Sanctuary of San Felipe Neri

A small two-room chapel off the Patio Escondido.  Old, thick adobe!  Next two images are from same chapel.

Canopy at Albuquerque Museum Art and History

Not too far from Old Town there is an historic highway 66 motel that has been fenced off and being readied for demolition.  Tom really wanted to get some photos of it but it was a tough assignment with the fence all around it.  We did our best!

Sunset Sunrise

Steven sat across from me at mom's table on a quiet late afternoon, looking out the patio door. "Let's go to Black Mesa and shoot a sunset," he said. I was in.

Black Mesa is the name given to a plateau to the west of Albuquerque, about 5 miles from my mom's. It offers a view of the Sandia Mountains to the east and a wide expanse of high desert grass to the west. It is an ideal location for a good sunset or sunrise.

We set up our tripods in a very cold wind. We compared a few notes on settings, etc. Then we waited. The sunset did not disappoint. When we got home we were shocked at the difference in our images. Were we at the same sunset?

First up.  Steven shot his with his Canon EOS 700D and a Sigma EX 10-20mm lens. The first shot was taken in back of us (east) towards my beloved Sandia Mountain. The next one wast taken to the north and seconds later he got a shot to the south. All were shot at ISO 200, f/14 and 1/30. Later, as I fell in love with his photos, I realized a subtle truth in composition.  I shot the sunset.  He shot the sky.


I shot towards the west.



Two mornings later I started my return drive to Phoenix and was treated to this sight as I turned the corner from my mom's. "I am going to miss my Sandia," was my first thought.  My second thought was to get my *** moving and check it out from Black Mesa!

As you can see below, the plateau hides most of the city.  I left in just a couple of lights so you could imagine where the glistening bowl of lights (jewels) were down in the valley.

By now it was looking pretty interesting. So I got out of the car but was still handholding, keeping my ISO high and using exposure compensation to keep my shutter speeds somewhere in the range of not quite sharp but OK. Did I really want to unpack my gear? Not yet!

How about my widest lens? Hmmm . . . Steven had fun with his 10mm.  Well, different, but a 24mm is not a 10mm!! LOL.

Getting lighter. More interesting.  One last shot with the Df.

OK, unpack that tripod, get the big boy D800 out. And hurry this beauty is not hanging around long.


You would not be surprised to know that I want to go back to this spot the next time I am in Albuquerque, which I hope will be real soon.