October 23, 2017  •  6 Comments

On all counts, we are experiencing an extraordinary autumn in northern New Mexico.  The aspen were stunning and long lasting, the scrub oak are still presenting themselves in shades of orange, rust and red, and the cottonwoods take ones breath away.  Lining streams and rivers, they are the brightest and most profound I have seen in some years, presenting a broad palette of colors, sometimes on one tree.  Photographers and painters plant themselves along the highways to the ski areas and rivers.   This is where painters can use their artistic license to the fullest extent, eliminating power lines, fence posts, and other human-made signage which might detract from their work.  As a photographer, I have to remind myself to be careful how I shoot because I basically don't believe in spending massive development hours removing distracting items from an image.  The time-tested wisdom of shooting the best photograph you can in the beginning holds true in every case.  Regardless, it is always worth getting out and shooting the amazing landscape.  Here are a few shots of the brilliance.

cottonwood study 3cottonwood study 3

cottonwood study 2cottonwood study 2


Even a tree such as the one here, with dead branches, carries living ones with leaves in assorted stages of transition. 

cottonwood study 1cottonwood study 1


With me, there is also the challenge and adventure of making alterations in color and saturation, as demonstrated below.

cottonwood study 4 alteredcottonwood study 4 altered


Bravo and kudos to nature during this golden season!

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]


Love the season. Love, Love the photos. Thanks for enshrining this time of year for us.
Steve Immel(non-registered)
Bravo to you, sister. These are glorious! You got some super angles. The subdued treatment on image four really intrigues me. I wonder what would happen if you went all the way to sepia. Getting a transcendent fall color shot is one of the most difficult things in photography. Yours are
Lawrence T. Jones(non-registered)
The cottonwood is my favorite tree. The rustling leaves sound like a fast running stream, relaxing my soul in the process. The cottonwood was a favorite tree of the Lakota on the northern plains. It was called "waga-chun" by the Sioux. These photographs truly capture the beauty of the waga-chun.
Wayne Gesterfield(non-registered)
Ah yes, the cottonwoods. I grew up with them in western Nebraska.

But, I gotta say, New Mexico has some very fine ones. And I've taken pics of the many of them.

Daryl you sure have done justice to your crop of cottonwoods.

I also like to do some filters on them, like a watercolor brush effect.
Breathtaking is truly the word! I just love Cottonwood trees. Up here in the Valley I've always called them Brocolli trees, as the deer seem to take care of the lower limbs (I'm guessing). I went up into Rock Creek with Robin the other day to get some reference shots for painting and there was still some gold up there, too. Daryl, you've absolutely captured the essence of Autumn in your photos. Just gorgeous! And, wow, the blue sky behind them! Amazing photos. Love it.
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