photographic pilgrimage

February 03, 2019  •  7 Comments

February began on Friday, and, with great joy, my husband said, "It is nice to be looking at January from the rear view mirror."  In other words, there is something about coming out of one of the coldest months in the northern hemisphere, to a month that has the potential to be slightly warmer.  The days are also becoming noticeably longer.  Mentally, at the very least, it feels as if we are heading into spring, despite the fact that there will be more below zero temperatures and snow.  For me, it is time for a pilgrimage to one of two places - Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in southern Colorado or the Ghost Ranch/Abiquiu area made famous by artist Georgia O'Keefe.  A year without a trip to these two magical jewels is not the same, and I haven't photographed either place in several years.  It is high time.

All one has to do is drive on U. S. Highway 84 after it splits from U. S. Highway 285 north toward Chama, and it becomes apparent quite quickly why O'Keefe fell in love with the area.  The geology is spectacular, and a photographer's dream.  My first introduction to it was in 1994, and in 2003, I took a photography course through Ghost Ranch.  For some reason, most of the trips I have made to the area have been in the morning.  This time, I was working with bold, in your face afternoon light, and a cloudless New Mexico sky.  It gave me a different perspective on formations I had photographed before.

The iconic Ghost Ranch scenic includes Chimney Rock.  A photographer has to be a little creative to keep power lines out of the image, and, quite frankly, I am not patient enough to work in Photoshop to eliminate them.  Here is my latest rendition, aided by a 70-200 mm lens.

Chimney Rock and mesas near Ghost RanchChimney Rock and mesas near Ghost Ranch

As always, my search for details never ends, as the photographs below show.

Abiquiu geology 2019 1-2Abiquiu geology 2019 1-2

Abiquiu geology 2019 5Abiquiu geology 2019 5


Here are two slightly broader shots.

Abiquiu geology 2019 3Abiquiu geology 2019 3

Abiquiu geology 2019 2Abiquiu geology 2019 2

Happy Trails to you this week, hopefully with camera in hand.

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]


Elida Hanson-Finelli(non-registered)
Great captures of Ghost Ranch. You are so right when one goes there or Abiquiu, it is easy to see why Georgia Okeefe chose to live and paint in those areas. So many subtitle hues and forms. Thanks!
Steve Immel(non-registered)
Ghost Ranch and O'Keefe Country are among our favorite places to photograph and paint, too. And might I add The White Place or Plaza Blanca. You've done a wonderful job of capturing the burnished hues, textures and striations that make it so special. I'm anxious to see your images from Great Sand Dunes. They're particularly unique with a blanket of snow.

The longer days and mild temperatures, fifty today, are a tonic.
Catherine Sobredo(non-registered)
You have photographed beautifully selected portions of a vast myriad of options. A keen eye indeed in Georgia O'Keefes territory. I love images such as these because your eye and your psyche know wherein to find the magical beauty of Nature that allows us to immerse into our imagination.
Terry Thompson(non-registered)
Lovely photos Daryl. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do at the sand dunes. They are always very special and not easy to shoot. I too look forward to longer and slightly warmer days.
Dianne James(non-registered)
The afternoon light brings such drama to the scene you've shot. It's amazing how strong and destructive (in this case, also constructive in an artistic way) water can be- even the small amount we get each year. Working with gravity to carve furrows at the weakest points of the rock for thousands of years, Looking at hills such as this, in awe of their beauty, is like looking at a painting and forgetting about the artist who painted it. Water should get equal billing, I think. And wind. I love how you captured the stratas of the rock and interesting shadows on adjacent hills. Furrows are truly breathtaking!
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