Moore Consulting Photography Santa Fe and New Mexico Santa Fe Reporter

Published in Santa Fe Reporter

The Santa Fe Reporter publishes a large glossy Annual Manual around this time of year — giving locals and visitors lots of useful information and insight into Santa Fe.

And this year, they used 2 of my photos in the publication.

They (very cleverly) organized a photo contest asking for shots of real life in Santa Fe, and chose the best ones to illustrate the Manual.

The runners up (like me) get exposure, and the one top winner gets that and a nice prize, too.

And the Reporter get lots of good shots for their publication.

My shot, ‘All in a Row’, was used to illustrate a piece on Santa Fe architecture.

‘Don Diego and his posse’ (above) accompanied a piece on the Fiestas we celebrate here in the Fall.

Result all round, I’d say.

And a tip of the hat to Marci, for persuading me to enter.

Blog Santa Fe and New Mexico

Going Digital

Friday, March 16, 2007

Durango omelette, please

Back in September, I wrote about how the explosion in digital photography had created some bargains for film SLRs. I benefited from this myself, when my mother in law upgraded to a new Canon digital SLR, and gave me her old film camera.

This, together with the natural desire to take lots of pictures of my young daughter, rekindled my interest in real photography – after I’d been distracted for years by the ease of digital point-and-shoots. And I got some shots I was really happy with.

I was right – getting hold of cheap (or in my case, free) film SLR is a good way to start taking more pictures, and now is a great time to get hold of one. But I was also completely wrong, in ways I’ll now describe.

Cheap Camera, expensive running costs

The problem is that if you’re interested in photography, you want to take a lot of pictures, and film doesn’t really make that very easy.

Sure, you can send your films to Shutterfly or the like, and only pay to print the ones you like, but that takes a while, and there’s a hidden catch I wasn’t aware of immediately. I thought that if Shutterfly developed the film and put the digital versions online for you to see (which they do), then you could download the hi-res versions for no cost – since you’d paid for the developing.

In fact they show you a lo-res version that you can use to decide if you want prints or not, but the hi-res versions will cost you the price of an archive CD – in my case nearly $20 for 150 images or so.

Grass is always greener

Welcome to Santa FeThe other thing working against film is that the lenses on most SLRs are ‘cross-platform’ – working on that brand’s digital SLR bodies too. So the nice Canon 28-105mm USM I inherited would fit on the Canon digital bodies I soon started ogling. That meant it wasn’t going to cost as much as I thought if I wanted to go digital.

After a lot of research, and much pained inspection of my bank balance, I was the proud owner of a Canon 350D (or Digital Rebel XT, as they insist on calling it here in the US), bought without incident from Beach Camera.

So now I can shoot like a crazy person, and sort out the keepers later, without fussing with film and delays and all that. And I’ve greatly enjoyed the who experience – supporting it with a useful 4-class course at the local community college to fill in the gaps in my basic knowledge.

Birthday Photowalk

As the camera was technically a birthday present, I took some time on Tuesday to walk around town a bit (and take some shots of my subject, Finn). The results are here.

I’ll write more later about the learning curve, and about the search for software to help on the computer side of things.

Posted by David in • Santa Fe and New Mexico

Blog Life Santa Fe and New Mexico

Making a vow

Monday, January 08, 2007

OK, so it’s a resolution, but that’s just so, January, you know?

I’m going to ride the Santa Fe Century this year. The last couple of years I’ve sort of been meaning to do it, and then sort of meant to just do the 50, and then sort of didn’t do it all.

Which is no good. So I’m making it public in the hope that now it’s out there I have to do it.

I went to my first spinning class in a couple of weeks this morning, and feel like I got flattened by most of the Irish rugby union back row. Which is a pretty good reason for going more often.

Then, when the streets are finally clear of slushy icy cinder-brown piles of snow, I can get back out on the bike, which is currently buried behind house extension-related boxes in the garage.

I’ve done a couple of centuries (both in Ireland), and some other long day rides (starting with a 75 and then 50 around the Sonoma Valley in 2000), so hopefully the legs haven’t completely forgotten about those (or the 2000 miles in 2 months I notched up in 2001 and 2003 for the long trips, but that’s sort of a different thing).

Firstly, I need to flick through Marci’s cycling training books and build myself a plan.

Then I have to stick to it – basically, I’ll be trying to get all the necessary training by riding only two (or towards the end, three) times a week. Time is tight with work and my Fionnuala-minding duties, so the biggest problem will be just getting the necessary miles done.

But the benefits in terms of fitness, energy and general good humour should be good to see. I’ll keep you posted.

Blog Life Santa Fe and New Mexico

Getting dumped on

Saturday, December 30, 2006

crazy snow on our patioSo what did you do between Christmas and New Year? I stayed in and got stir crazy because we got 2 feet of snow in 36 hours.

The interstates were closed, which I always enjoy, because it seems so unlikely. Coming from Europe, the worst we get it is a couple of exits closed due to a jack-knifed truck, but here I-25 was closed from Albuquerque to the Colorado border (over 225 miles), and I-40 closed from Albuquerque to the Amarillo, TX (that’s 285 miles).

So, despite being the state capital, Santa Fe was completely cut off for most of the day.

Even though we weren’t planning on going anywhere, this makes you feel claustrophobic on a philosophical level. On a more physical scale, watching the snow climb up the windows has a similar effect.

One benefit has been that I now appreciate how several older men from the Mid-West die every year while shoveling snow. Making a vain attempt to clear our steep driveway proved a huge workout.

Marci had a better idea – she strapped on her cross-country skis and slid down the (uncleared) driveway and along our road to check out the situation.

The snow has stopped now, and we can finally see across town (although the mountains are still shrouded in cloud).

We’re going to brunch tomorrow if we have to use tennis rackets as snowshoes. Another day in this white prison, and we’ll end up like ‘The Shining’.

Blog Life Santa Fe and New Mexico

Ride ‘em Cowboy

Saturday, July 01, 2006

So the last post was about a jazz concert by an Englishman. This time it’s something more local – the Rodeo de Santa Fe. Since Marci’s architectural education took place at a university with a big ag school component, and I lived 18 months in Kansas, it shouldn’t really have take so long for her to take me to the rodeo. But I guess we were a bit busy this time last year.

The rodeo sits in its own grounds out on what used to be the edge of town, but it’s now been overtaken by low brown sprawl. But once you’re sitting in the old-fashioned grandstand with some lemonade (with real lemons in it) and a quesadilla, you forget you’re in the 21st century.

There are more boots being worn by the audience than I’ve ever seen before – kids are wearing wranglers, stetsons, boots and spurs; and so are the dads. There’s a sub-group of aging hippie audience members (this is Santa Fe, after all), and a weird Footballers’ Wives meets All Creatures Great and Small thing going on in one of the boxes. Scantily clad young girls with Jackie O shades are in danger of getting a mouthful of dirt during the team roping event – who knows how they came to be here.

The pageantry was great – an arena full of horses being nonchalantly ridden one-handed is always worth seeing – and the Rodeo Queen did her cool gallop and salute thing, but what I’d forgotten about all this was that it’s a professional sporting event.

The guys trying to ride broncos or bring down the calf in four seconds flat are competing against each other for money, and the chance to go to bigger events in the rodeo world. This might be minor league stuff, but there’s a (hard) living to be made if you’ve got the talent and bravery to do it.

We’d just watched Brokeback Mountain, which put a slightly different spin on things, and you could just see Jack Twist scraping by at rodeos like this. But that aside, it gave me an insight into a different slice of Santa Fe life, away from the galleries and spiritualism and over-educated blow-ins like myself. The sponsors were a Dodge truck dealership, a ranchwear manufacturer, and a propane company – all things you need if you’re living out on a ranch, but not things that get a lot of attention in town.

Arts reviews Blog Santa Fe and New Mexico

Jamie Cullum in Santa Fe

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

(started this ages ago, and just found it in the blog’s back-end, which has a better memory than me, being open-source and not sleep-deprived).

Like many new parents, we don’t get out much (but the fortnightly babysitter-enabled date nights are definitely promising), but when we saw that ridiculously talented floppy-haired young English jazz man Jamie Cullum was coming to Santa Fe, we snaffled up a couple of tickets.

Jamie’s huge in England, but fortunately not so well known here, so he was playing in the small and funky open-air theatre, the Paolo Soleri. The evening came round, and with Memorial Day weekend and all, no one could be found to watch Finn. So she came too – Santa Fe is supremely kid friendly, and no-one batted an eye as we walked in with her in the Baby Bjorn.

It was a great show – Jamie has a great voice, some hot piano chops and a likeable way about him, and soon we were all very happy (and Finn was asleep). Depending on how you look at it, he’s either an MOR crooner and sell-out who pretends to be a jazz musician but is actually after the suburban audience, or he’s the very model of a modern relevant jazz dude, throwing in Doves and Radiohead covers with the standards.

I tend more towards the latter view, and he certainly gave us a good night – it was his last show before heading off on holiday, and the band had an end-of-term feel about them.

The sun set over the Indian School, Jamie said his goodbyes, and I was left wondering what the hell a guy from London made of the whole thing. He was complimentary about the weather and the location, and he certainly liked it more than Phoenix the night before (which wouldn’t be hard), but as he headed off for Hawaii, it just brought home to me how far from home I am here in my new home.

Another couple of audience members have posted their reviews of the show on Jamie’s site (complete with the set list – nice idea, by the way, for any musician’s site)

Blog Life Santa Fe and New Mexico

Back, bearing pics

Monday, May 22, 2006

imageSorry it’s been a bit quiet here recently – busy with work and travel and Finn and all.

But I’m back with something to show for my absence – a few pics from my travels. I picked up the old SLR again after a long break (film – how last century), and had a great deal of fun with it.

Here’s young Fionnuala, a shot from the garden of the Institute of American Indian Arts (across the road from the office), and the sign from Joseph’s in Santa Rosa (on old Route 66 haunt we stopped at on the way back from Clovis).



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Real estate frenzy at 7500 feet

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

As you may know, there are now plenty of big budget Hollywood films being made in the state, as New Mexico pursues a ‘tax-break and other forms of bribery’ approach similar to the way Ireland wooed the studios in the 90s.

Jessica Simpson was in town for a while, as were Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, and the celebs keep coming. And they need places to stay while there here.

Santa Fe is better suited than other places its size for this kind of thing, being a resort town with plenty of lavish second homes and short-term rental properties, but even so it’s not easy to find, say, a five-bedroom house with a swimming pool and super-high end finishes – as one incoming star wanted (or else he wasn’t coming). At least not in a big hurry.

But the money the star was spending – tens of thousands of dollars a month – sent every realtor in town rushing for their Rolodexes faster than you could say “10 percent commission”.

In the end the star apparently settled for a four-bedroom pad (with pool) – I’m pretty sure there are maybe no more than a dozen swimming pools in the whole town (this is a desert, after all), so that might have something to do with it.

But for every big name there’s at least 50 other real people who just need real places to crash for four months. Maybe we should go and live in a tent and let the house for a while.

Posted by David in • Santa Fe and New Mexico

Blog Santa Fe and New Mexico

The future comes to New Mexico?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

x-prize image

The NM state legislative session has just concluded and among a busy schedule of issues, one topic stood out – the plans for the world’s first Spaceport, to be built in the middle of nowhere in southern New Mexico.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is keen to move in and start offering space tourism flights, and there are also plans for a crazy-sounding rocket racing series (specifically modelled on the pod racing scene in Star Wars, just a bit higher up).

Currently these are just plans, and the spaceport is a patch of sere land between Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces, but there’s definitely something exciting at the prospect of all this space travel stuff.

We’ve all grown up with sci-fi, and while some of the technology has become real and humdrum – clamshell mobile phones still remind me of Star Trek commicators, though – having a spaceport in your state is still pretty cool.

There’s a 50s retro-future thing going on in much of the design work to accompany the spaceport material (and the X-Prize which has actually already happened), and that’s only fitting (check out out the above image, which is from the X-Prize site).

That imagery captures the optimism and innocence of the first space race, and hints at the maverick spirit of these potential rocket racers and orbital tourists.

If all this happens (and there are doubts over the state’s commitment of hundreds of millions of dollars to help build the infrastructure around the spaceport), as well as the economic benefits and boost to our image, there’ll be something more valuable than that. We’ll be helping to realize the past’s vision of the future. 

Posted by David in • Santa Fe and New Mexico

Blog Life Santa Fe and New Mexico

Ho hum

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Is it wrong that I loudly shout ‘Wanker!’ at every Hummer I see?

Whether I’m walking or driving, it’s most unlikely the driver will ever hear me (although I’m careful to enunciate carefully, to help them lip-read).

Buendia points out they might not know what a wanker is, and even if they did, might not associate the criticism directly with their choice of vehicle. But I think anyone driving one (there are a distressing number around Santa Fe), is always thinking ‘Don’t I look great in this vehicle?’.

So I’m answering the question that’s in their head.

I”m just not as committed as these guys.