Last week’s storm was quite a shock to the area. The snow didn’t have as much of an impact as the temperatures, but both were alarming to an area not used to either. The snow draped Sandia Mountain, especially the western lower portion. For about a day the slopes were completely covered. As the sun did it’s work, though, the southern exposed sides returned to their usual dusty brownish color.
These photographs, taken three days apart, show how dramatically the weather changed in Albuquerque. From record lows in the negative single digits, to normal temperatures up into the thirties.
Dramatic shift indeed.
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It’s a little funny the things that we take for granted. I’ve lived in Albuquerque now for a bit over three months and I’ve already started to ‘not see’ the mountain across the valley. I noticed that this week as rain clouds obscured it’s top and it took on a different character. It reminded me of the movie “Smoke” where Harvey Keitel takes a picture of the same corner outside his corner cigar shop every morning. There’s a scene where he pages through a scrapbook of all the pictures from the past decades, and while day to day there aren’t any real changes, over time there’s a massive change. It’s easy to overlook the little things in anticipation of the big stuff. But if you look for the big stuff you’ll never find it.
So here’s another sunset photo of the mountain that I took the other evening. It’s different from the last one, but it’s also the same. It makes you wonder at some level, if I’m taking I’m taking a picture of my view, or the mountain is taking a picture of it’s view. Perception of change is all dependent on the scale with which you’re measuring.
I’ve been looking through some old photographs lately because my father and I have officially launched Big Rock Puzzles. I found this one squirreled away in a folder from 2006 or 2007 when I went to a family reunion in central Colorado. I had forgotten that I’d taken it, and while I had a few different shots, liked this one because of the arch in the neck and the open mouth.
The Sandia Mountains are on the east side of Albuquerque. Throughout the day you look over and see the brown and green scrub vegetation clinging to the slopes. The mountain and the valley used to be at the bottom of the ocean a few millennia ago. Almost every evening the meaning of Sandia comes through as the sun sets: watermellon.
I’m still trying to get my feet on the ground here in Albuquerque with my photography. I’m working on getting my name out there and being patient until the calls start coming in. Aside from my parents’ home, I’ve mostly been shooting Sandia, the mountain on the east side of the valley, and the hummingbirds that feed by the patio.
If I’m patient the birds will feed while I’m nearby. In order to get the pictures I’ve got to get pretty close because I don’t have access to the big telephoto lenses I once did. The best part is that with the shorter lenses there’s a bit more depth of field to the shots which gives the shot a different feel from the long lens shots.
(Sorry for the old photo from 2004)
No I haven’t disappeared. I’ve just moved down the road a piece. A little over a month ago my lovely wife was hired at a residential treatment center to pursue her passion of social work. She just graduated with her Masters from UNO and it’s the perfect fit. She loves her job and the kids that she’s helping through both individual and group therapy.
The thing is, the center in is Albuquerque, and long time readers realize that we had to pack up and move. Jess came down in mid June and then I followed a couple of weeks ago after packing the apartment (with her help before she left) and finishing up my work at The Grand Island Independent. The best part about being down here has to be that we’ve both got family in the area. The low humidity is a close second though.
Now that I’m down here I’m focusing more than ever on finding a job. I worked on that before I left, but you can only do so much long distance. I’ve seen some good opportunities, but I haven’t gotten a call as of yet. I’ve got a few more lines in the water so we’ll have to wait and see what turns up.
Ironically though I’ll be back in Grand Island this coming week. I’ve got three senior portraits to work on, a possible family portrait and a wedding in Lincoln on Saturday. That will keep me busy for sure.