Posts Tagged ‘architecture

07
May
11

pictures from in and around Santa Fe

I’ve just finished a week in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on a terrific workshop with Marti Jeffers.  Tonight we’ll post a few images I took during the week. The picture above was taken near Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch. Although I used a polarizing filter to punch up the color of the sky, it really was a rich blue. The light in this area is amazing and one can see how O’Keeffe chose this as a place to live and paint.

This is an abandoned building near Taos. It has apparently been for sale for many years. I have to be honest and say there was only one bird in the picture – I added a second one in Photoshop.

This was the exterior of a fancy hotel in Santa Fe. The luminaries are common throughout Santa Fe, as are, of course, adobe structures. For this image, I used a wide-angle lens and positioned the camera just a few inches away from the big luminary.

The sunsets in Northern New Mexico are fabulous. It may be the altitude and the dry air. This shot was taken on a hill overlooking Santa Fe. I haven’t shot many sunsets and vow to do more. You have to work fast, as the light changes very quickly.

And finally, below, taken back at The Ghost Ranch, is an image that includes a silhouette of your humble servant. As always, thanks for reading my blog posts!

07
May
11

churches of northern new mexico

 
This week, during a photography workshop in Santa Fe, we had the opportunity to photography some beautiful New Mexico churches. The one above is St Francis of Assisi Church, outside Taos. This adobe church has no windows. This view, from the back of the church, has been photographed by Ansel Adams and painted by Georgia O’Keeffe. It was privilege to walk in these hallowed footsteps.
San Geronimo Chapel is at the Taos Pueblo. The church just dates back to the mid 1800’s, but the pueblo has been inhabited by Native Americans continuously for 1300 years. The pueblo still does not have electricity or running water, following long standing native customs.
Pictured above in the church in Chimayo, about halfway from Taos to Sante Fe.
The Mission of San Miguel in Santa Fe was built in 1610 and is believed to be the oldest church in the country.  Excavations under the altar have uncovered a pueblo that some archeologists date back to the 12th century.
San Loretto Chapel, in Santa Fe, has a Gothic exterior, and looks a bit out-of-place among all the adobe structures in town. The church was built in 1873. In a lot of the churches, I used a wide-angle lens and often lay down in the aisle to get the perspective I wanted. In this image, my feet appeared, and while I could have easily removed them in Photosohp, I chose to leave them in the picture.
 
07
Apr
11

pilgrimage to the holy land

The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

I’ve just returned from a two-week trip to The Holy Land with a group from my church. This was an exhilerating, inspiring, exhausting and life-changing experience. Rather than try to put it all into perspective, I wanted to just share a few images from the trip.

The Dome of the Rock, in Jerusalem, is a sacred place to  Muslims, Christians and Jews.  It is built over the site remembered as the place where Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac. This is also remembered as the place where the Prophet Mohammed took his final steps on earth. We visited on a rainy, dreary day, but the bright colors of the building still shone through vividly.

Young Boy prays at the Western Wall

Just steps from The Dome of the Rock is the Western Wall, formerly called The Wailing Wall. The wall is part of the Second Temple, which was destoyed in 70 AD, and Jews (and others) come to pray here.  There are separate areas for men and women to pray. Many people will put prayer notes on pieces of paper in the crevices of the wall. I did as well.

1st Century Rolling Stone Tomb

In Nazareth, we stayed at The Sisters of Nazareth Convent.  Some years ago, excavations were made below the convent, and a 1st century home and tomb were discovered. This tomb is exactly the same design as the one that Jesus was buried in, in Jerusalem. (That tomb has not been discovered.)  The body is prepared for burial in the main chamber, then placed in one of the niches visible beyond, and the niche is sealed up.

Icon from a Greek Orthodox Monastery, Zababdeh

In Zababdeh, in the occupied West Bank, we visited a monastery that sits over Jacob’s Well, where Jesus met the Samarian woman. We walked down to the well, in the basement of the church, pulled up a bucket of water and drank from it. This was just one of many very tangible experiences of connections to stories that are so familiar to us all.

Camel in the Judean Desert

Not much more to say on this one!

Judean desert, overlooking to Old Roman Road from Jericho to Jerusalem

We spent some time in quiet reflection on a bluff overlooking the Judean desert.  This is the Wadi Qelt (Wadi meaning a dried-up river bed) and it was the main route between Jericho and Jerusalem, traveled many times by Jesus  and his disciples.

Mosaic at Sepphoris

We visited Sepphoris/Shefaamr, which was a center of Roman administration during the First Century AD.  There were beautiful mosaics, such as the one shown here, that displayed amazing color, despite being 2000 years old.

Bas Relief in the Garden of Gethsemane

We visited a church at the Garden of Gethsemane.   This bas-relief on the wall of the garden caught my attention because of the expressive faces. In the garden, there were olive trees with root structures going back to the time of Christ.

Mount of Beatitudes

In the northern part of Israel, in Galilee, we had a beautiful Spring day walking on the Mount of Beatitudes, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.  This is where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. We read the sermon and shared the Eucharist, one of the very moving experiences for our group.

Rainbow over the Desert

This shot was taken from the Mount of Olives, looking over the Judean Desert. This is likely the area Jesus went for his 40 days and 40 nights in the desert.

On our trip, we learned about events from Biblical times, but also experienced what is happening in Israel and the West Bank today. The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is terribly complicated and well-entrenched.  Somehow, I want to hold onto the hope that peace is possible in this very special land. And this rainbow was sign of hope for me.

See part two of our pilgrimage to The Holy Land here.

21
Oct
10

Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Recently, I had the great pleasure of photographing Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.  For those of you who don’t know the house, architecturally it’s one of the most important modern residences in the country, along with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House.  For more on The Glass House, click here.

It had been a gloomy, drizzly morning the day I was scheduled to do the shoot, and the forecast was not promising.  But about an hour before I drove to the site, the skies cleared and the sun came out – a beautiful New England fall afternoon.

The house is really a simple glass box – and yet very elegant in its simplicity.  The design is in part about connecting with the landscape environment around the house. I tried to keep this in mind as I was shooting – many of the images are as much about the trees, grass and sky as they are about the building.

When it was new, the house was radically different.  Some people who visit the house react to the rather impractical aspects of living in a glass box.  The architecture critic Paul Goldberger tells the story of a woman coming to visit the house while Johnson was there. After looking about, she said rather snottily, “Well, it may be very beautiful, but I certainly couldn’t live here.”  “I haven’t asked you to, Madam,” Johnson replied.

The house was built in 1948-1949. Johnson lived in it until his death, at 98, in 2005.  Over that time, he added other fascinating buildings to the property and made many changes in the landscaping. He called his home his “fifty year diary.”

Johnson said to some visitors, “Shut up and look around.”  This is good advice.  During the shoot, I had the house all to myself, inside and out.  Much of the time, I just stood quietly and enjoyed the design and the surroundings.  I’d walk around and marvel at how the house looked from different angles.  I could happily have shot this simple glass box for several days. 

As the light was fading in the late afternoon, I shot a few images with a super-wide angle lens, which greatly distorts the perspective. One of the images with that lens is below. I like to think that Johnson, who had a  great appreciation for sculpture, would have approved of the picture.