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File0047

Pecos Daisies, 1988, 8 X 12  black & white photograph,   -Mark Scantling

Afternoon clouds were gathering as we drove north along the Pecos River. By the time we got to the old adobe church, there was more cloud than light. I saw the splashes of light on the south side of the church and grabbed  my Nikon and 200mm lense to shoot the white arched-window frame. I overexposed to further darken the church for a moody feel. Finally a dagger of sunlight hit the daisies under the window and across the adobe at the corner of the church. If I had time, I would have used my tripod to get better focus and a sharper image. Overall though, I’m okay with the slightly softer focus.

Back story: East of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the Sangre de Christo Mountains, is a canyon called Holy Ghost, named presumably by the Spaniards who explored and settled the area. The canyon is in the Pecos National Wilderness Area. I visited the area the first time, in 1961 when I was 5 years old.  My parents rented a cabin for a week, and I learned about outhouses, wood stoves, trout fishing, and uncooperative horses. Very rustic! I also took my first photograph there with a Kodak Brownie.  Through the years, my wife and I have camped and visited several times. It is one of the most tranquil places I know – as well as being one of the best smelling because the canyon is filled with Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, and at higher elevation, Aspens.  Great daytime hiking and nighttime stargazing. I suggest a good bottle of red to enjoy with your campfire.

-Mark

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