By inclination I’m a regional photographer. Regional mostly implies within a few hundred miles for most of my photography with a few exceptions. I was born and raised in Utah and I have a strong attachment to the Four Corners States having lived in three and traveled in all.
By far the most naturally spiritual place I’ve ever encountered is Northern New Mexico. It is a land with civilizations going back at least a thousand years and probably far longer. The Spanish came to civilize the Puebloan peoples in 1598 and destroyed much of the rich culture that thrived there. Thankfully they didn’t succeed completely. They did leave behind a blend of cultures and religions including the beginnings of iconic New Mexico colonial architecture.
Part of the reason why Spanish architecture is so well adapted here is because it fits comfortably with traditional Puebloan building styles. The existing construction techniques practiced by native peoples were perfect for adobe churches and official buildings. A quick stroll around any town in New Mexico will make the point about how well New Mexican architecture has served the people for hundreds of years.
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Many of my most vivid memories of living on the earth are about mountains. I was born at five thousand feet at the base of the Wasatch beneath peaks where you could see campfires and snow pack in early summer. As a teenager we dared to swim in the icy water of Pineview on a moonlit winter night. The snowy peaks all around were a magical sight.
Later I rode the Jemez where spirits are strong and mastered the last switchbacks of the Crest road. I visited the Plains of San Agustin where whispers from stars are captured. The back roads between Grass Valley and Truckee are in my memory as are the peaks above Palm Springs.
These days I spend as much time as possible in the Chisos. The drive from hot desert floor to the cool air of the basin is always good. Sometimes the peaks make their own weather. They Appear out of heavy ground fog or with tops obscured by storms or adorned by a halo of lenticular clouds. I feel at home when I can see the dark blue high altitude sky with mountains close by.