Friday, October 9, 2009

Acoma and photography

I went to visit the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico again after many years.  It is one of the longest continuously occupied human communities in the United States.  The last time I visited was about 15 years ago and things have changed in the intervening years vis-a-vis photographers. Most importantly, to me, tripods are no longer allowed, period.  You can take a camera but you must have a tag attached to it and if you don't take one of the tours you have to pay a $10 "camera" fee.  If you do take one of the tours, which is the only way to get up on the mesa, the camera fee is included ($20).  Photography is not allowed inside the mission church or the graveyard outside the church. (click on photos to see a larger image)

The problem I have with tours when doing photography is that I can't take my time to setup photographs, wait for changes in light, think about composition, etc.  However, when a tour is the only way to go, I'll give it a try.  The controls I have are, when to go.  On this day, we went on the last tour of the day which started at 5 PM and ended around 6 PM, with sunset at around 6:40 PM so the light was farily good and there were only some puffy white clouds in the sky.

On the mesa, water is collected in catchment basins because there is no municipal water service.  This means there are pools of water in various places around the community which gives an additional interesting atmosphere to the place.  I  photographed some of the houses along one of the streets with one of the water pools in the forground.

In one area of the village, I was watching a bunch of ravens flying in the updrafts caused by the wind hitting the edge of the cliffs along the edge of the mesa.

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