Ridgway, Colorado
May 15
A sometimes artist and photographer, sometimes I write too.  


Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 19, 2009 6:39PM

lonely dawn shots

Rate: 56 Flag



revisiting house for sale fail



I'm about to put up a post about the book party/soirée/art on the walls event that happened just two days ago. I'm still processing what went on that night, all that led up to it and the aftermath. The most wonderful thing about the whole experience are the friends who showed up. I was really floored by the affection and support. 


So I'm still thinking about how to say it the right way, how to thank those involved. I don't generally say much, and this event has me even more contemplative and I appreciate your indulgence and patience. I'll work it out and figure out what to say, but right now I'm still flummoxed by all the attention.


Thus, this short interim post on a few favorite images on the recent sojourn to and from Colorado. The bride flew, I went on another blue highway leisurely photo road trip. I don't know how I can ever be disappointed in doing that—even when revisiting some favorite spots.


The image at the top is near the Capulin Volcano National Monument in northeastern New Mexico. An image from an earlier visit and from a different season is here. I like the earlier one, but this recent one is technically and artistically much better. The light is better at dawn and a bonus moon and beautiful wispy clouds make it an instant favorite of mine. The one at the top here was on the drive to Colorado. Here is another one, a third one I like, that I took on the way home to Dallas:



It's not a dawn shot, taken mid-afternoon, but it fits the other theme elements. A larger version can be found here.


Just south of Palo Duro Canyon, and still coming out of dawn on the way back home I ran across this evocative scene:


abandoned texas prairie home


A larger version is here. I always wonder about what went on in a now abandoned home—the love, the laughter, the pain and tears. We'll never know, but it seems as if the power of the lives linger still.




I sent my OS friend Steve/Procopius an earlier version of this next shot. Again, it was a different season and a different time of day. Steve loves the Llano Estacado and I know how he feels. There is a spare beauty in the big sky and distant horizons—a vast area that induces yearning and longing either to leave or to return.


revisiting a lonely road


See a larger version of it here.


Here's a cool thing: My son, the one that went on the cancer bike ride from Austin to Anchorage, left a comment on this picture when he saw it on Flickr. He said "Perfect TOD…" (time of day). Since I consider Colin to be a much better photographer than I am—his avant garde abilities are incredible compared to my snap-shottiness—getting a compliment from him is something I treasure.


I'll end with a shot from one of my favorite places. This is a dawn shot at  the overlook on the south rim of the Palo Duro Canyon. It overlooks State Highway 207, the Hamblen Highway.


another favorite spot


A larger version of the Palo Duro shot above is here. You can see some other images of mine from this vantage spot here and here.



In the distance, at the bottom of the shallow canyon, is the Prairie Dog Fork of the Red River. 




Larger is here.



You'll notice that I don't feature a lot of people in my shots when I'm on my solo photo road trips. I think it's one of the advantages of taking the blue highways and back roads that suits my not quite misanthropic sensibilities and contemplative (read: slow) photo style and abilities. 


Thanks for visiting—I'll get the post about the book debut party up sometime tomorrow or Wednesday (I hope).



all images copyright © 2007, 2009 by barry b. doyle • all rights reserved











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I really love the idea of returning to places at different times and seasons. These are great shots. I don't know what it's like to take a road trip alone. I'm thinking that maybe I'd like to find out someday.

Thanks for sharing your trip! I'm really looking forward to hearing all about your debut party. Congrats!

(thumbified for roads without McDonalds signs)
beautiful all, but that top one- wow.
These are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
Beautiful.... if only that house could talk.... ~R~
The last two pictures.... you can follow the workings of eras on one, and the soft working of shallow water on the other; plus the colours... Thanks so much for these photographs.
I´m happy everything went well on your art evening. Please, tell us more about it!
Jodi: thanks so much! I'm still working out how to think about the art event and will get it online when my brain gets it organized.

Julie: I love it when you come by, thanks!

Rita: thanks for your words

Chuck: I agree, there must be some echoes bouncing around somewhere, if only we knew how to capture them. Thanks friend.

Marcela: besos a tu. thanks for your always lovely thoughtful comments.
It's no wonder they gave you your own show. These are stunning.
I don't think you give yourself enough credit. All of your photos that I've seen are eye popping gorgeous! I am envious in every way. Your son must have an incredible eye if he is better than you are. Of course I know their is much more to photography than just having a good eye. But, still. Wow!
Next time you are travelling between Capulin and Taos take the highway 72 loop across Johnson Mesa. There are some good shots on top of the mountain.
You're the master of these sort of lonely shots, as far as I can see. (and I can see pretty gosh darn far in your shots)
Lorraine: I do too...I do too, wistfully.

WalkAway: thank you WA for your kind words. They mean a great deal to me.

Kelly: a wonderful thing to say, thanks so much.

Michael: you're just too kind, though I really appreciate it, but I spoke the truth about my son. Thanks.

Ocular: I did indeed travel to Raton on 72 and I love that drive. The next leg is down the Santa Fe Trail on 64 (or is it 62) past Eagle Nest...I love that drive too. Next time I'm over that way I might try highway 555 to the north a bit.

Silkstone: ha! thanks so much! xo
Not only do I really enjoy your photography posts, but I enjoy reading the comments. Art is so subjective. Each person who views these photos has an emotional reaction to them, even if it's unconscious. I, too, have a favorite and it's the last one -- I just love that perspective. As for your being flummoxed by the attention, hopefully someday you will accept your rock star status for just a second or million.
Visually, you make alone not seem lonely. Just beautifully solitary. I try to do that with words, but you know what they say about a picture.
beautiful shots, gorgeous part of the country. mmmm.
This was a great series of photos. I love all of the sky in them, and I noticed on the one photo you said, " if the power of the lives linger still." There is a lone power line to the house...maybe...

Whew! The resolution on those photos is so fine that I could just fall into them. The isolation and loneliness is overwhelming, but also oddly comforting.
I love this. It reminds me of time spent in Chico, Texas, where my Dad was born.
Lovely Barry, especially the shot of the horizon with the cattle grating.
the horizon has a perfect union of Land and Sky, with the gentle, high clouds slicing in a friendly diagonal, from edge to edge...
places where you can almost forget, for a minute, that there are 7B ppl on the planet....
Such beautiful shots, and a wonderful narrative too. It's as if we took that road trip with you, and yet as stark and solitary as taking it alone.
Incredible. The last shot is my favorite.
I just have to say, I love your photos.
Gorgeous!!! As always, your photos transport me to places which inspire . . .
These are beautiful. What size lens were you using with the current hwy 207 overlook shot? And if this is "snap-shottiness," I shall be ashamed to show my own photos. Rated
Julie: you're such an amazing friend. Thank you for all you've done to make this past weekend a success and a fun event. I can never repay all your kindnesses.

Lea: I'm glad you get that loneliness/solitary distinction. And you are able to do magic with your words.

ff: thanks for those words.

Buffy: what an interesting catch you made on that photo. I love the sky too.

Zuma: friends interaction are an important part of comfort--the anticipated sharing is a component. And thanks again for the compliment.

Dr Steve: thanks again for coming by...Chico is the quintessential small town--far enough away to get all the good things about being small and close enough to Ft Worth to get there when needed.

Gary: thanks so much, I love that shot too for a lot of reasons.

Nora: I think you've captured part of why I do what I do, and I've very grateful.

Kathy: thanks again for your kind words.

Anni: anytime I can please, I'm happy to do so.

Owl: I was hoping you'd stop by.

Cindy: thanks, it's true about being spoken to, thanks for getting it.

Apache: A lot of my travel shots are with the estimable 14-24 f2.8 lens, part of Nikon's pro line. It provides amazing clarity from corner to corner--a beautiful piece of glass. You can see what it looks like here. It's one of the best lenses I own.
You make the sky even more beautiful than the real thing.

Congrats on the book!
Over time you have taxed my abilities to express what I think and feel about photographs. How many ways can I say "breath taking" and "gorgeous"? But your photos really are breath taking--they make me inhale hard and pause sometimes, stopped cold in the midst of whatever thought I was having, my attention now wholly taken by the image you have offered us.

And to say they are "gorgeous" is to say "it's Barry's photograph" :) Especially since nobody does color like you do.
Those are some fantastic pics, Barry. My favorite one, I have to admit, is the first and I can't tell you why but it speaks to something primitive in me.

I want to sincerely thank you once again for the book, it occupies a place of honor on my coffee table. I've gone through it a few times now, and I can't seem to be able to select a favorite shot - they are all magnificent.

Sounds like the book party was an awesome event. :-D
Barry, I was trying to figure out which of these photos I like best, but finally decided that was a fool's task. But here is what stands out:

-the melancholy of the abandoned homes, the lives that were lived there now forgotten, and the buildings themselves just waiting to be demolished or to slowly disintegrate.

-the wispy, early morning clouds giving feature to the featureless Llano Estacado, and the just barely noticeable rise on the left horizon.

-the play of shadow and light on the canyon shot

-and the lonely footprints in the red sand of the stream.

Beautiful as always. Oh, the last time I drove through the Llano (Canyon TX to SE New Mexico), we went nearly 4 hours without seeing a single steam or pond with any water. I liked the drive much more than my wife did!

Absolutely gorgeous! :)
The second one was actually my favorite. I too wonder about abandoned houses - I wish folks would spend more fixing up old houses and not just building new ones that lack character! All of your photos are hauting - in the best possible way. Thanks for sharing.
Worthy of the greatest accolades. Absolutely breathtaking as always.
The photos carved out a small space of solitude within my soul, bbd. I'm reaching into it now and reaching for that moment of peace.
oh, Barry, these are so wonderful. I love the isolation, yet, too, wonder about the lives that preceded our presence - these little houses, battered by time, out on the prairie.

(In that movie, Brokeback Mountain, they had just about a perfect scenario of a homestead nearly lost to the elements when Ennis goes to Jack Twist's parents' house. I cry every time I see Jack's father's angry, desolate face.)

Your shots are so wonderful! I want one (or more) blown up to grand size someday. It looks as though I could run my hands through the grasses. I can smell the autumn coming, being.

Thank you.
I can't wait for your next book. These are great.
These are the kinds of spaces I love. They clear your mind and let you breath. It looks like I will be heading out to Wyoming soon - not a trip of my choice but I look forward to the space and the light, very much like what you have so beautifully captured.
Lovely photos! Well done, and thank you very much for sharing them!
Gorgeous! I don't want everyone to be jealousing or anything, but that Palo Duro Canyon shot was absolutely amazing on a large scale.
Stunning photography.
Rated this earlier but had to come back to check if all the flickr servers were down or just the main portal. Your spectacular photos are still being served. And appreciated the second visit too. The suspense is mounting for the soiree account.
Lots of desktop background swiping material here. I'm tapping my foot waiting for the book post. ::tap tap tap tap::
These are beautiful, evocative photos. Wow. The light and the compositions are incredible. Thank you so much for sharing them.
gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous

the second photo grabs me - i feel like the sky and the clouds and pressing down and the earth is pressing up and the only things keeping us from being sandwiched is the squat house. something heroic about it. and i love this shot.

and i am looking forward to healring about the party. and if ever you are coming through denver....beers are on me. :)
Wow again. I love your work, especially the last ones, with the promise of the Red River in the shadow, and the river manifest.
I love that first photo.
just breathtaking...
wow! lots of terrific comments

Denise: thank you very much.

Janie: and to you too, thanks. I'm glad you like that second shot.

Susan: your comment has to rank near the top of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. I'm very grateful.

Bill: it's all about friends as you know, and you have long (much longer than our time here on OS) been supportive and encouraging.

Steve: I was hoping you'd make it here. One of the things I wanted to say in the narrative was something about the footprints in the Prairie Dog Town Fork river bed. You picked up on that--it was a subtle and critical point for me, one that had me stop in the middle of the low bridge spanning the stream bed. I wasn't supposed to, but I as it turns out there was about three hours there where I only saw about 10 cars or trucks, so I was pretty safe. I'm also delighted that you saw that little rise on the Llano lonely road shot. I think what these images represent are in your DNA friend.

Lisa: takes one to know one (sorta--you know what I mean).

Blue: thanks for those kind words.

Duane: from an artist I so admire, those are very nice things to say.

Ash: I feel the same way, I'm glad you do too.

Con: your gracious words really touched me.

Mamoore: peace to you and strength as you journey to the Wyoming big sky to tend to your mother. My thoughts go with you in a very personal way.

Andy: thank you!

Julie: I think everyone should be jealousing. There are not many that can attest that that smile in your avatar is only 1/10 as bright as the real thing and the fun intimated there is scared bejeesus running away from the real fun you bring. Jealous away everyone.

t&d: just hold your horses. and get to work on that book.

suz: evocative is what I try for, glad it worked here.

kmb: I think a trip to Denver to talk about lenses and apertures and -0.3EV kinda stuff should be put on my agenda, the beer is bonus and so would meeting you and your talented partner. I'm very happy that shot spoke to you in that way...I had the same feeling when I got home and loaded it up to see on a large screen. Thanks so much.

CB: I think you picked up on something with what you said. It seems like that shot is outside of time and we could just as easily be looking at it with the first people who walked there.

Steph: thanks for coming by and for your words

Sue: thanks to you too

Dorinda: I got delayed a bit by the break-in and damage to my car, but your image got in the mail today. Let me know how it arrives. I really like that first image too. xo

Voicegal: thank you for that
I saw your beautiful photo on the cover with that tiny little moon in the sky. Absolutely beautiful. they all are. Now I will go backwards and take a look at your other stuff.
Barry, I know I am getting old but I am not that old and I swear I wrote you a kind and approving comment here. But I don't see it. Probably clicked on "Post a comment" above instead of "Post this comment" below. In any case these are impressive photos.

I love going along on your trips. All the pictures are beautiful, but there's something about the one of the road and cattle guard that is evocative of something I can't quite define. It is a splendid picture.
Barry, these are nice.

I regret missing your soireee -- and put me on the list to get a copy of your book at the first opportunity -- but I didn't feel up to the drive as I was recovering from the H1N1 flu. Hope we meet up again soon.

Having grown up on the high prairie, I love photos of empty spaces, and you do such a wonderful job of capturing the light. Thank you for sharing these.
Awesome photos bbd. Looks like great motorcycle country. Thank you for the escapism.
I'm reminded of Rothko - these photos have such emotional impact. Very beautiful.
I want to move in to that house in the top photo. Think I could get a high speed internet connection?

Spectacular scenery and awesome photography.
One look and you're a new favorite. Holy crap that's gorgeous!