Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
Jim Terr describes himself as an actor, singer/songwriter and video producer on the inside back cover of his new book, “Beautiful Little Vegas.” It’s a book featuring some of his best, most recent photos of his hometown of Las Vegas, New Mexico, which, presumably, now makes him a photographer, too.
“I’ve been taking pictures compulsively most of my life,” said the 72-year-old Terr, who may be best known for the satirical songs he writes and performs.
He became more serious about his hobby with the advent of digital photography, and then the cellphone. In fact, he says most of the nearly 100 photos in the 32-page 11-by-8½-inch glossy soft-cover book were taken with a cellphone.
The book is the latest product of Terr’s Blue Canyon Productions, under which he copyrights his music and video work. He says it’s not intended to be a guidebook and, in fact, leaves out some of Las Vegas’s many landmarks.
“It’s just things that caught my eye, and I really hope that people feel that it really does capture life in Las Vegas,” he said. “That’s one thing that I love about Las Vegas, you can just walk around anywhere. I just take pictures of things that catch my eye.”
Like the clown mannequin in an antique shop on Bridge Street, a cat on a fence, a row of motorcycles, the split of railroad tracks.
Terr’s fascination with the sky and clouds shines through. Many of the photos appear to have been taken at either dawn or dusk, with light hitting the subject at a nearly 90-degree angle, in some leaving long shadows.
While not all of Las Vegas’s attractions are in the book, images from the Castaneda Hotel and Carnegie Library are there. The city’s Victorian architecture is also prevalent. The cover photo is of Ilfeld Auditorium, the more than 100-year-old performing arts center on the campus of New Mexico Highlands University.
Outside city limits, the Montezuma Castle and Hermit’s Peak show up several times.
Asked if he had a favorite photo, Terr mentioned a few, including several landscapes of the surrounding area: Storrie Lake on a cold winter morning and horses in a field near Manuelitas. He also likes one of a monument in Masonic Cemetery, a shot of snow-covered streets downtown and Eddie Atencio’s 1939 Chevy Master Deluxe.
“How it got that sunburst effect, I don’t know,” Terr said of sunlight glistening from different points of the antique vehicle.
Terr acknowledged that part of the intent behind the book was to attract film projects to Las Vegas, a town with a long history in movie-making. He was hoping to get the city to buy a bunch of books at cost to send to movie industry contacts. It’s noted on the back cover that such films as “Easy Rider,” Red Dawn” and “No Country for Old Men” were shot in Las Vegas.
The book is priced at $14.95 and is available at the Paper Trail, 158 Bridge St. in Las Vegas, or on the website www.beautifullittlevegas.com. There’s no extra charge if shipped in the U.S.