The 14th annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show brims in a collage of wildlife and landscapes laced with the unexpected and the sublime.
The show runs through April 18, in the Fine Arts Building at Expo New Mexico with work by 92 artists and 188 images by New Mexico photographers.
Photographer Ken Duckert lives in Corrales, where his neighbors offer buckets of dried corn for the migrating sandhill cranes. He spent about an hour one morning photographing the birds soaring above the snow-frosted Sandia Mountains.
“I just set up a tripod in my driveway,” he said. “When the cranes are here, they fly in every direction all day.
“We have a lot of drama over the Sandias,” he added. “The cloud variants are so spectacular.”
A retired elementary and middle school teacher, Duckert began learning about photography from a college friend. He worked for three Detroit-area newspapers, shooting weddings and portfolios to pay for his classes.
“I kept photography as an avocation,” he said.
Duckert moved to Corrales from the Bay Area to be near his daughter. He joined the Enchanted Lens Camera Club, taking workshops and classes.
“My learning curve just went vertical,” he said.
“My whole family are all farmers,” he said. “I spent all my free time walking through fields and fishing, so I had a real connection with the outdoors. Photography helped me keep those connections with nature alive.”
Albuquerque photographer Seddi Razani picked up a camera when she retired from working as a research scientist at Sandia National Lab and the University of New Mexico. When she was working, she photographed tissue samples.
“That imaging turned into photography,” she said.
Razani’s “Rufous in the Rain” shows a rufous hummingbird perched atop a curling wisteria vine.
“I just love birds,” she said. “It is in my back yard. The hummingbirds come in the beginning of spring and the rufous come later.
“I like it when it is raining a little bit and a little cloudy because the colors come out better,” she added. “It is just like a soft light in the studio.”
She set up a tripod in her living room with a zoom lens on her camera.
“When I see something beautiful, I just snap a shot,” she said.
Taking some photography classes online and at UNM furthered her development, as did joining the Enchanted Lens Camera Club with its monthly speakers.
Today Razani photographs landscapes, cats and butterflies, as well as birds. She also penned a book called “Magnificent Wings: My Adventure with Dragonflies” around her portraits of the insect. She hopes to do the same with her hummingbird prints.
“I love nature,” she said. “I don’t do people because one needs to get permission. With natural things, I don’t need to get permission.”
Spontaneity alchemizes the magic that fuels Albuquerque photographer Dallas Pottinger’s photographic passion. He titled his portrait of a green snake slithering atop a branch “Is That a Smile.”
“That is a snake at the zoo,” he said. “I had a long lens and I saw the snake on the branch and I liked the texture – being able to get sharp detail.”
Pottinger used a 300 mm lens, standing seven or eight feet from the snake in its terrarium.
“I still don’t know how I managed to hold still,” he added. “I try for something funny in the titles. I don’t like art titles.”
Pottinger works in real estate, but manages to keep up with photography through the New Mexico Photographic Art Show.
“I’m very grateful that this great show exists,” he said. “These people are dedicated to photography.”