A nice early evening capture of the Frontier Motel in Truxston, Arizona, along Route 66! I’ve taken more photos along this historic road probably than any other photographer in the American Southwest. I love old Americana and preserving the past in photos. This is a beautiful evening when there was a massive cloudburst during monsoon season just after a massive cloudburst full of lightning. The sun came out just in time to illuminate the front of the hotel in this crimson light.
Out in the quiet country of #NewMexico’s boot heel along the #SouthernBorder lazy communities bask in the desert heat daily and small townspeople go about their daily lives in a region pretty much forgotten by the rest of the country. It reminds me of Far West Texas enough to step into the past, which both locations give me an opportunity to do. We are surrounded by so much yet humans are overlooking these places and yielding their lives to backlit led screens. As an artist I’m compelled to edit and view images as someone telling the stories of our time in pictures.
These round balls are called moqui marbles are natural and take millions of years to erode out of solid Navajo Sandstone – They are hard concretions of iron that formed in the sandstone. After they are exposed to millions of years of sunlight they develop a dark polished patina called #DesertVarnish which takes eons to form.
Currently, these #moquimarbles are under threat because of their value on the #BlackMarket. They are also popular with the new age tourist trade and they can fetch a pretty penny by the piece. Last I spoke with a BLM Officer, they stated that over 30,000 lbs of these marbles have been stolen from off of Grand Staircase National Monument in Southern Utah. This is truly saddening, because I’ve actually gone to many of the locations where these marbles have gone missing and it destroys and scars the landscape where they were heavily removed. If you’re caught robbing these off of a federal monument, you may as well rob a bank because the consequences are just as severe!
While I do not believe that wilderness is virgin, untouched, or pristine – I do think that humans have an innate responsibility as stewards over the land. The people who rip off these moqui marbles do so for a quick buck. The beauty, once changed, is irreplaceable.
The image above shows a moqui marble out in the wild in an area where theft has occurred regularly for decades according to sources that live in the nearby community of Escalante, #Utah. Mostly what I was able to find here were bits of marble in a place that was once filled with shiny black marbles, smooth and baked in Desert Varnish.
I’ve been posting and uploading ALL of my images to Smugmug – And using the service to host all my images for Talking Tree Photo and my photoblog. For anyone who follows my work eion social media or through the blog; Smugmug offers a 20% discount to new customers by clicking HERE and any of the links in this post.
I just applied for their affiliate program and do all my printing and hosting via Smugmug on. It’s a fact that it’s unlimited space for photographers who have a lot of images to upload.
I have done a bulk of research in comparing some of the other photography companies that compete with Smugmug and once tried Zenfolio but returned to SM because the service still feels the most intuitive and hard to beat! I’ve been with them since 2009 and that is a long streak in the age of the internet and social media. Smugmug offers professional printing and through partnerships with White House Photo and Bay Photo printing services which are two of the most professional and reliable fine art printing companies around. There are also other cheaper printing options offered through the service.
This is just my professional opinion of Smugmug and for people wishing to implement a blog, I recommend installing WordPress separately from Smugmug since they do not offer a blog as a feature. If they did, I would welcome it. For image hosting, I cannot think of a better service to recommend!? Click on the “Smugmug Pro” banner below to get that 20% off your subscription when joining the family.
This picture was captured with the Olympus EM5 (a Micro Four Thirds) Camera by me in mid-Spring near Alamagordo, New Mexico. This whole region found in the Southern part of the state including Far West Texas is quite enchanting and memorable. I love every aspect of New Mexico, from the cultural diversity to the colorful and varied landscapes.
For veteran photographers like me, Talking Tree, we started out posting photographs through a photoblog between the years of 2004-2010 and then came Instagram. Since corporations have started clamping down on organic social reach – people like myself are returning back to our roots and this comes as GREAT NEWS!!!
Some of you caught hints of this already! – This is Brandon Stone’s official announcement:
He’s bringing back Photoblogs.org! Brandon had this to say:
I need your help. This is a big deal for me. It affects my livelihood and the decisions I’ll be making for my future. I rarely ask anyone for anything, but I am right now. If you have ever wanted to see photoblogs succeed, now is the time to help. I’m ready to build something cool and I’m looking for your support. I can’t do this without you.
We had such an amazing community of photobloggers back in the day and I would like to see if we can make something new that can at least capture some of what once was.
I have a lot of ideas for how to make independent photoblogging as easy and simple as Instagram and this is just the first step toward that greater goal.
Thanks to all of you for being my friends over the years. You are all such a great group of people. Here’s the fund drive link again. Any amount will help and if you could spread the word, that would definitely be appreciated. Thanks again!
Here’s the link to the fund drive page: photoblogs.org/fund-drive
Also, if any of you are on Twitter, it would be really helpful if you could RT this: twitter.com/LBStone/status/789136814955257856