In The Land of Enchantment

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Because of New Mexico’s scenic beauty and rich history, the state’s nickname is “The Land of Enchantment” (Tierra del Encanto); that nickname was officially adopted in 1999. I’ve always enjoyed going to Albuquerque with Mary when she traveled there for business. She would drop me off at different locations, such as Old Town, and I would simply (no kidding) be enchanted by the ambience and happily made many images there.


The Plaza in Old Town Albuquerque is similar yet distinctly different than the Plaza in Santa Fe. It is filled with lots of architectural nooks and crannies that you can use to explore the phenomenon of New Mexican light. This image was made with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with a Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens that I have since replaced with the 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS not for the 3mm difference but the image stabilization. Exposure was 1/50 sec at f/18 and ISO 400; processed in the now free Silver Efex Pro and Toned in PhotoKit 2.

Then there is something about the quality of the light you will encounter. Even the Dallas Morning News said, “Long revered by artists for the quality of its daylight…”

Well that goes for photographers too. Photographers will tell you the light is warmer (and so are the temperatures) and also a sense of greater contrast that may or may not be attributed to the altitude—Santa Fe is at 7,198 feet, higher than here at Daisy Hill—and dry air.

Later this month, we’ll be headed to Santa Fe and Scottsdale for pleasure this time, not business and I plan on shooting some infrared images while we’re there and will share them with you when we get back.

For another look at the Plaza, see my post “Correcting Perspective in Architectural Photography” to see how I photographed the 300 year old church of San Filepe de Neri in Old Town Albuquerque.