Tag: New Mexico

ABQ {Albuquerque, NM}

I recently headed west to New Mexico to take part in a Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, but my first introduction to the Land of Enchantment was Albuquerque. (Sidenote – Can I just say every time I say Albuquerque I think of the Weird Al song. Anyone else? No, just me? Ok. That’s cool! I used to sing it all. the. time. with my brother and cousin. Yeah, I know. We were cool!)

After departing my flight, my first stop was to obtain sustenance. Thanks to the recommendation of the Enterprise guy, I had my first taste of New Mexico Mexican food at Los Cuates. It was probably the best Mexican food I’ve had in a long time, and I was able to successfully answer New Mexico’s state question, “Red or Green?” If you are not familiar with the state question, it refers to the question always asked whether one prefers red or green chile when ordering New Mexican cuisine. I opted for red, and it was the perfect level of hotness!!

Albuquerque International Balloon Museum

I then headed to explore Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum! Albuquerque is famous for its International Balloon Festival in October and one of the most photographed events in the world. I seriously want to go one year! Do I have any takers?

The museum covers the history, art and science of hot air balloons. It was fascinating and very informative! I never knew hot air balloons were such an important part of transportation or war efforts. Did you know there was a Union Army Balloon Corps? I had a lot of fun learning all about the different ways hot air balloons were used and about this early method of flight. My favorite fact was that 22 or more elephants can fit inside the average hot air balloon!

After I finished up at the museum, I started making the trek to Santa Fe, which you can read all about here. After an incredible week in Santa Fe, I made the drive back to Albuquerque to explore a little more before my flight home.

Sandia Peak Tramway

My next stop on my Albuquerque “to do” list was the Sandia Peak Tramway! Sandia Peak offers an 11,000 square mile panoramic view of New Mexico. I was a little nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to see anything since the peak was covered in clouds when I arrived, but as I approached the base they appeared to be breaking up so I bought my ticket and waited for the gondola.

Sandia Peak | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Little did I know what was waiting for me at 10,378 feet. The trip to the top took about 15 minutes, and we ascended almost 4,000 feet during that time. I watched as Albuquerque slipped out from under my feet. I snapped some photos and then realized clouds were closing in and the ground was covered in snow. Yep. The top of the mountain was facing extreme winds, snow and ice, and lightning. But I braved the weather and got some cool shots before heading back down the mountain.

The last thing to do before the wall of exhaustion hit me was grab a Green Chile Cheeseburger. I opted for Bob’s Burgers since it was close to my hotel, and it was a very different burger. I’ll definitely have to try a second one before I can say yay or nay as to if I’m a fan of Green Chile Cheeseburgers!

Bob's Burgers | Albuquerque, New Mexico

What are your favorite things to do/see/eat in Albuquerque?

Turquoise and Adobe Walls

Santa Fe, New Mexico. Another city and another state crossed off the bucket list! A couple of weeks ago I participated in a Photography Workshop with National Geographic Expeditions and Santa Fe Photographic Workshops.


After doing a little exploring in Albuquerque, I headed up to Santa Fe! Having never been to the southwestern portion of the country before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but the South West certainly has its own unique beauty and I couldn’t wait to get started with the workshop and exploring this part of the country!

Our workshop was fast-paced, intense, but so much fun! I learned a lot from our instructors, Nevada Wier and Carlan Tapp. We also had the opportunity to explore some pretty cool spots around Santa Fe.

On our first full day, after a morning full of class, we headed off to Canyon Road. Canyon Road is a half-mile stretch where a lot of fine art galleries, shopping, and dining is located in Historic Santa Fe. After learning all about CLAP (Color, Light, Action, Pattern), we were tasked to photograph Color and Pattern with several limitations. Everything we did challenged us and definitely stretched our creativity.

After spending several hours wandering up and down the road, we headed back to the classroom for our first round of editing and critiques. I was surprised by what I was able to capture, and it was fun seeing what everyone else captured as well. We all walked the same stretch of road, and we all saw it differently. After the critique, we were provided with our evening and early morning projects – working with light!

After a delicious dinner at Blue Corn Cafe, some of the ladies and I headed down to the plaza to work with artificial light and blue hour. The next morning we rose early, like 3:45 early, to get ready and head up to Old Fort Marcy Park, which overlooks Santa Fe, to capture the sunrise. Luckily the clouds cooperated with us and we were able to get some great images. I learned later this was just an average Santa Fe sunrise. I’ll definitely have to go back and see what a “real” Santa Fe sunrise looks like!


For Day 2, we headed out to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiú (almost 50 miles north of Santa Fe). At one point in time, Georgia O’Keefe called Ghost Ranch home. It is now used as an eduction center and retreat by the Presbyterian Church. Several movies have also been filmed there including Red Dawn, Lone Ranger, Cowboys and Aliens, and 3:10 to Yuma. It’s a beautiful ranch! My little group opted to hike the Kitchen Mesa trail, about a 4.6-mile hike that loops around the massive red rock formation before climbing up a crevasse that goes to the top of the mesa. We didn’t realize the trail went up (thanks to the trail not being on the map), so we got slightly lost, and ended up taking a detour through a dried up river bed. As we were taking the trail in front of the mesa, the sun decided to finally come out and Kitchen Mesa showed off all its stunning colors! It made for some pretty incredible images!


Our third day’s assignment took place on Eaves Movie Ranch, which is just outside Santa Fe, and our task was multiple types of portraits. Built originally as a Movie Ranch, Eaves Movie Ranch has had more than 50 movies filmed there. I thought this was going to be my least favorite day, but I absolutely loved it once I got started!


After our morning of working with our models, we headed back to the classroom for our last lesson and for our critique. Not ready to leave, some of us headed back in town to grab lunch before heading our separate ways, and I would be remiss not to mention this adorable little restaurant we tried (thanks Enterprise lady for the recommendation). If you are ever in Santa Fe, you must try La Boca!

Thanks Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and National Geographic Expeditions for a pretty incredible vacation and experience. There is no question in my mind that I would do another photography workshop or trip with National Geographic Expeditions!

May 2015 Photography Workshop | Santa Fe, New MexicoAnd no worries, Santa Fe I’ll definitely be back!