Mario Dennis Photography

The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see. G.K. Chesterton

Taos Pueblo

Leave a comment

New Mexico 2014-113Let me begin by saying that I have mixed feelings about the Taos Pueblo. On the one hand, it is stunningly beautiful and located in an equally beautiful location. The lines and colors of the adobe homes are visually appealing, especially to a photographer. The fact that the inhabitants choose to live without electricity and running water is also impressive and makes a visitor reflect about such a lifestyle. The nearby cemetery with its wooden crosses and church ruin are evocative and make you think about the lengthy history of the pueblo. Add several friendly dogs soaking up the sun, and you have a unique community that is a sharp contrast to nearby Taos, which is pleasant enough, but highly commercialized. I went in mid-September and there were dozens of visitors, so get there when it first opens and shoot the pueblo first and then the cemetery.

On the other hand, I felt uncomfortable walking through and around the living quarters of the pueblo, and wondered how I would feel if tourists landed in my neighborhood to see how my neighbors and I live. I realize that this is a choice of the tribe, and I respect that, yet I still felt self-conscious. Some areas of the pueblo are off-limits to preserve privacy and the boundaries should be respected.

New Mexico 2014-106Nevertheless, I highly recommend a visit to the pueblo. If you’re a photographer, first thing in the morning when the pueblo opens to the public is best for good light and a relative absence of visitors, who start spilling out of buses and wandering into your frame by mid-morning. When you pay your admission fee you are reminded that you may not photograph residents without their permission. I chose not to photograph tribe members, but concentrated instead on the adobe homes and the cemetery. Visitors are not permitted to enter the cemetery, but you can get excellent images from outside the adobe fence.

Limits aside, this is a very worthwhile place to visit and photograph, and easily the best reason to make the drive to Taos.

Author: Mario Dennis

I am a long-time photo hobbyist, and picked up my first camera (my mother's box camera) when I was in elementary school. I enjoy photographing landscapes, especially in California and the Southwest, including the Four Corners region of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado. I also enjoy photographing historical reenactments, powwows, and local events. My favorite events are powwows, which are held throughout the warmer months in Virginia and the surrounding area. I am an organizer with the Richmond Photography Meetup Group. Please join us if you live in Central Virginia. I am also a moderator for the Lightroom Help Group on Facebook, and if you're a Lightroom user and Facebook member, you should check us out. All images © 2008-2017 Mario Dennis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s