Through the Lens: New Mexico’s Annual Photographic Art Exhibition Highlights 136 Photographers

“Bow Fiddle Mystery” by Jeffrey Danneels.

Jeff Danneels from Albuquerque flew to Scotland to take pictures of a rock.

Bow Fiddle Rock, to be precise, a natural sea arch dating from 1,000 to 541 million years ago, so named because it resembles an arch.

“It’s a famous landmark in Scotland,” said the Sandia Labs retiree. “I tried to do something different.”

He photographed the weathered formation using a long exposure of 20-30 seconds.

“It made the ocean look like a cloud,” he said. “The day we went it was raining and foggy all the time.”

Danneels’ “Bow Fiddle Mystery” is one of 225 images by 136 photographers online as part of the annual New Mexico Photographic Art Exhibition at Danneels first picked up a camera when he was in college.

“I never really studied it formally,” he said. “I had a friend who lent me a camera.”

He moved to Albuquerque in 1985.

“The digital age has allowed us to do so many things that we couldn’t do back then,” he said.

He took 6,653 images in two weeks in Scotland.

“That’s the beauty of digital,” he said. “It doesn’t cost you a penny.”

He is planning a photographic trip to Tuscany in 2021.

Judy Beiriger, a retired electrical engineer from Sandia Labs, turned to photography as a more creative expression when she stopped working. She began photographing on hikes along the Rio Grande, as well as architectural trips around the city center. Mentoring classes at the Enchanted Lens Camera Club taught him to think more critically.

“Sand Snow and Sunrise” by Judy Beiriger.

“You have to take the time to look at things instead of rushing,” she said.

When her husband was studying at the Czech Technical University, Beiriger photographed the Gothic and Baroque Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and St. John the Baptist in Kutná Hora. Its grand staircase swirls in a spiral. The church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“It takes time to absorb things and just contemplate and try to find a different angle and point of view,” she said.

Last spring, Lawrence Blank of Corrales trained his lens on a trio of adolescent Great Horned Owls nesting along the bosque.

“Teenage Owls” by Lawrence Blank.

“We spent a lot of time taking pictures of these owls at different stages of development,” he said. “They were kind enough to have a nest in a tree right next to one of the ditches. Mom and dad were nesting there in another tree.

A part-time dentist, Blank took his camera on wildlife safaris in Africa, Alaska and the Yukon. A trip to Peru produced the portrait of a woman selling dolls in the streets of Cusco.

“Laminar Flow” by W. Gary Rivera.

Blank learned to use a camera while working as a dentist in the Navy, starting a camera club upon his return to the United States in Philadelphia and Newport News, Virginia.

“It makes you see,” he said of the camera. “It makes you look around and understand what’s there. Living in New Mexico, look around, there are so many amazing things.

He has lived in Corrales for five years.

“We have this mountain view from our house,” he said. “You could take a picture every day and it’s different.”

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