New Mexico Adventure Weather Adventure

Making it work…

It’s never been a typical occurence for me to not be feeling well at the same time storms are happening. As with most people, the spring and summer months are a time when I’m not usually dealing with sickness in any way and that means I’m usually feeling great unless I’m just incredibly fatigued from life or a long string of shooting days.

You can imagine then, how weird this weekend was with me feeling largely under the weather but trying to give photography a shot anyways.

I had planned to head to Taos for a storm shoot for a few weeks and I was pretty excited about shooting storms in the wide open valley that bottoms out with the Rio Grande Gorge. This valley is lined with mountains and is typically incredible for photography even without storms.

This was a period of ‘making it work’. I took several (and frequent) breaks in between shoots and tried to also mix in the local flavor a bit more because Taos is awesome. But largely, I was dealing with some extreme fatigue throughout this weekend.

The bolts were lacking but I made the most of it all. Many of my images I’ve processed thus far are in black and white, but there’s a ton of color to show off from this weekend soon enough.

This was one of the only bolts I captured over the weekend and it happened while I drove into Taos on the first night. I thought this was a good sign but it ended up being a small highlight with the storms.
A gathering updraft overhead with distant storms on the horizon. This is what New Mexico’s monsoon season is all about. Wide open spaces filled with storms in the mid-afternoon hours.
Taos, New Mexico.
Taos, New Mexico.
A pair of downdrafts in the evening from the New Mexican monsoon season. I shot a rather long timelapse here with the expectation that at any moment, a bolt would drop. It was not to be despite plenty of instability. I felt robbed.
San Francisco de Asis church in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico.
If you remember, I shot this Church a couple of months ago as well. It’s a must do for photographers traveling through the Taos area.
Another scene that I was just certain a bolt would drop. This would have been an incredible image and any bolts would’ve put the timelapse over the top. I took a lot of care to ensure the dead tree and live tree framed the core really well. It was all ready to go but the storm didn’t show up. Such is the life photographing water vapor.

By Raychel Sanner

I'm a trans photographer and filmmaker based in New Mexico. I love adventure and travel and exploring my state. I chase down incredible storms and skies. I advocate for good mental health and for my trans siblings.

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