We have been lifelong residents of New Hampshire and have cherished our time in the Granite State as well as all of New England. But for the last 30 years it has been our dream to move to New Mexico. Over the years we have traveled more than 30,000 miles in the Great American Southwest and have fallen in love with the Four Corner States. We have visited many other places of interest, but eventually chose New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment, to call our new home!
We recently moved to New Mexico on a permanent basis and for many reasons we had to make two
road trips from New England to accomplish our relocation. Working with the good folks at Topaz Labs
and using their incredible software, including B+W Effects, Clarity, DeNoise, Impression, Simplify and ReMask, I hope to show you some of the rich heritage, diversity and wonderful scenery that we encountered along the way!
Our first trip to New Mexico took a very direct and uneventful route as we had much to do when we arrived in New Mexico! We did manage to catch our breath once in a while and take a few photos. First off, here are some photos of the Seacoast of Maine and New Hampshire to mark the start of our adventure.
We passed by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis early one morning during rush hour traffic. My wonderful wife took this picture of the Arch from our car that morning. We then drove for many hours through the seemingly endless rolling hills of Missouri and Oklahoma.
Believe me when I say it was sheer joy to be greeted by the wonderful mesas and the welcome sign at
the New Mexico border. We had to stop for gas in Tucumcari where the town still celebrates the days of Route 66!
Our second road trip back to New Mexico was an epic one. Instead of rushing to our new home we treated ourselves to a vacation and took an entirely different route back. Along the way we visited old friends and relatives we had not seen before we left for New Mexico on our first trip.
Our initial two stops were in Arlington, Virginia and Washington, DC. After we had visited a few monuments that we had always wanted to see, we drove through the very scenic states of Virginia and North Carolina.
Our next drive was along a very scenic part of the Blue Ridge Parkway followed by the Smoky Mountain National Park. We saw the annual Hawk Migration along the Blue Ridge Parkway but unfortunately I had left my 50 to 500 MM lens back in New Mexico! We did have time to hike to the top of Clingman’s Dome in the SmokyMountains. At 6,643 feet it is the the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as the highest point in Tennessee.You can drive within a half mile of the Dome and take a steep paved walkway to the top. It offers spectacular 360 degree views and I highly recommend the trip.
Our next stop was at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast near Shiloh National Battlefield in Tennessee. This is the site of one of the most important battles at the beginning of the Civil War. Many famous people took part in this battle, Ulysses S. Grant and Lew Wallace among them. Grant went on to command the Army of the Potomac and later became President. Wallace went on to become the Governor of New Mexico during the Lincoln County Wars involving Billy the Kid. He was also a famous author and penned “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” which was published in 1880 and became a best-selling American novel. Our next stop was Graceland and Memphis, Tennessee. Although Graceland is a huge tourist attraction, if you take a little time you can almost see yourself back in the sixties, having a good time with Elvis and his friends.
On the last two days of our trip we drove over 1,000 miles from Memphis to Albuquerque! At this point in our journey we were very anxious to return home! We did make a stop at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas and were surprised to see that the cars had been defaced. Even though this is against the law, it is a interesting commentary on how some folks choose to express themselves.
Personally, I would have loved to photograph the work of the original artists!
After a week of traveling we finally crossed into The Land of Enchantment and arrived in Albuquerque just in time for the International Balloon Fiesta. We had not gone to the Fiesta since my days of shooting film. It is an unbelievable experience which I highly recommend if you can visit Albuquerque in early October when the Fiesta happens.
About Gary Lamott
Gary Lamott has been a photographer for over forty years, starting with black and white film and now working exclusively with digital. He is a member of the New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists (NHSPA), a Board Member Emeritus of the Seacoast Artist Association (SAA) in Exeter, NH, a contributing member of the Artist Advisory Committee of Main Street Art (MSA) in Newfields, NH , an award winning juried exhibiting member of the Plymouth, MA Guild for the Arts and a member of the New Mexico Art League, as well as a member of several photo groups.
He is a regular contributor to Topaz Labs Software. He has developed educational tutorials and content for Topaz products and has been featured in their software promotions, product pages and galleries since Oct of 2013. His photo “Island In the Sky” was featured in the Topaz Labs February 2014 promotion in Photoshop User Magazine.
He participated in Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter’s Art On Loan Program, including having a photo on display in her Washington, DC office. As part of their photographic quest he and his wife have traveled over 30,000 miles in the American Southwest, as well as New England and other places of interest.
“My vision is to create original images that represent the spirit of the places that we travel to. I think of Photography as an art form. I use both my cameras and today’s software to create my images, which provide endless possibilities for unique photographs. When taking photos I feel the Artist’s vision is the most important aspect of all.”