This is just one of many images shot with black and white film produced by the Japan Camera Hunter: JCH StreetPan 400. I used both orange and red filters, and the success shows in good contrast, for both long and short scale. The Oly OM-1n and 50mm lens are a wonderful travel combo – small, lightweight, and well made.
This is one of the cliff dwellings found in Mesa Verde National Park, in the Four Corners area, in Colorado. We spent a couple of days there, enjoying the rich history and beauty of the area.
In my own head, winter is a bleak time as far as plant life. Bare trees, fields of snow, long grey days that are chilly, damp, cold, and dark. Yet, life is still present, such as this young mullein growing at 7100 feet in the La Plata mountains of Colorado.
If you look, you can find old photos taken on huge, bellows cameras of these cliff dwellings as they were discovered. Many were in terrible shape, and today, through skilled restoration, are in better condition than they were 100 years ago (or more). In keeping with the old photos, I put together this panorama of Square Tower House. What I like is that you can see just how nicely it is tucked in under the cliff, and beneath the mesa above. I think this would be a great place to live – give me that top room! – but the commute might be a bit much for this old lady.
Of all the pictures I took at Mesa Verde National Park, this was one of the most difficult. To see Square Tower House, you have to sort of lean over a railing, and look into a canyon. This building seems to be built into the corner of a canyon. Additionally, nothing I did conveyed the beauty of the place – it was really hard to get the lighting corrected to show the colors and the details. Final editorial choice is obviously the b&w, which I think does the job rather nicely.
The view from the top of Mesa Verde into the canyons which surround it, and on to ranges beyond. Wanderlust to explore sets in!
Looking back toward the Mancos Valley, before seeing any cliff dwellings, this is the view from Mesa Verde, a tall outcrop above the valleys below. Click through to see the snow on the distant mountains. Brrr!