Santa Fe Noir, at the Cambridge Art Association National Prize Show, 2020

Santa Fe Noir, at the Cambridge Art Association National Prize Show, 2020

I participated in a workshop last fall by this name, situated in my home town of Santa Fe. The idea was to shoot Santa Fe, mostly at night, and also try to shoot in the noir spirit exemplified by some of the film classics of bygone years.

I wasn’t very happy with the results I got, although this one, The Palace Noir, seemed reasonably noirish and also consistent with my usual style. People who know Santa Fe will recognize the centuries-old Governor’s Palace, to the left in the picture, and it’s always pretty noir. I lay in wait for the guy slouching along with his bicycle. I wondered at the time, as you might be wondering, what someone was doing with a bike, so late on a cold night. The juror for this year’s National Prize Show at the Cambridge Art Association liked it, so for a limited time, it is viewable online or in an actual gallery, for brave gallery goers in the Boston area.

Despite my disappointing results from the workshop, I was intrigued by the idea of shooting this city at night. In October, when the workshop took place, it was getting unpleasantly cold late at night. Starting this spring, when the weather got milder, I started into the idea again, not so much for anything “noir” but because I just thought Santa Fe would look good at night. Then, when Covid-19 struck, I thought it would be all the more interesting, devoid of people even at usually busy night hours.

Twice, I have gone into the Plaza area to shoot at night, expecting to be harassed by cops wanting to know why I, alone, was wandering around during an official state of emergency. Both times, I have found the Plaza full of young people who have driven their cars into the center of the city and are out of them yukking it up on the sidewalks. The police seem to be ignoring all of them. At least I went in solo and kept to myself! Anyway, the photographic output of those ventures has been nil.

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