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Old 12-13-2008, 07:47 AM
 
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I've read about that certain quality of light in New Mexico that is compared to the South of France for its beauty.

I'v seen the movie Tao of Steve that had many outdoor shots of Santa Fe, and the quality of light DID look different.

Is there a particular time of year the light/outdoors is particularly beautiful or is it all year round?

Is there movies that highlight the light/beauty of northern central New Mexico?

Thank you
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:58 AM
 
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Orange, a movie that I've recommended before is Off the Map, which more than any other NM I've seen, captures the beauty of the state. There is one scene of a sunset that will blow you away.

Off the Map (2003)

p.s. This is also the movie that finally made me say, "Alright, that's it. I'm moving to NM"
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
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One of the first things I noticed when I first began coming out to New Mexico years ago is the quality of the light here.

I guess we all explain/describe it differently, but it exists. I think it has something to do with the altitude and the thin air and the lack of pollution. It is said artists abound here because they recognize it and utilize it.

I just know that I love it!
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:19 AM
 
Location: San Juan County, New Mexico
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The light you're talking about is at it's best late in the afternoon, just after a thunderstorm or other cloud cover. It's the kind that appears as the sun drops just below the cloud cover, and seems to illuminate the landscape with a brilliance that is almost surreal. I wonder if it has to do with with the colors that are prevalent here in both the land and in the buildings. It's not nearly so impressive when it strikes the non-earthtones, but will knock you off your feet when it's bouncing off of sandstone or adobe or red clay. Beats me what all the factors are, but it's pretty unique.

It seems to be at it's best when it's a combination of a low lying sun in the late afternoon, heavy overcast, and vertical surfaces like bluffs, canyon walls, or adobe buildings. When that western sky clears just a little and the direct rays pop, watch out.
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
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OH! Good description, sjbasin!

Another thing that strikes me is how clearly we can see things here...and for such great distances.

This morning the sky is clear and the light is excellent and I can look out my window and clearly see the Jemez Mountains to the west 30 miles away.

To the northeast, the Sangres are so strikingly clear that you can almost pick out individual trees.

It's amazing.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Land at World's End, Aqua De Vida
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Off the Map is an excellent movie, for the ideas, the visuals and the lessons learned, I recommend it too

There IS magic in the New Mexico atmosphere. The previous description is very good. I also know as a kid being there, I remember the colors of the earth around me reflecting back and up. Sometimes perhaps it was the bits of dust, blown in on the winds, north from the desert from the southern portions more. Or times the lightly scented smoke of the burning logging plants, burning the chips after the cutting. I'll never forget that scent in the air and when the sun hit the smoky air in the evenings, it was beautiful and smelled wonderful
{and there is a lack of actual Smog in NM too, for the most part}

When I did alot of painting in my early years, they all had to do with *light* I think it was the New Mexico influence, carried through, no matter where I was living when painting. I began being influenced from age 5-7
People liked them enough then to buy my paintings, and that helped me buy alot of my expensive medical books for school

The earth, land in New Mexico has a strong effect on how vibrantly we see the sky as well. Reds and oranges make blues stand out even more. Take a look at some of the photos in the Sticky Photos threads here. You'll be amazed, then imagine being in NM, in person and seeing the same 'photos' in person....breath taking, you may literally have your breath pulled away at first

Magical, inspiring, New Mexico....ahhhhh


Tia Dalma
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Sunny Arizona
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I know that light! The first time I experienced it I was driving west of the mississippi for the first time in my life and we were stopped in Santa Rosa at sunset. The entire atmosphere was painted with this seemingly surreal colored rose light. The entire sky shimmered with it, and had painted itself on every surface, even my skin. The color, the vibrancy, the peculiar aspects of it, I had never experienced anything like it before in my life. I fell in love with the southwest during that sunset.
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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Thank you!

I've read a lot of threads on this forum, and this one has to be the most poetic! You are a people I'd like to sip a glass and watch the colors change at dusk.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Alto
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Default Give me the night!

I think the thing that really hit us was the night sky. Last summer we were at the No Scum in White Oaks watching the space station pass by, and that was breathtaking. The following night was even better sitting on the outskirts of 'Zozo and after letting your eyes get used to the darkness, looking up at the stars and getting a true appreciation of why they call our galaxy the Milky Way. (Plus you can see some really neat things coming out of the AF base if you look long enough). NM has done an excellent job to avoid light pollution and that coupled with the clear air and high elevation, the stars have a shimmer and glow you just can't get anywhere else. What a beautiful place you are fortunate to live in.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:38 AM
 
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Year round! Early evening is best. My wife says early morning.
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