Last year I had started a painting based on the Sunset Heights area of El Paso, focusing on the Sunset Grocery:
While working on it, I had to put it aside to work on getting our bathroom/bedroom project finished. I stored it in my garage and subsequently the canvas got damaged. I wasn’t very far along so it wasn’t a huge loss but I didn’t want to start from scratch on a new one using the same image. I tweaked the idea some and set out to have another go at it:
Start, Stop, Destroy, Start again
The Sunset Grocery building has been photographed, drawn and painted by many others so its familiarity makes it difficult to come up with a fresh take on it I think this layout is unique and will make for a stronger image than my first attempt. We shall see…
This weekends Cinco De Mayo coincided with a Supermoon. The lunar event marks the closest the moon gets to earth during its orbit. It usually makes for a brighter and larger full moon and this year it did not disappoint. Using some tips from the internet as well as some settings my friend Vince had used, I tried a couple of test pic’s on the 4th and got pretty good results:
May 4th test
The above shot was captured using a Canon EF-S 55-250mm lens and then cropped in Adobe Lightroom. The results were pretty good and you can see a lot of details on the moon’s surface. Since Vince’s tests came out as good we decided we would try and setup somewhere in the desert and try to capture the Supermoon on Saturday.
Saturday proved to be somewhat of a challenge. There was cloud cover on the Franklin Mountains and we weren’t quite sure where the moon was going to arrive over. He had met at my house and were getting our stuff packed and missed that the moon had come through the clouds. it had been obscured by a two story house next door. We quickly scrambled and headed for the hills by the Sunland Park airport.
The orange color is interesting and while I used the same settings I’d used in my tests, the moon was fuzzier in all of our shots. This was the best of my batch. I guess the color change or cloud haze might have caused some focusing issues.
Supermoon over El Paso
We goofed around with some other shots, yielding mixed results. This was the best of my long shots trying to get the city lights and mountains in the shot. Next year we’ll be better prepared and try again.
Living on the west side of El Paso in the Upper Valley puts you within 30 minutes of Las Cruces. I don’t know if its the water, the elevation or the fact that it’s in New Mexico but there’s a different vibe from El Paso there. Every Saturday they have a market downtown where they show case local artists, farmers and crafts that stretches for about 4 blocks. Its quite impressive.
This past weekend they added chalk artists to the mix giving the boys something to look at other than boring plants, they were especially interested in this one:
the chalk artists occupied about half a block and they even had a section of a parking lot taped off so the kids could go and create their own drawings.
Chalk it up
Of course our boys paid no attention to the taped area and drew on the side walk but in their defense there wasn’t much room left. Since the street is blocked off it gives the vendors lots of room to set up on both sides of the street utilizing the center for walking and additional space if necessary.
They have such wide variety of vendors and artists you never know what you’ll stumble across. The local Humane Society even had a selection of dogs available for adoption.
We had originally went to look at the chalk artists but by noon many were still working on their pieces and we were ready for lunch. We headed out for a quick bite and then off to check out a British car show in old Mesilla.