Sunday, August 28, 2016

Desde Monterrey, Mexico a Monterey, Louisiana



Last January, you may recall,  I traveled to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for a birthday getaway vacay. When not lounging on the terrace, I visited Galeria Photo/Graphic in the Centro and learned about an upcoming summer juried exhibition called Interpreted Reality.  I submitted to the show, got in (!), then went on a road trip with a friend, driving from New Orleans to SMA to attend the opening in July.  

The drive from the border to San Miguel de Allende is a breathtaking odyssey, parts of it include the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range.  Mexico has a great system of toll roads but they go around the city of Monterrey, sad face. Knowing that there was a Monterey, Louisiana I was a little disappointed to not drive through the city.  (Ok, so the disappointment lasted about half a second as I was preoccupied with one spectacular view after another)

On the way back...I was navigating....we took a right...oops, i mean wrong ..turn


and ended up in Monterrey!  Though I SWEAR it was an accident..~there are no accidents~.. I was not-so-secretly thrilled to get a glimpse of this worldly metropolis...because that meant that I was headed north when I got home, straight to Monterey, Louisiana.  

If you search for Monterrey, Mexico on the innerwebs, you will surely find out it is one of Mexicos largest cities, both industrial and cosmopolitan with plenty of natural areas and parks.  We drove in just long enough to find a spot for a questionable u-turn, so we only got a peek of the impressive outskirts.  Grabbing the shot with the city name was the peak of the drive para mi. 



Back home in Louisiana, it was time to hit the road again, this time to Monterey, Louisiana.  Monterey is located in the  eastern central part of the state near the Mississippi River - east of Alexandria and South of Sicily Island for reference.  It was exciting to travel to this unexpectedly new  location on the World Tour, because it took me along both familiar and unfamiliar routes. Hwy 1 is a favorite of mine - sugar cane, random crop duster,


and the Morganza Spillway.   


In contrast to the soaring Sierra Madres of Mexico, there are the flat floodplains of Louisiana.  
Though for what Louisiana lacks in elevation, the ginormous cumulus clouds make up for it. 


For a moment driving north in Louisiana didn't seem much different from driving in north Mexico. 

Louisiana
Mexico

Hwy 15 takes you through the Red River State Wildlife Management area


 Past the Old River Control Structure (to match Morganza)


 And then to the unincorporated town with a post office I didn't photograph, Monterey


In Monterey I photographed all the usual suspects. 
The Water Tower,


 the market,


the fire truck,


and then I cooled off at the church. 


(I do have a tale about a Very Curious Monterey Resident, but much like the Transylvania Bat, some stories are meant to be sung.)

I have to admit I was wondering what I was going to think of  Monterey, Louisiana after my trek through Monterrey Mexico. How would it hold up?  Turns out,  like the rest of my travels, my favorite part of both Monter(r)eys was the journey itself.  I was as awe-inspired in Louisiana as I was in Mexico, verifying once again that the World is as Large or as small as you want it to be, how we choose to perceive it is entirely up to us.  


Til next time...



All content (c) Natasha Sanchez


*Shout out to Alex Bosworth for the use of her iPhone in Monterrey as my camera battery died and my phone was the GPS. 

Up Next:

The Ancient World Tour returns!

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The Louisiana World Tour, a philosophical and photographic road trip through the state of my world, began in 2011 under the premise that the world is as large or as small as you want it to be. Since that time, over 20 "international" destinations have been visited in Louisiana. The Ancient Louisiana World Tour began in 2016 and aims to complement the Louisiana World Tour by honoring the  natural landscape and those who came before us.  Follow the blog for more exciting adventures! 

Check out a preview of the Louisiana World Tour on my website
http://www.nattie-concepts.com/portfolio_-_photography/world_tour

You can also purchase The State of My World songbook, a printed version of my one-woman show, "Louisiana:The State of My World" on blurb.com

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Check out my other books available on blurb:

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Solstice Fossil Expedition at the End of the World - in Venice, Louisiana (Ancient Louisiana World Tour)

I spent the Summer Solstice at the end of the World in one of my favorite World Tour sites, Venice.

Sunset in the marsh

 I first photographed Venice in 2011 during the dawn of the World Tour.  I wrote a blog, "Further Down the Road", that featured my Not So Slight and Very Unnecessary anxiety about *how* I was going to photograph this worldly wonder.   By the third trip down it was obvious that Venice  clearly spoke for itself.  This time around, on the Ancient World Tour, fossils were the motivation.  Well,  fossils and jaw dropping sunsets.


Summer Solstice Sunset in Venice

Water rules the road in Venice



 as does the wildlife.

makes ya wonder about rush hour

The Ancient World Tour speaks to the original settlement of our world, the natural environment.  I thought the Summer Solstice, a time to celebrate and respect light, the perfect time to go fossil exploring. Using the lumen print process (printing with the sun!) to create a "modern" fossil (term applied loosely) even the smallest blade of grass or the tiniest flower gives an immense sense  of our intricate and fragile existence.

Blades of Venice

Venice Marsh

Venice Tall Grass

Venice Flower


After all, it's the little things that create this expansive

world we all share and live in for just a short while. 





Three Birds on a Branch


One Bird in a Tree


Reflection


Til next epoch..

End of the Solstice at the End of the World



All content (c) Natasha Sanchez

************

The Louisiana World Tour, a philosophical and photographic road trip through the state of my world, began in 2011 under the premise that the world is as large or as small as you want it to be. Since that time, over 20 "international" destinations have been visited in Louisiana. The Ancient Louisiana World Tour began in 2016 and aims to complement the Louisiana World Tour by honoring the  natural landscape and those who came before us.  Follow the blog for more exciting adventures! 

Check out a preview of the Louisiana World Tour on my website
http://www.nattie-concepts.com/portfolio_-_photography/world_tour

You can also purchase The State of My World songbook, a printed version of my one-woman show, "Louisiana:The State of My World" on blurb.com

**************

Check out my other books available on blurb:

***************

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Looking Past, Moving Forward - Sims Site, Ancient Louisiana World Tour

I've traveled the world from Athens to Quebec, but there is still so much more to discover.  Louisiana, as you know, is rich in archeological sites.  I've long been interested in ancient history and that interest only intensified during the Louisiana World Tour while visiting places such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Poverty Point.  Along The Way, as I'd travel from town to town, I'd pass site after site, the Filhiol Mounds near Sicily Island, the Balmoral Mounds near Barcelona, the list goes on.  I realized that I was passing our past, yet maybe exploring our past was the key to moving forward.  So off I went in search of yore..



Sims Site is an archeological site located about 30 miles southwest of present day New Orleans in St. Charles Parish.  It dates back to the year 800. The site originally consisted of five platform mounds, of which only two remain today.  One of them is now used as a cemetery, with burial plots on top of the mound.  The site was originally inhabited by the Coles Creek and Mississippian cultures and abandoned by 1700.  I visited the mound that is now used as a cemetery by a local church.  


Sims Site is located in the lush landscape of Louisiana. 


.. which makes for great photographic framing of the mound..  



I'm often asked ..."why"... Why am I so excited about a mound of dirt (and/or shells)? Its not like I'm in Himalaya after all (giggle).


The reason why, besides the obvious - that its AWESOME - is respect.  Respect for those who came before us and the world they created.  The premise of the World Tour is that the world is as large or as small as you want it to be.  The premise of the Ancient World Tour is respect - though time and cultures vary, at the end of the day, its One World, and we are the ancient past.  The past may be closer than it appears.  



Til next epoch..





All content (c) Natasha Sanchez

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Ancient Louisiana World Tour Begins at the Beginning - in Algiers, Louisiana


Its a new World Tour Era!

There are two things I've always wanted to incorporate into the World Tour - lumen prints and our ancient past.  Louisiana is far older and wiser than its recorded years so I have a launched a new component to the World Tour:  fossils.  Ok, modern fossils. Ok, lumen prints more precisely. Ok, massive artistic license..... I love the lumen print process for its magnificent simplicity - a solar photogram resulting in an impression of our World - as is. So I'll be revisiting & impressing upon many of those fascinating locales that we all know and love. (Get ready  Poland, Hamburg & Lisbon - I'm coming back atcha!)

Shadowing my inaugural World Tour,  I decided there was no better place to start my Ancient World Tour than the first place I could ever call home, Algiers on the West Bank of the Mississippi in New Orleans.


I wasn't quite sure how i wanted to start my fossil expedition, I just knew I wanted to make lumens from all those international locales. Yet when I teach photo workshops in the French Quarter - I often look to the past, envisioning how the French Quarter used to look as a French colony or how it looked under the Spanish rule after it was rebuilt after the fires of the late 1700's.  It took a while, but it finally dawned on me to apply that same logic to my artistic endeavors.  I wanted to visualize how Algiers & the city of New Orleans looked before it was even a glint in a Frenchmens eye - it was a cypress swampland, natch.



Thus begins my first World Tour experi-prints:  bona fide fossils,


Algiers Cypress Tree Fossil, Lumen Print, 2016
Cypress Branch, Lumen Print, 2016
Algiers Cypress Fossil, Lumen Print 2016


Complete with swampy scenes and cypress knees:

Swampy Scene, Lumen Print, 2016

Cypress Knees, Lumen Print 2016


I could easily get lost in thought in Ancient Algiers





what with the wildlife and natural landscape 





But then its kinda hard to miss the modernization.


Today, cypress trees line the sidewalks of Algiers alongside relics of our present and past.


Bacchus & Oyster Shell

I'm looking forward to revisting the State of My World and exploring said relics and fossils. I'll be stopping off at antiquity here and there as well.  Check back as I create modern fossils from our ancient past.

Til next time...



all content (c) Natasha Sanchez
www.nattie-concepts.com

The State of My World: Songs & Photos from the Louisiana World Tour is available on blurb.com
Select Lumen Prints available on Where Y'art.com


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I also teach Photo Workshops in the French Quarter & Garden District 
www.americanphotosafari.com