Into Aspen

“I had planned to shoot a fine art portrait during the Christmas holiday in the baron lands found off the highways between Albuquerque and Santa Fe New Mexico. I have been making the logistical arrangements for a month but Murphy’s Law wasn’t on Christmas break.

My model’s schedule changed, I lost the availability to shoot on the days I had planned because of family obligations, and then that nasty freezing weather blew in from Canada freezing air traffic, shutting down cities, making a desert fine art shoot a form of torture of a model, and grounding me in Austin. At this point I was so determined to go I just jumped into my car and headed north in the middle of the night. Arriving in Santa Fe with a connection I found on Model Mayhem for a model (a barista for Starbucks who ALSO would be working through the snowy break) I was able to schedule a meeting on Christmas eve in Hyde Park just below the ski mountain in Santa Fe.

That’s when the sky opened up and began dumping what joyful skiers would measure to 5 inches of powder. With my battery packs worthless for the weather and snow up to my knees, I was able to pull out my faithful and functional Canon 24-105 lens on the 5DIII and propped my 6′ reflector against an aspen cluster and capture a handful of shots before the model and I were shivering beyond function.

What is special to me about this photo is that everything in the world was against me that day. I had literally a full studio of gear in my trunk and when it came down to it I just relied on techniques from my first year as a photographer so long ago.”- Joe Gallahan

Canon 5DIII
Lens 24-105 | Focal length 95mm f/4.0
6′ golden reflector

Image of aspen with a T/S lens on my way back overlayed into shadows
Image of wind-burned grasses with a T/S lens overlays into highlights and soft vignette

Wardrobe by Mirabai Wagner
Model Sarah Velez


  • Youshownorespect

    It’s a nice enough picture and the background story one of those we’ve all gone through in some form or another.
    Despite your technical ability and perseverance I could not hire you as a photographer. You have overlooked an important detail- you show no respect for Native Culture.

  • http://the.me/ DanTHEME

    Great shot!

  • jr456

    It’s a nice shot and I certainly admire your determination to get it!!!

  • Joey Gallahan

    Sweet! Thanks so much for your encouragement, Youshownorespect! I really appreciate it!

Made by Novum