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David H. Gibson on Photographing Eagle Nest Lake

Currently on display at photo-eye Gallery is a group exhibition that includes a few new images by David H. Gibson. Gibson is primarily a self-taught photographer. After years of developing and refining his photographic technique he has received quite a bit of attention, especially for his panoramic landscapes of Texas and the Four Corners region. One day when Gibson was photographing in the fog he had the realization that he could photograph the same subject over and over with very different results each time based on the changing light and moving fog. It was this moment that led Gibson to start exploring more abstract realms of nature. David H. Gibson’s newest images are from Eagle Nest Lake — a lake that has captured his interest for quite some time. I have asked David to tell us a little bit about his fascination with with this area. Enjoy – Anne Kelly

Eagle Nest Lake, August 25th, 2010 7:08 am, New Mexico -- David H. Gibson
"My first trip to Eagle Nest Lake was over 20 years ago. Usually, during an annual August visit to Taos, I begin my day with a drive to Eagle Nest though Taos Canyon and over the pass descending into Moreno Valley. The first glimpse of the valley through the trees indicates the atmospheric conditions for the morning. The valley is 8,300 feet above sea level. This elevation produces crisp cool mornings often with mists filling the valley. My first visit to the Eagle Nest Lake occurred with mists rising over the lake and flowing along the floor of the valley. With a background in theater this evolving event immediately commanded my attention. The first photographs were made and I was hooked on Eagle Nest Lake and the opportunities presented for photography.

Eagle Nest Lake, August 25th, 2010 7:29 am, New Mexico -- David H. Gibson
"At the time I really had no idea about the length of my commitment to this particular place. During those first visits cattle were grazing around the lake and the owners of a ranching operation had allowed lake access for fishermen. I learned later that the lake was formed by a dam built by two ranchers in the early 20th century to impound water from the Cimarron River for irrigation. This created a two thousand acre Eagle Nest Lake named for the eagles nesting in the area. The lake was stocked and fishermen arrived. The Eagle Nest community evolved and a few years ago New Mexico acquired the lake and surrounding land to form a new state park. It is unusual for me to be drawn to a place in the land with so much surrounding development. Here the morning mists radically change the sense of place and create their own magic. The unpredictability of sunrise events at Eagle Nest Lake keeps drawing me back.

"Over time conditions change and the water level in the lake rises and falls in conjunction with prolonged droughts or heavy snow melt. Plants in the fields around respond to these conditions. Some years the mornings have been too warm for the mists to form. It is always a surprise and a gift to be at Eagle Nest Lake before dawn to see what is presented."    -- David H. Gibson

See more work by David H. Gibson here

See books by David H. Gibson here

For more information, please contact photo-eye Gallery Associate Director Anne Kelly by email or by calling the gallery at (505) 988-5152 x202