Art

Steven Bundy shoots the Southwest

Photographer's work is spotlighted in new exhibition at Blumenschein Museum

By Rick Romancito
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 10/30/19

Works by Taos photographer Steven Bundy are featured in an exhibit titled "10 Degrees of Gray," which opens with a reception Saturday (Nov. 2), 5-7 p.m., at the Blumenschein Home and Museum, 222 Ledoux Street. Admission is free.

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Art

Steven Bundy shoots the Southwest

Photographer's work is spotlighted in new exhibition at Blumenschein Museum

Posted

Works by Taos photographer Steven Bundy are featured in an exhibit titled "10 Degrees of Gray," which opens with a reception Saturday (Nov. 2), 5-7 p.m., at the Blumenschein Home and Museum, 222 Ledoux Street. Admission is free.

The show features a stunning array of images by the self-proclaimed "Southwest Americana" photographer, but it's also a bittersweet occasion because it marks the last show for Margo Beutler Gins as Taos Historic Museums' president of the board of directors. Gins, who is officially stepping down in December, said "it's time to pass the mantle to a younger generation, namely board vice president Daniel Barela. I will continue to remain on the board to raise funds and to help Daniel."

In advance of the show, we spoke with Bundy via email about the images for "10 Degrees of Gray."

What are your favorite subjects to shoot?

I love old churches, Ghost Ranch landscapes, Southwest images and landscapes and wildlife and birds. But this list kind of limits what I do photograph, because I will raise my camera to almost anything that grabs my eye. Something that has great composition and light will always get an exposure or two.

How did you get interested in photo-graphy?

A year out of high school in 1973. My girlfriend at the time (soon to become my wife) started a college class in photography. I tagged along on her school assignments and became enthralled with the entire process of capture and finish image. She had a Navy commander family friend bring back a Pentax Asahi 35mm with a group of lenses from Japan during the Vietnam War. After our wedding her photography interest waned but I soon was always carrying that equipment around with me through the '80s and '90s.

In 2001, I purchased a cheap little Canon point-and-shoot digital camera. Since I had been using personal computers since the 1980s from my civil engineering background, I soon found that the digital capture from the little point-and-shoot could be manipulated just like the wet darkroom process, but with little quality success. I played around with the differences between the film and digital cameras for a few years until 2005 when I found I could get pretty much identical technical finished images from each separate camera type. At that point I put away the film camera and became a digital photographer incorporating a digital darkroom process for all of my photography since.

How do you choose subjects to shoot?

I rarely choose a subject to shoot myself. They kind of just find me. My best images are often the ones that just present themselves and are a more spontaneous representation of that very quick moment in time. I do plan a few images such as my "Moonrise Black Mesa" image which is an homage to the Ansel Adams' "Moonrise, Hernandez" image. That one was planned almost a month in advance knowing when and where the full moonrise would be in relation to the San Ildefonso chapel, south of Española. I do love old architecture, especially old adobe churches and abandoned relics. I can usually get a good moody shot from them.

How do you know when you have the right shot - is it while shooting or during processing?

A little of both I guess. There are certain images I know that the composition, light and contrast were just perfect right when I snapped the shutter. But I have had a few that I originally thought were going to be thrown away, but once I am into my postprocess of the image they become a masterpiece.

For example, my image included in the exhibition titled "Tiwa Pride." That was photographed during one of my photo tours with a client from Colombia. He was posing the pueblo models in front of a bright orange screen even though we had the beautiful pueblo landscape and mountains all around us. I snapped away during the shoot anyway not knowing what all would become of any of the images. Once I turned my color images into black-and-white, they came to life for me. So much so, I included it in this show.

For more information, call the museum at (575) 758-0505. Bundy's work can be found online at stevenbundy.com.

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