Camaraless Photowalk

I want to first start off stating that I do not live in Albuquerque, but outside of the city. So when I mention these outings to Albuquerque it is a big deal. Much like if you live outside of Boston and go into the city. Except I probably don’t have to travel that far. Today I decided to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, do my cameraless photowalk and go back to the place where I got creatively shy last week. If I was just going to walk around this time, it shouldn’t be so bad. I headed back downtown. To Central to be exact. Another note, Central is also the Historic Route 66 (the same one from the song). It used to be the street you stayed away from after dark (and I am sure it still sort of is) because that was where people went to spend their money on the wrong things. Anyway, they have done some major restorations in the downtown area.

I had a moment though, and I guess I thought I would find free parking farther away, but I had no money on me and all the parking was cash only meters. Luckily driving around downtown is a slow pace and I went around in circles trying to find free parking but also noticing everything I could. I saw exposed brick. Old buildings that have been fixed up. Condominiums and lofts that reminded me of Chicago and when I would ride the train to work and dream of living in one of the old brick warehouse turned lofts. There was an old building that someone started to renovate into lofts that would have been lovely, but is now just all boarded up. I saw old façade facing on a bank building. I saw a courtyard with a wonderful fountain surrounded by fall colored trees. The transportation center has the look of an old train station, very cool. And there were old brick warehouses. A huge brick building that is now (or maybe always was) a church. Everything was very historic looking and very non New Mexico. No stucco, flat roofs or adobe. If I were to have driven farther east I would have been in the UNM area again. And then Nob Hill. All areas I want to photowalk. Next weekend I will go back. I want to practice portraits of my son in front of those wonderful brick buildings. I will shoot that fountain with the fall foliage behind it. And texture everywhere.

I have had these driving moments before. I love to drive down this older street called Rio Grande. The one where I can’t find a place to park. I see things every time I drive down it I want to photograph. Hence, the want of a scooter. Last week I loaded my bike in the back of my car and went that route. It is a slow moving, two lane street with a bike path on both sides and no sidewalks. I couldn’t ride all the way I wanted to and actually walked the last mile stretch with my bike back in my car. I came away with some nice shots but needed better lighting conditions I learned later from what I saw on the camera. Boy, I sure would love that scooter right about now.

Before I went downtown, I actually ran a few errands. As I was walking up the sidewalk at Kohl’s I noticed a mint green old VW Bug. I went back to my car to get my camera and as I was taking the picture the owner walked up. I told her it was too cute to pass up and she told me it was a ‘71 made to look older with the bumper rail and the lights. The lights were cool. I put the picture through Pamela Topping’s Enchanted action and got this loveliness from it.

green bug_edited-1



Published by Lili

Single mom trying to find fun and happiness thru the lens.

24 thoughts on “Camaraless Photowalk

  1. I couldn’t have passed this up either! I love the old bugs. My dad had one when I was little. Really great photo! Love your composition!


    1. Thank you Deb. Funny thing. I went to Mexico City once with work. Driving down the freeway all the taxis and buses were old VWs. We take better care of them. It was a sight to see.


  2. Lili,
    I learned to drive a stick in my family’s red VW bug – this mint-green one is wonderful treasure. Love your composition – capturing just enough of the unique features to let the viewer know what they are looking at.

    Your descriptions of driving through downtown – I think we all have those experiences of driving by places that would be the source of amazing images but there is no parking or no place to pull off the road and then, they are gone. At least you have identified locations to which you can return. I look forward to seeing the results.


    1. Thank you, as always, for your kind words Brenda. I had to laugh. Thinking about how my mom tried to teach me to drive a stick. It was a column shifter/3 speed Chevy truck. I almost ran into a tree and wouldn’t try again until some 6 years later in a different truck. My dad was so upset I didn’t want to have anything to do with that truck which he intended to keep for me.


  3. I love how many things you found to capture in that neighborhood! It sounds like you saw so much in a short time, so much to go back and explore more deeply. The ideas must be flowing! I can’t wait to see the pics of your son in those locations, it sounds wonderful. Love the image of the VW too – great color!!


  4. You weren’t shy about that VW, were you? Good job! 🙂 I enjoyed going on your camera-less photo walk around old Albuquerque, and look forward to seeing the photos you take when you go back.


    1. Thank you. =) I almost walked off when she walked up. But then I took the other shot which is this one. So I did have that moment of not wanting her to see me but quickly thought oh well.


  5. So this time you’ve got both my and my 8yr old son’s vote – everytime he sees a VW on the rod he calls out ‘herbie’ in honour of the movie series. Love close ups like these – very classy and clever.


  6. I enjoyed reading about your camera-less walk. I had a 1969 VW Beetle many years ago, and loved it! I froze in the winter but always, always made it to work through the snow when others couldn’t seem to get there. Your photo of the VW here really brings back great memories.


  7. I love your descriptions of your slow ride through town. It is nice to find places that inspire us to take pictures. I too love your picture of the VW bug. It was great that you overcame your shyness. It is always so rewarding to try something that is difficult and have a postive experience.


    1. Thank you Ginny. I think I will learn from others and start with the people I know. Work my way up to talking to strangers.


  8. This sounds like a great walk. You really took the lesson to heart. My cousin lives in Alburquerque….somewhere. The way you describe the old buildings makes me want to go on a photowalk with you. I hope you can get some great portraits with these backdrops. VW….very good find. Glad the woman was happy to share a little info too.


    1. Thank you Susan. Funny thing too, I saw the woman and VW out driving today as well. I can’t wait until this weekend to go back out to the scene and take the pictures.


  9. What a lovely photo! Focusing on the lights and bumper really brings out the best in that little car – fabulous! Sounds like your walk/drive was a great experience, leaving you with lots of ideas for later. Wonderful! 🙂


  10. I’m glad you were able to see so much! I love old buildings, but I’m not very good a capturing them in a photo! Enjoyed going along with you and love the VW photo!!


  11. First, I really hope you end up getting your scooter. I think it will empower you, plus I can’t wait to see what color you get! This VW bug is wonderful composed, so glad you hung around and braved the owner. It just makes me smile seeing it. My parents had one and I have wonderful memories of riding in the back cubby (I must have been really little)…long before seat belts. We see the old ones gimping around here in Puerto Rico which cause me to let my dh know that maybe an old VW bug would be a fun addition for our year here.


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