Beyond the Lens: Why I Can’t ‘Not Take’ Photos

RedCliff Bridge - Aurora Borealis


I take photos because I can’t ‘not take’ photos that speak to me. I don’t shoot to satisfy art critics or to please others. Each photo I make is an outcome of my keen observation—a way to capture and hold onto moments that leave a lasting impression on me. These aren’t ordinary moments; they’re powerful and telling. I’m compelled to capture them, not just to preserve memories, but to express the deeper stories they embody. Each freeze-frame is more than a picture; it’s a narrative captured in time.

Art Photography in a Concert?

Shared Visions returns in 2024! This is an interdisciplinary collaborative project featuring works by Colorado visual artists, poets, composers, and performers, coordinated and presented by Ars Nova Singers. First presented in 2016 and again in 2019, this project brings together Colorado artists in a unique way, building a community of artistic inspiration and culminating in a performance of new music by Ars Nova Singers in June 2024. Read more here.

Freedom Night

The Lost Glove

The Lost Glove

In the hush of a winter’s walk,
My glove fell silent in the snow’s soft talk,
One stayed behind where I had thought,
As I journeyed on, heedless, unsought.

By the river’s edge, where light does play,
In hopes to capture some fleeting ray,
Unnoticed, my lost glove lay astray,
Yet onward I trod, without delay.

My camera, indifferent to the mundane,
Captured not the glove, lost in vain,
Amongst a landscape of rocks, exposed,
And pebbles, polished, almost imposed.

But the chill crept in, my hands did feel,
A gentle reminder, a cold appeal,
To turn back, retrieve what I had cast,
Yet still, I journeyed on, my pace steadfast.

At the car, as I shed my coat’s embrace,
A solitary glove revealed its place,
The other, lost in the river’s bend,
Between where I began and where I’d end.

Not a costly glove, nor does it shield,
Against winter’s harshness, it cannot yield,
But what was dropped, what was left behind,
Left one glove orphaned, one to find.

So back I retraced, through fresh snow’s track,
To reclaim what I had let slip, lost, and lack,
A single black object against the white expanse,
Restored to me in a silent dance.

As I stooped low, to lift it from the ground,
Leaving behind a mark, a trace profound,
The lost glove found, in quiet reprieve,
In the silent solace of a winter’s eve.

Raj Manickam Exhibiting at Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center

PhotoPensato_Raj ManickamA creative group of photographers, Photo Pensato, brings their unique lens back to the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in 2024.

Photo Pensato will exhibit in the White Gallery from February 16 through April 27. The reception will be on Friday, March 1, from 4 to 6 p.m., in conjunction with First Friday activities. There will also be an artist talk on Saturday, March 2, from 11 a.m. to noon. The exhibit will showcase fine art photography with traditional and contemporary themes, including landscape, abstract, portrait, still life, and more.

Members come from decades of experience across the field of photography and are all now focused on fine art imagery. Their journey is embodied in “Pensato,” an Italian term for a musical note so exquisite that it can be neither played nor heard.

Director of Collections, Exhibits, and Archives, Bree Anne Pappan, said, “We are thrilled to have the Photo Pensato group back at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center. It is exciting to know that the representation for 2024 will be from Santa Fe, Denver, north of Pueblo, and from Wyoming and that this growing group of artists has always strongly supported us.”

The group originated in Colorado but has expanded regionally and internationally. Photo Pensato members’ work has been widely shown in various exhibitions and can be found in both private and public collections. They are visual storytellers, master printers, historical image-makers, and creative collaborators with a strong passion for photography.

An artist featured in the exhibit, Ron Johnson, said, “I just want to thank the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center for inviting Photo Pensato back again. The citizens of Pueblo and southern Colorado are fortunate to have such a facility in their community. I am impressed with the quality and diversity of work they exhibit. Similarly, the photographers in Photo Pensato represent a diversity in subject matter, technique, and vision. And we are looking forward to the reception on March 1 and artist talk on March 2.”

Artists participating in the Photo Pensato exhibit are Thomas Carr, Ron Johnson, Linda Little, Raj Manickam, Susan Moldenhauer, Stephen Podrasky, Ward Russell, and John Shelton. For more information, go to

Sangre De Cristo Arts and Conference Center employs over 25 full-time employees. Their mission is to create artistic, cultural, and educational experiences for everyone.

Uncertainty and Hope – at Lens Culture

Coronavirus has transformed all our lives. In such a short time, our movement was restricted, our routine was disrupted, and familiarity shifted. A life-threatening virus challenges our very existence. And it is not even a living organism!

Our fear and uncertainties came all at once. Breaking news and blaring broadcasts fed our weak insecurity. Out of fear and doubt, we shared and spread our emotions to balance the burden we shoulder. We noticed ourselves reacting more frequently instead of responding. We protest the most trivial matters. Our uncertainty drove us to stockpile food and supplies and, in most cases, seize unnecessary quantities. The shelter-in-place and restricted movement arrest our better-thinking faculties. We blame others and become judgemental. What is thrown upon us is not familiar. We have never been here before. Read more HERE


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