Doug Adams ascends to the top in Stairs and Ladders

Robert Thoresen

The imaginative board of the Photography Club of Quail Creek (PCQC) did not create a new children’s board game but engineered a March photo contest theme to challenge club members to make expressive and interesting images of climbing devices. There were about thirty entries this month and, surprise, no ties!

Doug Adams’ first place image shows a ladder descending about six feet into a kiva. The kiva is part of the Spruce Tree House ruins in Mesa Verde National Park. The Spruce Tree House is considered Mesa Verde’s best preserved cliff-dwelling with a total of 130 rooms. Ninety percent of Mesa Verde’s cliff dwellings contain 10 or fewer rooms, one-third of those have only one or two rooms. The largest dwelling, Cliff Palace, has 150 rooms. Doug took the picture in the early summer of 2010. He created this expressive composition with the sun at its zenith allowing the light to enter the kiva and illuminating the ladder. Camera used: Nikon D80, f/3.5, 1/10 sec, ISO-1600, f/ 18mm, Aperture 3.6. No Flash.

Pete Murphy is a very consistent contestant, usually placing in half of the year’s contests. He must have a terrific file system to pull out his many winning images. Pete took his second place photo about five years ago on a vacation trip to Taos, New Mexico. Taos requires more than an overnight stay. Besides the nearby Taos Pueblo, there is La Hacienda de los Martinez Spanish Colonial Great House, 1804, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, Earthship (a community built of completely recycled material), Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Vivac and Black Mesa Wineries (the latter a must stop according to Pete). Taos Pueblo, one of 19 New Mexico pueblos, is the only “living” North American community designated as both a World Heritage site by UNESCO (1990) and a National Historical Landmark (1960). The pueblo’s buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years. The artists of the pueblo are best noted for their micaceous clay pottery which has been their utilitarian cookware through the ages. One of the buildings that most interested Pete had a blue door; the kiva in front with a ladder leaning up against the side. The layering effect allows the ladder to stand out against the mountain background. Camera used: Nikon Coolpix P100, f/7.1, 1/370 sec,ISO-160,fl 19mm, Aperture 3.0, no flash

The PCQC’s webmaster Jim Burkstrand took his third place photograph on a field trip with the club in April 2013 to Old Tucson Studios. Jim’s image depicts various lines made by the wood steps, banisters, posts and rails as well as making various sharp turns before reaching the second floor. The barrel at the bottom adds some interest to the lower corner. The photo was processed from raw and converted to B&W in Lightroom. Camera information not available. Modified by Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.7.

The Photography Club of Quail Creek has a monthly photo contest for its members and also schedules numerous photo field trips throughout the year. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Madera Clubhouse. Room venue will vary each month. Consult the club’s constantly updated website as well as the weekday HOA What’s Happening for additional information.