I was in the process of photographing some ancient ruins near Abiquiu, NM when I discovered this skull.   I was drawn to the similarity of the cracks in the bone and the cracked earth around it.  The light was harsh but it accentuated the harshness of land and created an interesting hard shadow.  The sparse plants further enhanced the look and feel of the place.  One of the elements that I really like about the image is the small pottery sherd in the lower right hand corner.  This area was believed to have been abandoned around 1450 and for all that time the piece of pottery has remained.

Last Note

Last Note


Trees have always been an interest to me.  They have played such a significant role in my life that I’m constantly drawn to them.  After a longer and somewhat more difficult than expected hike up Music Pass, I came upon this tree or at least what was left of it.  Instantly I knew that I had to photograph it.  It reminded me of a harp, which was so fitting for the top of Music Pass.  After playing around with the angles for some time I finally found the composition that I was looking for.   Fortunately it wasn’t long before the clouds aligned where I wanted them to and I was able to create the image I envisioned.

While reflecting on the image during the hike down the pass, I thought about all the things the old tree must have seen and the harsh conditions it had lived in.  Now it was mostly gone and it wouldn’t be long before there was nothing left at all.  It then dawned on me that this might be it’s last note, one that will live forever in the image.

black-white-west a new photography project by Marc Hathaway


Recently I started a new project exploring the American west.  Having lived in the West fro nearly 15 years now I’m still in awe of the vast diversity and beauty of the land.  My intent with black-white-west is to explore the lessor known and traveled areas of the West and try and capture what it is that I love so much about it.

In future posts I’ll share my travels as well as the images I create and the stories behind them.


The image in this post was taken near Westcliffe, CO and is one of the images from my first trip as part of this project.  To me the image exemplifies the juxtaposition of the Mountain West and the Great Plains.  The sharp peaks of the mountains appear to tear though the plain and the arroyo further enhances the look of torn earth.