Thursday, Mar 1, 2012
You may be surprised at where you find photographs of the whimsical and stout cave formations of Carlsbad Cavern. Visitors to the Sky City Cultural Center & Haak’u Museum at the Acoma Pueblo will see six Chuck Burton photographs, some taken in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, as part of a 72 photo exhibition, called My Camera In New Mexico, Photographs by Craig Varjabedian & Friends. The exhibit, on display until April 29, celebrates the centennial of New Mexico statehood and mainly features photos by well-published photographer Craig Varjabedian, who is based in Santa Fe and has won multiple awards for his work. About 45,000 people tour the museum’s exhibit galleries every year, learning about Acoma History and meeting potters and artists in the vendor area outside. Museum Specialist, Melvin Sarracino, describes the Center "as a magnificent structure [that] resembles the homes on top of the mesa with aspects such as white wash walls and mission style vigas."
Chuck Burton is surprised that his hobby has become more than an activity to simply pass the time and relax. In his day job, Chuck is the Facility Manager at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, where he is responsible for the proper maintenance and long term operation of the buildings, roads, utilities, and trails. Evenings and weekends often find Chuck setting up a tripod and peering through the lens and adjusting the dials on either a camera or telescope. Chuck first took an interest in photography as a child. Over time, with trial and error, he trained his eye to see the right perspective and taught himself the techniques necessary to capture the lighting, shadow, color, and mood that lifts a photograph from average to memorable and notable. Chuck’s photography hobby has grown from a pastime to a small home-based business and source of far reaching recognition, as seen being included in the My Camera in New Mexico exhibit.