Bolts Above Albuquerque, Aaron Blanc (above)

“After tracking storms rolling across central New Mexico, the opportunity to photograph storms in the late afternoon was upon me. I ventured up to the Sandia Mountain Crest with a couple of close friends and we spent 3+ hours photographing the storms. At one point, we were chased back to our vehicles due to the severity of the lightning. When we were able to get back to photographing the storm passing over Albuquerque, we were treated to a number of large bolts of lightning. For this shot, the composition was the most important aspect for prepping for this image. Making sure I was able to capture the foreground of the Sandia Mountains, while also capturing enough of the sky and city to frame it all into the image and make it feel complete. The rest was up to Mother Nature to provide the light show, and she was incredible!” —Aaron Blanc

Geminids and  Petroglyphs, Igal Brener


Geminids and Petroglyphs, Igal Brener

New Mexico–based photographer Igal Brener captured this shot at the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site during the Geminid meteor shower. The petroglyphs at Three Rivers were created by the Jornada Mogollon, "who might have been in awe of this event, just like us," says Brener. 

City at Night,  Daniel Montaño


City at Night, Daniel Montaño

“I am fairly new to photography, but I have been all-in since Day One! I spend quite a bit of time perusing Instagram and websites like Artsy for inspiration. The images that attract my attention are moody night shots with lots of atmosphere, rain, fog, and snow. So one February evening this year, with rain and snow in the forecast, I packed my gear and drove the 25 minutes to Albuquerque from Belén, with the anticipation of capturing some nice atmospheric street shots. Unfortunately, the storm passed before I arrived, but the slick streets and puddles that were left behind along with the neon signs you find along Central Avenue in downtown Albuquerque, made for some potentially great compositions. I walked up and down Central snapping shots here and there. I stopped at the light on Fifth and Central waiting to cross and snapped a couple photos of The Kimo. I crouched down to get the whole building in the shot and noticed the Kimo sign reflected in a puddle on the sidewalk. I think I crouched there for 20 minutes easily, messing with the exposure and shutter speed. I'm sure I captured well over a hundred shots! I was lucky that this old truck was cruising on this night! Caught it with just the right shutter speed to add some motion blur. It was a great night and I was glad I made the drive." —Daniel Montaño

Still Standing,  Jim Stein

Still Standing, Jim Stein

“I was out photographing the night sky with my brother when we came across this old, weathered tree. Looking south, the Milky Way was in perfect alignment with Sandia Mountain and the soft glow from the lights of Albuquerque." —Jim Stein


For the sixth consecutive year, Tularosa Basin Gallery of Photography, in Carrizozo, will host an exhibit featuring the winners. Although opening weekend festivities have been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, the exhibit will be on display and images available for purchase beginning January 28 on Fridays 10 to 5, Saturdays 10 to 5, and Sundays noon to 5.

See all the winners of the 21st Annual New Mexico Magazine Photos of the Year.