My journey into photography started when my father brought me a Minolta “spy camera” back from Japan in the 1960s. Over the years my photography evolved and by the time I was in college I knew I wanted create large breath-taking photos of the amazing vistas I’d experienced traveling in the West and around the world. I also wanted to capture the intimate details of flowers, cascading waterfalls as well as photographing the weathered faces of fishermen in the Baja, Mexico. Even though I was trained in Art Education at UNM, I ended up with two more degrees in Earth Sciences and a 40-year teaching career in science. I was very fortunate to travel the world photographing through the lens of “awe” and appreciating the force of nature and the delicate balance of our planet’s biomes. Every summer I attended institutes and workshops taking me to New Zealand, Australia, and Japan and all over the USA. Selected photos appear in science literature from whale flukes captured off the coast of New Zealand to uplifts and contorted formations in the San Juan basin.
I was asked to create Teacher’s Guide to Valles Caldera website for New Mexico EPSCoR. The photos used to illustrate many of the concepts are mine as I’ve explored the Jemez Mountains since I was 14 years old. I’ve been on advisory boards for Discovery Magazine, IMAX (Grand Canyon Adventure, River at Risk), National Solar Observatory (NAOA), and with each experience I was able to photograph and share images.
I’ve had the opportunity to share my work at ANMPAS, Shades of Grey for the past three years. Other accomplishments include certifications as a Nikon Professional and as a New Mexico True photographer.
Since retiring from Albuquerque Academy as an Earth Systems science teacher, I spent my first three years showing and selling my work at Albuquerque Photographers Gallery in Old Town. Now my husband, John, and I are taking more time for photographic expeditions in our 4-wheel drive Sportsmobile van. Our two most recent trips include: “100 Days in Alaska” and “Chasing Fall” a two-month adventure from New Mexico to Newfoundland and back. You can see these and other images on rhondaspidell.com or rhondaspidellphotography.com