Written by Super User on 18 July 2017

10608246 883170648382309 4572005846984793453 oI discovered my love of photography as a teenager.  My first subjects being family members. In the beginning, I used a 110 or a Polaroid. I started using a 35 MM and found the pictures to be of much better quality.

When I became a mother, my favorite subjects were, of course, my children. Friends had seen the photos of my boys and said I had an eye for taking pictures. It was suggested to me to go to school for photography, but it was out of my budget, and I had no clue that I would quality for a grant. One friend in particular, Tom Reed, set me up with a friend of his who was willing to teach me how to use a professional camera. Being a young single mother of two, I was unable to pay for the film and developing, so my endeavor was put on hold.

I continued to take photos and decided that landscape and nature was the direction in which I wanted to head. Living in Illinois at the time, I noticed that that was something the state was lacking! In 2013, I returned to my home state of Colorado as it was a very difficult time for me.

I found myself captivated by the beauty that surrounded me; so many photo opportunities. I would stumble over things in a hurry to find my camera (still a basic model) as the moment was slipping away! I ended up with fantastic pictures to share with my flat lander friends back in Illinois who had never witnessed such beauty.

My friends (Patrick Rose, Camey Fisher, and my ex-husband Karl Barton) were very encouraging. I always thought they were just being nice! I decided to enter “The Creede Mountain Shoot-Out”. I wanted to know the level of my talent, if any at all. I submitted several photos, and much to my surprise, I earned Honorable Mention for my photo of the original barbershop (click the link) in Lasauses Colorado! This is where I finally felt at home and knew it was the perfect place to raise my daughter.

My love for photography grew in the quaint little town forgotten by most. My home faced the Rio Grande River (click the link) on 100 acres where our horses roamed free (click the link). The wild horses could be seen from the porch, and the sunsets were so orange that grass and everything changed like a chameleon with the sun! (click link for the photo) We would wake to the sounds of cows as if they were in our living room because our house was only four feet from the road. It was a good old fashioned cattle drive outside my window on a regular basis (click the link). Herds of wild horses would cut me off as I drove because they were on the way to their favorite watering hole. (clickable link to the photo) I was in the wild WILD WEST, and I had to capture it in all its glory!

The Lasauses community was established in the mid-1860’s as a ford where stagecoaches and other wagons crossed the Rio Grande River (clickable link to the photo). Though small, it contained a store, (clickable link to the photo) dancehall, and a post office from 1895-1920. In 1941, the population was 150, but now is probably less.

My friend owns the dance hall (clickable link to the photo), and the first place I stayed was the old schoolhouse which still had the old merry-go-round in the yard right next to the old store which is now just a shed (clickable link to the photo). Everywhere I went, it was like being in a ghost town. Old structures were losing the battle with time, and yet looked so majestic with the Rocky Mountains draping them in soft comfort. When driving home through the dusty hills, I would always see dinosaurs running in my mind’s eye. I found the end of the rainbow here! (clickable link to the photo) I saw a hand reach out to me from the clouds, as if to say, “Come and see with me!” My desire to capture this wondrous place was ablaze like a dry prairie hit by a lightning bolt!

I captured the most amazing things in this little wild west town! I yearned for a better quality camera to really bring my captures to life.  I decided it was time to invest in a much better camera, and with my son’s help, Karl Barton Jr., I acquired a Canon Rebel T5!

So the journey began

I couldn’t drive anywhere in a normal amount of time because I was constantly pulling over to capture the wonders I encountered in the WILD WEST! I had this incredibly intense desire to share what I had seen with everyone! I started a Facebook page called Carla’s Captures to share with my friends. (clickable link to the page) https://www.facebook.com/Carlas-Captures-754218294724364/

In May 2017, I began to approach people who were selling properties  and had advertised  our local facebook groups.  They had poor photos or photos that were not the actual location. Most of them didn’t even live here nor had they visited. They were counting on google earth and other borrowed photos from the internet to show the property for sale. I believed I could increase sales by bringing their properties to life. I, too, was searching for my little spot on our planet, so I was already doing the leg work that needed to be done. I finally found my property in May of 2017 (clickable link to photo). While searching, I found my new path in life taking photos for others in search of their little spot. I couldn’t be happier to help! I now get to do what truly makes me happy.

Most all properties are difficult to locate due to lack of signs, signs moved by wind now facing the wrong direction, faded print, incorrect name, maps not matching, no cell service, or too difficult to reach. The entire valley is a mess as far as that part goes. This is all too common and takes far more time and travel to locate property than Google Maps indicates.  This is rattlesnake country, so there is also a large risk of encountering one on undeveloped land. Costilla County is 1,230 square miles (3,200 km2). In an area this large, it is extremely difficult to locate and photograph vacant land for sale.  It  would not be time or cost effective for people to come here to get photos. They would spend far too much time searching for their properties.

I know the area and just love getting lost out there while taking photos. I completed a few jobs and quickly came to the conclusion that if I were to continue doing this, I would constantly be repeating the work over and over. I needed a website, but where to start?

In June of 2017, I ran a booth at the Sunshine Festival for my photos. I took great pride in the fact that the staff scientist at the Great Sand Dunes, in Southern Colorado, purchased my photo of the dunes for his office. I had a plan to sell remaining photos at our local shops etc. I now have my photos in three hotels and one store here in the San Luis Valley. I am planning to have them in many more locations.

When this part of my journey slowed down for a minute, I came across Rebecca Lowry of Digital Citizenry.  She took the time to help bring my vision of “Capture the West” together in order to bring property sales and buyers together in one place, as well as sharing my art for sale to the public!

For everyone who dreamed of being a cowboy or cowgirl, of riding wide open spaces, I do my best to CAPTURE THE WEST and share it with you.

Make your dreams your inspiration! I did and my life will never be the same.

Photography tours available in the bus

Low content Wolf pups for sale

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  • Date: Tuesday, 18 July 2017
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