Salmon Ruin Photography | Active Light Photography | Photo Tours to Hidden Destinations, Anasazi Ruins
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Salmon Ruin sits above the San Juan River between Farmington and Bloomfield, New Mexico. Draw a line between Pueblo Alto in Chaco Canyon and Aztec Ruin further north, and Salmon will be on it.

room block, Salmon Ruin

The Salmon family ranched here during the early 1900s. While the Salmons found the location ideal for ranching, the Anasazi discovered that the San Juan River eroded away parts of the pueblo.

The Salmon family sold the ranch property to San Juan County, who preserved it and eventually hired Cynthia Irwin-Williams to excavate it in the 1970s.

Paul F. Reed edited Chaco’s Northern Prodigies (University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, 2008), a collection of papers on Salmon Ruin’s archeology. The book has a good description of the Ruin’s likely history and anthropological issues of Pueblo construction, residence and abandonment in the San Juan area. It’s much more reader-friendly than many other books written by archaelologists / anthropologists.

I used Canon’s 24mm f/3.5L TS-E lens for most of the pictures, and did exposure, white balance and contrast adjustment in Lightroom 2.4 afterward. Some of the images were shot with Zeiss’ 25mm f/2.8 Biogon T* ZM and Leica’s 35mm f/2 Summicrom-M ASPH. I could also have used a half-ND filter, sometimes called a grad filter.

You don’t need fancy Leica glass to capture quality images of ruins, but a tilt-shift lens keeps parallel lines parallel. I consider a TS-E or PC lens a must for any architectural images.