Photographer donates two works to Pagosa Mountain Hospital

Durango fine art photographer Howard Rachlin has come forward to donate his two accepted art pieces from the Four Corners Exhibition to Pagosa Mountain Hospital’s permanent art collection.

Rachlin specializes in images of the American Southwest, and his Web site,, hosts an enormous variety of beautifully haunting images of the Four Corners region.

Rachlin has been taking photographs since he was a kid. “I got my first SLR camera in 1964, a Yashika,” he said. “Everything motivates me to shoot film, and I take some sort of camera with me wherever I go.”

Rachlin’s enthusiasm for what he does is strongly evident, as is his joy of the process. “I give a lot of talks about the art of seeing, which is what any artist needs to create their work.” Rachlin smiles every time he talks about shooting film. “I see photographs everywhere, beautiful and interesting things are always nearby.” His transplanted New York accent emphasizes his strong feeling for photography.

“We lived on Long Island most of our lives and retired from there. Twelve years ago we bought a piece of land in Durango, and eight years ago we built our home here. In my previous sales job I traveled all over the USA, and fell in love with the Southwest. My wife, Christine, wanted to live in Colorado after we retired, and I was interested in Four Corners. We jointly researched this area and thought Durango would be ideal for the both of us with its beautiful sunny weather, small town feel, college town events, and lots of great restaurants. What more could we ask for?”

The two photographs being donated — “Ghostly Spring Aspen” and “Foggy Morning at the Bosque” — are uniquely different in style. The aspen photograph is an abstracted vision of aspen tree trunks. Rachlin used a slower shutter speed and moved the camera vertically as he shot the photograph. The result is a blurred movement of colors which is striking. The foggy morning shot was taken at the well known Bosque de la Apache wildlife refuge near Socorro. Eighty-thousand sandhill cranes and snow geese take up their temporary winter shelter at the Bosque. “Each morning, these 80,000 birds take flight from the still water, all at once, in unison,” said Rachlin. “It is a sight worth seeing, and I never get tired of it.”

More of Rachlin’s work can be found on his Web site, or by e-mailing him directly at Pagosa Mountain Hospital is deeply grateful to Rachlin for his generous gift.

To date, the hospital has twenty-eight pieces of art in its collection, 16 of which were sponsored by generous Pagosans, and 12 by the artists themselves. Anyone interested in sponsorships should contact art committee chair Kathleen Steventon at 731-3029 or

Photo courtesy Kathleen Steventon
Howard Rachlin stands beside a display of his fine art photography in Durango. Rachlin recently donated two of his works to the Pagosa Mountain Hospital collection.