Photographer & Adventurer
Who am I?
Who am I? Does anyone really know the answer when asked?
My name is DeArmond Lopez and I am a photographer and adventurer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have spent my entire life in the Land of Enchantment exploring it's many stunning places. I have traveled to other countries and seen beautiful cultures, yet New Mexico maintains it's wonder and has always been my home. This place will forever be my starting point, something that sets the tone for every journey I venture off on.
When I was younger and still in highschool, I would ditch class and go hiking around the Sandia Mountains. Roaming around the hills, among the boulders, is where I could find peace. These granite fields overlooking Albuquerque still contained mystery, even if it was within close proximity to the city. It was within these rugged hills I stumbled upon the deafening screams of cicadas, found lost dogs, and wild camped underneath a light polluted sky. The mountains and high desert of New Mexico revealed to me that true adventure is simply a handful of steps away, available only to those that can handle it's unpredictability.
What has always interested me was the understated beauty of a natural place existing right next to the tiresome effort of people. People struggle endlessly to gain access to what the plants have always had, the freedom to grow and simply exist. Hiking around the foothills of the Sandia's taught me the virtue of keeping one foot in nature and the other foot in civilization. This proximity and separation of forces is a concept I try to invoke in my art and also how I live my life. Keeping a steady balance of civility and the untamed is how I maintain an equilibrium in the things I do.
This website is an extension of bridging that gap and allow others to journey along with me, keeping that sentiment of mystery in mind. It's from that razor's edge that this adventure also takes it's form. This is an effort to find mystery in a seemingly well known world and also to grow like the grass grows, in an effortless way without resistance.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been an artist in one medium or another. When I was brooding teenager, I was very dedicated to abstract pen illustrations. These illustrations were meticulous in detail and took many hours to complete. They would consist of intricate patterns, dreamlike forms swimming in these inky scribbles, and thematically centered around dreams. It's with these illustrations I cultivated my attention to detail and found a fascination with ambiguous subjects. These illustrations are still hanging on the hallway walls of my parents house.
Sooner than later, I became bored with these illustrations and needed another creative outlet. I then took an interest to electronic music. I spent years creating soundscapes and sampled rhythms. Music helped me find something to be proud of, even though I hardly published any of my work. Music was a secret passion that kept me content for some years.
Overtime, this infatuation with music would eventfully wane and become a source of stress. The constant need to keep current on equipment, work on technique so people would like it, and keep progressing endlessly culminated to the point where I had no desire to make any more music. I became burnt out with this artform and had to step away from it. I had lost my joy.
It was within this period of transition where I rediscovered my love for photography. I had been taking photos since highschool, however not seriously in any way. These photos were simply to document my travels at the time so I wouldn't forget them. Lot's of these photos were simple snapshots, however there was enough captivating shots that made me consider photography many times. The only limiting factor was how expensive worthwhile camera equipment was.
I eventually bit the bullet and invested in an actual camera system. After this point, I realized how lifechanging this artform was for me. Photography allowed me to notice small details all around me and how to appreciate the simple things in life. It allowed me to get to know people I would have never met before. It also gave my life some purpose and meaning during a period of flux.
It is this transformative ambiance that I try to capture in my Images. My intention is to capture the feeling of transforming from one reality to another, whether that be in the form of a dreamy landscape or a busy moment in the city. What inspires me is the mystery that accompanies a life in transition. The outcome is always unknown yet we are grasping for something. I use my camera to capture that which we grasp for. My images are a portal into the unknown, surprising even me.
For whatever reason, I have always believed that everyone should have a creative outlet and a physical hobby. The importance of having both is so once we become burnt out on our creative passions, we can allow ourselves to get out of our heads and release that anxiety. Strenuous physical activity let us focus on the task right in front of us in physical reality. When our bodies are sore from hard work, we can then delve deep into our creative outlets once again. Having these two opposite activities helps balance us out as people.
I have always been an avid hiker. My mom say's she used to take me and my sisters to the Sandia foothills on hikes when I was a tiny human. I don't remember these instances because I was so young but they sparked my love for nature early on.
I had told myself that I wanted to hike the Pacific Crest Trail before I turned 25. Big adventures always had a way of calling for me without relenting. I spent lots of time trying to make this adventure work but could never find enough money or time to make it work. Life tends to get in the way, a story as old as time.
I had taken up cycling in my early twenties and really fell in love with it like a kid. In fact, when I was a kid the very first time I got on a bike I could ride it. I didn't need training wheels. Taking up cycling again felt much like that memory.
I had started going on 50-100 mile rides around northern New Mexico, specifically around the San Luis Valley and Valle Vidal. Cycling allowed me to go to places I couldn't take my car and was much cheaper and more fun simultaneously. It didn't take me long before I realized someone could totally just ride around the world if they wanted.
Bikepacking allows me to travel to amazing places, meet amazing people, and take amazing photos of interesting subjects. It does all this all while being the cheapest method of transportation aside from walking. Basically, bikepacking/bike touring is simply the simplest way to travel around the world totally self supported.
My bike will help take me directly into the unknown.
My goal is to cycle around the world and to document this long journey photographically. I am deliberately seeking out rugged adventure and daily discovery. The images I capture are meant to document our world during this liminal time in human history. I am inspired by mystery and hope to inspire others to pursue mystery in their lives.
How to Contact Me?
If you wish to contact me, I check all social accounts linked on this website and also the contact form beneath this.
I am often without internet access so please don't expect instant communication. Once I am back in civilization and at a stable location, I will get back to you when possible.