A wonderful visit to Mare Island to reconnect with old friend Tim Baskerville. He founded the Nocturnes many years ago and I exhibited my photos with his group for several years. Tim was one of the first to see night photography as a special art form. When I first saw his images, all on film, I was in awe for their technical and artistic merit. With the advances of high speed ISO digital processors there are now so many more creative options. Though I have found that there is an offsetting factor of fewer fences to climb over and fewer accessable historical sites to stumble upon.
It has been several years since visiting Mare Island and though it still resonates as an abandoned, decaying military site, some of the character is gone - some of the relics have been removed for the publics safety and commercial activity is progressing. Perhaps with this potential revival there will be more concern for those that have served our country and their families. The grave sites at the local cemetry pictured here has not been maintained since the Navy turned the property over to the City of Vallejo.
I was fortunate to receive a photographers pass for the 40th Anniversary Carnaval parade in the Mission District of San Francisco this Memorial Day Weekend. The day was spectacular, the crowds were enthusiastic, and the participants were over the top thrilled to put on this show. The costumes, colors and traditions of this celebration are breathtaking. My photos in “Street” give a glimpse of the scenes, there were over 70 entries not including the vintage cars preceding the parade.
I started this trip many months ago after reading the book “The Art of Photography”. I was impressed and had to let the author know how much I enjoyed his book. This led to me joining him on his annual sojourn hiking through the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument with Bruce Barnbaum, Don Rommes and several other great photographers. It turned into an unforgettable and great experience. Seeing through the eyes of these veteran photographers and sharing their ten years plus experience in this wilderness area is much appreciated. As Bruce mentioned, this is one of the most beautiful places in the world. A bit remote requiring many hours of strenous hiking through slot canyons and river beds but well worth it. Thank you Bruce and Don.
The photographs I took required me to stretch my perspective. Bruce and most of the group are or were hard core film photographers. Bruce and several others brought their full frame cameras with lenses and accessories that probably doubled the weight that was on my back. I appreciate film for its silver gelatin processing and wide tonal range but see digital as a more useful tool for my art form. Yet seeing the attention to detail and rigor required to get a negative is inspiring. It is too easy to take a photo and see what we can do with it in edit. Digital does allow us to experiment, learn by our mistakes and adjust our perspective much more easily. However, slowing down to imagine, to contemplate the place, to view all angles, and all perspectives can be very rewarding if we allow ourselves the time.
Here is a photo of Bruce with is backpack of photo equipment and his tripod.