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Backpacking in Escalante National Monument

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.

Winter Visit to Yosemite

Any time of the year Yosemite is so beautiful.  It has always been so even before I could appreciate the photographic opportunities that drove Ansel Adams to exemplify so many photographs as iconic American treasures.  Just like taking photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, it is so difficult to see something that has not been represented a hundred times before.  Yet everyone has an opportunity to express their feelings through their art.  Hopefully my photo from the Merced River shows a different perspective that conveys the cold melting snow flowing almost beneath my feet and the winter atmosphere emphasized by the forboding clouds above the majestic mountains.  

Spain with PhotoPills

A wonderful week in Madrid, Spain to enjoy the culture and rich history followed by a week as a guest of PhotoPills on the Mediteranean island of Minorca. Madrid is truly a world class destination for art, architecture, and history.  And an easy city to walk, relax, observe and become immersed in the activities of the locals.  Now I intimately know the significance of the accomplishments and world changing events of 1492.  This has been considered the most important year in world history.  Not only did the Spanish decide to take over the peninsula from the Moors, taking back Granada and the UNESCO site the Alhambra but also the accomplishments from Christopher Columbus’s voyage to bring back ideas and foods (as the potato) from the New World.  Seeing the historical walled cities and imagining the past centuries is a unique opportunity, especially knowing that people are living much the same way they have for centuries.  Yet the siesta is going by the wayside, prompted by Spains membership into the Euro.  But you may still find it challenging to find an unoccupied table to eat between noon and two or a retail vendor open during these hours.  

Minorca is a beautiful island, with a diverse population that welcomes people from all over the world. From a photographers point of view the island offers beautiful coast side, a multitude of lighthouses, pre-Roman history and wonderful sunrises and sunsets with clear skies and plentiful stars.  A good place for practicing sunrise and Milky Way shots with the PhotoPills app.  

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