As a photographer who began with film and will end with digital, the advances in the medium’s technologies (especially computer software) have transformed it in ways I didn’t imagine even ten years ago—is it photography? Illustration? Painting? The lines have blurred; whether you believe this has been an improvement or not will determine your approach to art.
With photography, you’ve captured a moment in time – it’s that moment only – and in painting, you play with it; you manipulate how time is presented. It’s about fantasy and illusion and the creation of desire. — Mickalene Thomas
To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy. —Henri Cartier-Bresson
After our rewarding stopover in Delta, Ulrich and I angled southeast, to Capitol Reef National Park and Cathedral Valley.
We made an early start from Duke’s Campground in Hanksville the next morning, driving west on State Route 24 to Cathedral Valley Road, near Caineville. We weren’t making the entire loop tour, only the fifteen or so miles out to The Temples of the Sun and Moon, but it was slow-going due to frequent World Class Washboarding. I parked near the Temples barely five minutes before direct sunlight began spilling into the valley.
Befitting its name, the valley was q-u-i-e-t, and it was all ours. Shouldering our tripods, we wandered pleasantly until the light lost its edge and shadows began to recede. I cooked bacon and scrambled eggs and potatoes for breakfast then, and was cleaning dishes when the first Jeep tour arrived.
The washboards felt even worse on the return leg, so I took it easy and stopped several times for pictures. Back in Hanksville, we ate lunch at Blondie’s before continuing south on Highway 95.
Meeting a friend at a local café to talk about photography and life has become a Sunday ritual for me. Our preferred shop is smallish; the background music doesn’t intrude too far into quiet conversation, and the drinks are just right. In the spring and summer we take our refreshments outside to a table, but by late November the furniture has been put away and rainy days, like today, have returned.
Puddles were growing on the sidewalk outside as I sipped my coffee. I watched people passing, headed to the several stores surrounding the café. But there was something about these folks, on this morning, strange and yet familiar all at once. With three shopping weeks left before Christmas, almost no one appeared to be hurrying.
Oregon once owned an honest reputation for wet weather, but recent drought years have tarnished that. Like many others, I’ve forgotten the sound of rain beating steadily on a rooftop. Perhaps those passersby, like me, were comforted by the return of its voice to autumn’s relaxing choir.