“It Looks Like A Painting!”

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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

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“Dee-lightful!”

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When you turn off Interstate 15, north of Las Vegas, and drive eastward to Valley of Fire State Park, you will at first wonder what all the fuss was about, the glowing reports you’ve heard of fantastic shapes and colors sprayed across the rocky landscape; as you start, the scenery is unrelentingly boring for mile upon mile. Browns, grays, and duller.

Don’t let that stretch of highway fool you. You’ll finally round a corner, about 25 miles out from the freeway, where your surprise will be sudden and complete. From there , it’s all unlimited discovery.

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We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so. —Theodore Roosevelt

Spring In England

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In late April and early May, it is indeed easy to be green in England. There’s so much to see—curious lambs, bluebells blooming, sparkling rivers, fence stiles, country pubs, deep woods, wonderful fell views, The Lakes, ancient stone buildings, all of it seemingly divided by countless dry stone walls.

The photo gallery below barely touches on the possibilities. These were taken along the Dales Way, a fine 81-mile path from Ilkley to Bowness, on Lake Windermere. For the best information on walking in Great Britian, I recommend The Walking Englishman.

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises. —Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Afraid Of Ladders

I will walk under a ladder, but (unless it’s very short) I won’t climb atop one. Metal, wood, plastic … whatever it’s made from doesn’t matter. It’s the balance/height combination that makes me shy away.

I almost fell from  a tree when I was seven years old, though. Luckily, it was a friendly willow.

These days I usually drive up to look down.

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Death Valley is famous for SCORCHING HOT weather. But at Dante’s View (above) you’ll appreciate a fleece jacket in the mornings—even in late summer. And at an elevation of 5,476 feet, you’ll feel like you are on top of the world.

The photo below was taken from Zabriskie Point. It’s much lower than Dante’s, but still able to separate the foreground/background and give depth to the view.

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I’ve been a big fan always of getting my camera in different places and trying to seek the unusual vantage point. —Joe McNally

 

Complementary Colors

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At the edge of Goldfield, Nevada, the International Car Forest of the Last Church is an eclectic canvas for cars and colors.

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Know what’s weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything’s different.
—Bill Watterson

Spirit Winds

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Four Corners is the only location in the United States where the borders of four states meet. Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico. Native peoples have lived in this area over thousands of years, yet it remains scarcely populated. During my brief visits I’ve felt its remoteness, especially at Hovenweep (above), and the loneliness at Ship Rock. There is beauty in every direction, but it can be hard-earned.

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I love the feeling of the fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair. —Evel Knievel

Butler Wash

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The day after hiking to Monarch Cave, Ulrich and I drove north and west to access a hiking trail into one of the small canyons in the Butler Wash area. The weather, as it had at Monarch, threatened, but held off until we’d returned to the truck.

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Curves attracted my eye on this day; is it debris, or design?

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Recapture Pocket

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The little town of Bluff, Utah, is one of my favorite places in the Southwest—I could devote an entire trip to the area and discover but a fraction of the surrounding landscape. Add in  friendly people, a variety of lodging (or camping), a good coffeehouse…and it’s pretty hard to beat.

Recapture Pocket is a small area about ten miles away from town; half on paved highway, half on a bumpy sometimes-4WD-track. Get directions at the Bluff Fort Visitors Center before you go out.

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