Images Archives


Ft. Bridger Rendezvous

Ft. Bridger Rendezvous

From a day trip to one of the largest annual mountain man reenactment camps in the west. I am definitely meeting some interesting people out here.

The blog is about to get a long-overdue makeover. Like cleaning out a closet in one room cascades into a total remodel of the basement (which also is underway right now), revamping the blog led to mission-creep of time-sucking proportions. Luckily I have good people on my teams (both basement and blog) to help turn my vision into reality.

My house is over 80 years old, and our contractor now starts our projects with a "discovery phase". There's no final bidding a job in a place like this until the demolition is mostly done. Mission-creep is inevitable when you find knob-and-tube wiring, rotting floorboards, etc. The timing never goes as fast as I want. Eventually the last subcontractor for my project will finish the work he is doing elsewhere and come skim my pebble-textured concrete floor.

Emptying the basement forced us to sort through our stuff. Seventeen years will accumulate a lot of excess baggage. We have less possessions now than last month.

A water-leak crises necessitated the basement project; we decided to turn it into a feature by enlarging the windows to create living space that meets modern building codes. A hacker on one of my other sites forced my hand to fix up my internet home. Seven years of blogging and I find this site also needs a major structural overhaul to support what I want to do next. I'm calling it an opportunity to rearticulate my photographic goals now that the Highway 89 project is done. It's a real investment of time and money that should simplify my life and give me the tools I need. While the virtual paint dries, I'll be driving some back roads, meeting more folks, and making pictures. Wait, that's what I do already. And that won't be changing, so long as I am able.

Small Fry Rodeo - Wayne County Fair, Utah

small fry rodeo mutton bustin

Mutton bustin' at the Wayne County Fair Small Fry Rodeo

I had the great fortune to get in the arena during the Small Fry Rodeo last week in Loa, Utah. I was working on my Entrada Institute project about volunteerism, but those kids were so dang cute, I ended up shooting a bunch of them too. These are my most favorite pictures from the day.

small fry rodeo mutton bustin

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And so it begins

Scottish kilt and warrior gear

Scottish regalia

In a 1978 Paris Match interview, Joan Didionsaid [PDF], "What’s so hard about that first sentence is that you’re stuck with it. Everything else is going to flow out of that sentence. And by the time you’ve laid down the first two sentences, your options are all gone."

And so it begins.


Rte. 66 diner, Winslow, AZ

Winslow, Arizona

Seen on the historic Rte. 66 in Winslow, Arizona. "The" corner, now turned into a tacky tourist shrine, was completely torn up by road work. I roamed around the rest of the historic district, in various states of decay and rebirth, quiet except the rhythm and squeals of freight trains passing through town.


Highway icons #1

starbucks and kokopelli

Verde Valley, Arizona (Nikon D700 with 16-35 VR at 16mm, ISO 400 f8 at 1/500sec

I spy the tiniest bit of flare, not an offensive shape either, from the Nikon 16-35 VR.

It's weird out there. Time to get back on the road.


On the road again


Winslow, Arizona

I'm with the band

upright bass case

Upright bass case

Ahmad Jamal's bassist, James Cammack, travels with his own instrument, its well-worn airline case stashed behind the speakers at last night's Jazz at the Sheraton concert. That concert series is one of Salt Lake's secret treasures, and the Ahmad Jamal concert was one of the best ever.

Ten more from 2009

cowboy feeding cattle from back of a pick-up Sanpete County Utah

Winter feeding in Sanpete County

On New Year's Eve at just before 10 pm, I hit a milestone in the two-plus year goal of establishing a workflow for cataloguing, ranking and labeling my RAW files: all of 2008 and 2009 RAW files were backed-up with triple redundancy and at least minimally keyworded. Not the most romantic way to spend New Year's, but we still had plenty of time to celebrate before midnight.

The rewards of this time sink investment in Lightroom is the ability to find stuff I remember shooting, and to recover good stuff that slipped through the memory leaks. Here are ten images that nearly got away, favorite images that I shot in 2009 that for one reason or another didn't make it into the blog before now.

It was the same cold January day that I saw zebras in the snow that I hopped on the back of the feed truck with Cowboy Dean. I used a different image from this series in the Highway 89 book. I actually prefer this one, but needed a horizontal shot for the layout.

stations of the cross at Cathedral of the Madeleine Salt Lake City

Stations of the Cross

I was lucky enough to make the acquaintance with Willie, one of the sextons at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, and he invited me to photograph a Stations of the Cross prayer service during Lent last winter. I love the shadow of the cross on his chest, and how all the faces break the "rule" by looking out of the picture, and yet somehow the whole image feels balanced. Another in this series was published in the photo essay I did for The Story of the Cathedral of the Madeleine

Marble Canyon Bridge Grand Canyon National Park Colorado River US89A

Marble Canyon Bridge

In April, we rafted the Colorado River from Lee's Ferry to Lake Mead. Within a few miles of the put-in, the rafts pass beneath the 1929 (near) and 1995 spans of the original Highway 89 over the Colorado River. The river guide was exceedingly accommodating of my photography as he piloted us through this stretch of water (actually the whole 280+ miles). Even though this is one of my favorites from the trip, there was no room for it in the Highway 89 book.

river rafting colorado river rapids splash

Rapids between river mile 108 and 116

PhotoJohn arranged for to provide me with a waterproof Canon Powershot D10 for the Grand Canyon trip. I wrote a draft of a review, which is on his desk, delayed by his need to get another sample of the camera and do some more testing--my full-scale field readiness test may have been a little rough. Capturing the power and intensity of a major rapid is tricky; this one came the closest.

Deer Creek Canyon slot canyon the patio Grand Canyon National Park

Deer Creek Canyon

When we rafted the Grand Canyon in 1998, it was my first extended trip into the wilderness, and I didn't know much about photography then. I did, however, complete the most difficult hike I'd ever done, the up-and-over hike from Tapeats Creek to Thunder River and down Deer Creek. This time, I elected to ride the raft to the pick-up point for the hikers and spend the day making photographs around the Deer Creek "patio." To have hours to wander a few hundred yards along this most exquisite slot canyon is one of my most treasured memories of the trip.

State Street Utah State Capitol Salt Lake City at night

State Street (U.S. Highway 89) and the Utah State Capitol

Harley and Diane showed me this location a year before I shot it for the project; in the end, these were the last photographs I made for the book, which has a vertical image from this same series. I find it fascinating that State Street is still the brightest street in the valley, even more prominent than the freeway to the right.

Morgala Days rodeo Morgan Utah bull-rider

Bull-rider at Morgala Days

I arm-twisted Rich Legg into agreeing to help with the Sanpitch Cowboy Expo photo clinic before I realized that he had never been to a rodeo. To correct this serious lapse in life experience, we went out to Morgan, Utah, with Nicole for a small-town rodeo in June. By July, Rich was talking rodeo smack with the volunteer models like he'd been hanging out in horse arenas for all his life. I made this picture at the end of our Morgala Days rodeo adventure, loving the low-light capabilities of the D700.

carnvial ride abstract light streaks

Spin out

In July, the demands of publishing two books simultaneously had sucked the creative photographic life out of me. I took an evening off and went to the Riverton carnival to shoot pretty lights and colors at the blue hour. I got some traditional spinning Ferris wheel shots, but this one represents the energy I needed to muster to get across the finish line.

greek orthodox baptism Lesbos


In September, R and I went to Greece to attend the baptism of Michael and Effie's daughter. We hadn't seen them since 2004 in New Zealand. We missed the wedding in Melbourne. There was no way I was going to miss the baptism of Effie's miracle baby. They returned to Effie's village on the island of Lesvos for the ceremony. Their hired guns were cool with me shooting for my own entertainment, and the video camera lights gave some interesting effects. The ceremony was so unlike the Catholic services I had photographed all spring: no one sat, but everyone milled around, talked and did their own thing, all the while the cantor singing into the microphone and the priest dipping the screaming baby. Effie's sister and brother-in-law are the smiling godparents standing next to the priest. Michael hired an entire restaurant for the post-baptism party. We ate Greek food, drank ouzo, listened to traditional music and danced in the streets until 2 in the morning.

donkey Stipsi Lesbos Greece

Village commute

I already wrote about my obsession with donkeys. This guy was tethered on the main street through Effie's village while it's owner was enjoying a coffee or ouzo in the taverna. Note the owner's jacket and shopping hanging from the saddle.

Escalante River canyon Utah Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Escalante River canyon

Life intervened and we missed our annual trip to Grand Tetons, so we went south instead to drive the Boulder Mountain loop in southern Utah. At some point on that trip, we decided to buy three acres in Torrey, but it happened so fast, the memory is just a blur.

cottonwood red rock country Utah

Lone cottonwood

In 2010 we will be laying the foundations to create a base of operations in Torrey. Photographing in red rock country, and being close to a BLM-managed herd of wild burros, is tantalizingly within reach. I'd be there tomorrow if I could figure out a way to make it so.

In the meantime, I'm going back out on Highway 89 to sell some books, make more pictures, start video interviews and see all my new and old friends. I won't ever be done traveling America's greatest highway.

What I Big Cottonwood Canyon

falling aspen leaves Big Cottonwood Canyon

Big Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City

Falling aspen leaves during my Lifelong Learning field trip on Saturday.


What I saw in Capitol Reef

cottonwood tree bark abstract

Cottonwood tree bark

We made a brief trip to Torrey, Utah, last month, with only time for a very short excursion into Capitol Reef National Park.

Original file made with Nikon D700, 28-70mm at 60mm, ISO 400, f 8.0, 1/180 sec. Color conversion in Lightroom.

What I saw yesterday


Lensbaby Composer on D700, ISO 400, f4, 1/350 sec

I saw a fish diving through the attic sea.


Sunrays on a cloudy day

Mules ears at Albion Basin

Mules ears at Albion Basin

Zoom plus some flash action at last weekend's Photowalk. Camera mounted on a tripod, slow shutter sync and a 1.5 second exposure.



Fireworks, Sugarhouse Park, Salt Lake City

I had not seen the rainbow fireworks before last night (left in the photo). The Sugarhouse fireworks had some other novelties, like fireworks that expanded outward into a star pattern. Great show, and afterwards for about 4 blocks, 1500 E was filled with pedestrians, no traffic control, a dark street, but a happy crowd, just very unlike Salt Lake City.

Three sequential exposures, f14, +6 seconds each. ISO 100 (or the L-1.0 setting on the D700), blended together in Photoshop using the lighten mode.

Winners and losers-Riverton rodeo

Riverton rodeo saddle bronc

Riverton, Utah

Shooting JPG, because I inexplicably lost a CF card between house and arena, so I needed to conserve space.

saddle bronc rodeo

Hang on to your hat, cowboy. Riverton, Utah

I like to keep my white balance at Daylight, unless I have a good reason to change it. My rationale: Velvia was daylight balanced, and we used it to capture all the changing colors of golden hour into sunset. Auto white balance would "correct" all that lovely light into something much colder. No thanks.

saddle bronc bucking stock

Graceful exit, Riverton, Utah

The landing wasn't so pretty as this picture might suggest.


2009: go get'em

sepai cowboy horse border collie dog sagebrush ranching Utah riding

Moving cattle, Mt. Pleasant UT

My ranching friends in Mt. Pleasant moved some cattle around the day I got my brand made; they are planning a celebration for the National Day of the American Cowboy and we wanted some shots of Dean cowboying for a poster idea. More details as they unfold, but it looks like it's going to be worth a drive to be in Sanpete County on July 25, 2009.

Eleven remixed is still 11 (Grain elevator, Fairfield MT)

abstract eleven 11

Remixed in Photoshop with a seriously wonky curve

I had grand intentions for a blog post about this image. Today it seems better to post it in 2008 and find a different image to illustrate the concept for a 2009 post. On my lengthy to do list for next year I added "photograph more grain elevators." I seem to have an affinity for them. If it works, run with it. Or elevate it to art.


First Day of Winter

cafe table chairs in snow

Sunday in the snow

Apropos nothing, except I had the camera with me when we stopped to get R a latte yesterday.

Into the sunset

colorado sunset silhouette forest dramatic sky skies

Colorado sunset

In a break from our regularly schedule all-U.S. Route 89-programming, here's a photo I made in 2004 in Colorado. Someday I will get to travel east and west again, instead of north-south on my favorite highway, which is where I'm Posting may be light, dependent on internet access, photo opps and marital harmony. Especially that last point.


Cowboy'd up

mounted cowboy gear saddle chaps jeans buckles leather close-up

Denim and leather

Another image from Triple Sage Ranch Horse Challenge last week.

At last report, I was in the throes of writing for the Highway 89 project. This week, same song, different verse. I'm still writing, I've just moved onto the next chapter. Not much interesting to see there, folks. Today I'm off to the SLC library. Sound exciting?

If I were looking for a distraction, I'd visit light night rains to marvel at Cory Godbey's sketches. I especially like his meeting notes. The Obama-McKain prizefight artwork is cool too.

Nope, this cowgirl's going to saddle up and ride right down to the library, round up some of those books and sort through them. No branding though, it kind of upsets the librarians when you start burning the books.


Triple Sage Ranch Horse Challenge

ranch horse competition rodeo cattle cow  cowboy

Demonstrating how to turn the cow
along the fence

I was invited Saturday to a ranch horse versatility show in Beaver Utah (which is not on U.S. 89, but not everyone can be so lucky). I have been to rodeos in major league baseball arenas, and photographed some small-town rodeos, which are about as similar to the events at the Triple Sage Ranch as a Ruth's Chris steak dinner resembles a backyard barbecue. Both are going to involve a contribution from a cow, both can be good (especially if R is grilling) but they won't be the same.

Rodeo packaged for television is all about speed at the risk of one's neck. I haven't met a working cowboy yet who wouldn't rather get the job done without serious injury to self or stock. So we won't be seeing television events designed to show whether a horse has "cow sense," or can drag a 100 lb load through sagebrush without freaking out, or willingly steps sideways while a mounted rider opens a pasture gate. No one was taking tickets, but there was an announcer, some cows to move around, and an obstacle course.

This competition was low-key, with more riders than spectators, and maybe more cows that either class of human. The judge was keeping score, but no scores were announced until the end of the day. When a cow got away from one of the youngest riders and his time ran out, everyone applauded when he chased it down anyway. They made the day all about the riders and their families. The little kids played under a tree, or climbed in the lap of a saddled-up parent to get a better look. And there weren't any stadium nachos either, lunch was sloppy joes and hot dogs. I can't think of too many more pleasant ways to spend a Saturday.

I posted more photos of the event. Thanks to the Allreds for a great time, and to Reed of Reed Thomas Quarterhorses for inviting me to tag along.


Barney investigates

white horse freckled nose unusual angle

Barney meets the D2X

Fran introduced me to Barney last week. I introduced Barney to the sound of my camera. He is a beautiful beast, though he doesn't show to advantage from this angle. I can see many more images to make with him as he gets to know me.

Under 154" of snow, more on the way

Albion Basin, Wasatch National Forest, Utah

Summer in Albion Basin, looking westward toward Alta, Utah. Location currently under 154" of snow.

After 14 years in Utah, I still don't ski. I like my snow anyway. It clears the air. It is pretty, until the mailman tromps through it and messes it up. I like untrodden snow.

I grew up in southern California. Once every couple of years, we went to visit the snow. R grew up in Texas, where they had ice storms. An inch of snow can shut down Houston, but black ice is worse.

Our neighbor Millie jokes to this day that R and I spent our first December on our porch, snow shovels in hand, waiting for snow. We were excited, even icicles were a wonder. Finally it snowed and snowed.

After a few weeks, another neighbor, Vernon, could not stand watching the amateurs across the street anymore. An elderly, reserved gentleman, he took my husband aside in a completely uncharacteristic outburst of busybodiness, and gave him a snow shoveling lesson:

  1. Buy a plastic, not metal, shovel.
  2. Leave it to chill on the porch so won't snow won't stick to it. (In Houston it would be gone in an hour.)
  3. Don't walk on the snow before you shovel it. (This one must have pushed Vernon over the edge.)

It was a manly conversation; I think Vernon would have suffered in silence forever rather than speak so to another man's wife, even if we weren't married yet. But we were so ignorant, we didn't know what we didn't know. I learned once that the difference between ignorance and stupid is that the first implies a simple lack of information, which can be corrected. Stupid is irreparable.

I was thinking about Vernon today, ice-cold plastic shovel in hand. His wife passed away some years ago and he moved away. The mailman still messes up the snow, but he does deliver the mail in all weather. And 154" of snow at Albion will likely produce a glorious batch of wildflowers again this year.

Forecast is for snow, more snow, and then some snow. But tomorrow there is a break in the weather and I'm leaving for Arizona: Wickenburg, Phoenix, Florence. No snow there. I'm not stupid.

Attorney at Law

attorney at law neon sign kaleidoscope

Neon sign

R made a kaleidoscope action to use for some of his science images, and he gave it to me. Then I took it a couple steps further in PS, blending layers, masks, etc. I've been inventorying neon around Salt Lake lately, every day during the blue hour. If you have a favorite neon sign that I might have missed, please let me know where to find it.

Neon - MT

neon bar lights Livingston Montana

Neon in Livingston Montana

Here's one from the archives of the February 2007 MT trip. The fun part of making this photo was avoiding the snow slush splashing up from the passing cars. I've been using the short days to add to my collection of neon photos. One a day, from 5:00 - 5:30, while the skies are turning that blue color I favor for my neon. I need to go back to Livingston, just for the neon.


37 days artist trading card

37days artist trading card

My illustration idea for a book of essays

Ego tells me to wait, pretend it never happened, if my picture isn't chosen. It might be too different from the other concepts, they might not like the colors, the font, someone else's idea is too similar.... Ego makes a ton of racket. But I try to listen to a wiser voice, so here it is. I sent in a contribution to Patti's 37days crazy idea, partly because I wanted to honor anyone who puts herself out on the line like that, partly because I wanted to see what I might come up with. I like what I did with the original a lot. And I wouldn't have gone there without the request for collaboration.

This guy would say I'm crazy for giving it away, that the publisher can afford to pay. But can I afford to pass by the opportunity to participate in another artist's journey, because I didn't see an almighty dollar attached? I didn't do it out of fear that someone else would get the job, or out of shameless self-promotion. I did it because I can afford to be generous, with ideas, time, spirit, and that's what Patti's book is all about. Go do a search on her page for the essay, "choose your seatmates wisely" and see what I mean. If I only have 37 days, I'm glad I made one more piece of art, even if a dollar never touches my hand again.

So fast I almost missed it

fender classic car chrome colorful

So fast I almost missed it

Found this in the archives last night. A little stash-diving, to borrow a knitting term. Vindicates, or at least justifies, my reluctance to delete old files. Not sure what I "expected" when I took this image 14 months ago, but at the time it wasn't what I wanted. Today I think it looks pretty cool. I put an origial Lensbaby on the D2X, which lets me configure the aperature of the Lensbaby into the camera so the body metering works.

Continue reading "So fast I almost missed it" »


Aran Islands Bonfire Inis Meain Inish Mann

Bonfire on Inis Meain in celbration of the feast of St. John

I'm going to a bonfire tonight for the high school homecoming in Afton, Wyoming. Last bonfire I went to was in the Aran Islands, just dumb luck that we were there that day. This one is a mission for the Highway 89 project, and if they start on time and the weather holds, I should be able to get some good stuff.

In the meantime, I'm working on B&W conversions for a new project. It's a different way of seeing, and I'm doing some test prints with digital toning. In the past, I've only done toning using Photoshop's Color Balance adjustment layer, which I like much better than its Duotone mode, if only because it's non-destructive and can stay in 16-bit. I'm going to compare the results to Paul Butzi's toning curves, because he's absolutely right about the finer control in the method. I'll have more to say about this after I make a few test prints.

Today I am going to a fire. It was immensely fun to write that sentence.

Image needs a good title



I don't have a title for this one. I found it, when I was tidying up my hard drive, in a very aptly named folder: "to do". I've been doing all week, in between drugging myself with a cocktail of cold remedies that have kept me upright and somewhat functional.

I got feedback on my chapter this week, unanimous in advice to change my "voice." The direction is so different, and yet so familiar, that I set aside the first chapter entirely and wrote a whole new one. Yesterday. It's shorter (a good thing) and I like it better. That I wrote it in 6 hours instead of 6 weeks tells me it's more authentic, closer to my story about "my" highway. I like it, and I'm grateful for the push. I'll be sending it back out soon.

As part of the feedback process, I also put together the entire collection of images, south to north. Surprisingly, even I hadn't seen it all as one piece until Wednesday. The gaping holes are now obvious to me, which is another good thing. And some things I thought were mission-critical don't seem so important; the rest is doable. I still have a few thousand miles to go.

Any guesses as to where this image was shot? Or suggestions on what to call it?


Bighorn Sheep Portrait

Bighorn Big horn Sheep Portrait

Bighorn Sheep Portrait

Nikon D2x
70-200 f/2.8 VR
1/250 s at f/3.5
ISO Speed Ratings 400
focal length 116mm

Porthole into someone's world

Portholes soccer fan black and white B&W

Porthole tableau

I made this image last year on a rainy, no-pretty-picture day in Galway, Ireland. The juxtaposition of the portholes and the soccer symbolism, the perfectly placed circle within a circle, the repetition of the geometry are what caught my eye. It doesn't really fit into any theme or project I've got going, I just like the picture.

I haven't figured out how to integrate my photography archives into my Getting Things Done system. A lot of images are in the "someday" category, as in "I like that, I might have a need for it someday." They are organized into a reference system in 100% GTD approved methodology, but I haven't worked out the triggers to remember, "I might like that in B&W" or "that would be interesting sometime to blog about...". Actually, I try to upload images I might want to blog about when I have the thought (the 2 minute take action rule). I just might make a "someday" image file and toss small jpgs in it, review it occasionally as part of my weekly review. Or solicit some input on the GTD forums.

Another thing I like about the picture is it seems like an apt metaphor for blogging: a porthole or two into someone's life. Right in the center we see the one thing this person is publicly passionate about, and just glimpses of the rest of his life through the curtains. It's up to the person inside to decide how much to reveal. Except the metaphor falls apart, because portholes are mostly for looking out at sea, where there is no audience. I still like the picture.

P.S. On my way to Flagstaff for another round of work on the book. First of three picture-foraging trips this month. Will try to post from the road.

News from home - Muriwai Beach, New Zealand

Muriwai gannet new Zealand

Gannets at Muriwai Beach, North Island, New Zealand

I don't know why I haven't looked at Kiwi news recently. It is always heartening to see a country up in arms about how their citizenry should expect to be treated with more decency than evidenced in the most recent national tragedy.

Continue reading "News from home - Muriwai Beach, New Zealand" »

Tetons pano (WIP)

Grand Tetons panorama black white B&W

Clearing storm over the Grand Tetons

A WIP, for you non-knitting blog readers, is a work-in-progress. I like to finish things at least once a week. In fact, I try to schedule myself a "finishing day" which is different from a shooting day, a day given over wholly to the mysteries of Photoshop, or a writing and research day.

On finishing day, prints get put into envelopes. Stamps onto those envelopes, which are then carried to the post office. Emails are sent, documents filed, image files archived onto DVDs. With the last three trips on on top of each other, there hasn't been much finishing going on around here.

So far, there has been a lot of foraging, a sometimes necessary precursor to finishing. On our Yellowstone trip, we made lists of things to do and acquire in anticipation of living out of our 4runner for a month in bear country. I've been knocking back some of those items, essentials like windproof fleece, extra-long spoons to eat the recipes I plan to make from the ingenious Freezer Bag Cooking method. Check out the website too. New fishing poles, a hitch mounted rack for the back of the 4runner, the right sized trash bags are all acquired and checked off the appropriate GTD list. But that's not finishing, just foraging.

I have a mound of things ready to go to the post office tomorrow, just got an email with the last addresses I need. 98% isn't finished - I operate on a binary system of done or not.

It's harder with a new print, this one in particular. The panorama is 6643 pixels wide, four stitched images, and since I am the queen of Photoshop, they are seamlessly hand-masked together. I shot the images in September 2005, and I didn't start assembling the pano until months later. Kind of forgot about it. Moved it so far, then dropped it again, found it again a few days ago when I was organizing the book assets yet again. I'll admit the pano proved a welcome distraction from the organizing task for a little while.

Done is when I have a sample print filed in the drawer, and it's not there yet. Tomorrow is another finishing day - who knows, this one might get done too.

Abstraction from the Hall of Flame - Phoenix, AZ

firetruck wheel abstract red gold

Wheel from a restored fire truck, the Hall of Flame Museum, Phoenix

A foreigner stays a foreigner a long time, whether its a friendly foreigner or whatever. You drag the luggage of otherness with you for a long time.

--from the director's commentary on the DVD of The Man Who Fell to Earth

Now back from a shake-down cruise to Yellowstone. With three trips scheduled for July and August, including a month in Montana, we needed a practice run. Used the GTD process to collect all the data on what needs to be bought, fabricated, invented, organized, simplified. We are plowing through a stack of 3x5 cards this weekend, starting with a major foraging expedition for carabiners, fishing gear, more camo pants and similar things I don't want to live without. Like they don't have stores in Montana.

In the meantime, I spent two full days reorganizing my digital assets for the book project. It's about time to get drive my stake into the ground, claim my territory, declare my ownership of my topic. But not today. A little more footwork is in order, but very soon.

I have always liked this fire truck wheel image, the best in a series I made last year. Even so, it probably won't make it into the final cut for the book. The Hall of Flame in Phoenix is a great, focused museum - I highly recommend it.

Great Salt Lake

aerial great salt lake antelope island sunset utah

Great Salt Lake looking west near Antelope Island

Happy Easter Mom, and you don't need to read any further.

Clark took me up in his Archer on Wednesday to see if I could get a story-telling shot I could not make from the ground, about the encroachment of suburbs on farmland north of Ogden. The light opened up just long enough, and Clark was very patient.

The ducks and waders are back, could even see some from the air near the Bountiful airport. Soon (May 17-22) we'll have the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival. Sometimes people in Utah have the strangest opinion about the Great Salt Lake, along the lines of "there's nothing out there." Even though I know it is actually teeming with life down there, I find the visual starkness of it beautiful.

Spinning neon - Perry Utah


The spinning neon sign at the Maddox Ranch House, Perry Utah

I'm surprised at how many people in Utah don't know about the Maddox Ranch House because we were sent to eat there within a few weeks of our arrival in 1993. It's a bit of a drive for a meal, but not a photograph.

Three or four exposures in the multiple exposure mode, letting the d2X calculate each of exposures and controlling the overall effect by using the exposure compensation settings in aperature priority. Oddly, the EXIF data doesn't seem to record the number of shutter openings on the ME setting. I also tried 9, 7 and 5 exposures, but this one retains a sense of legibility to the letters that I like. I've got some more fodder for a possible remix, and a story for the book project that will have to wait. It'll be worth it, trust me.


red white blue tricolor Peugeot multiple exposure France car showroom

The tricolor is the French name for their national flag

Shot on the Peugeot showroom floor on the Champs Elysee in Paris in 2003. On film. Uploading it now to - more progress on the Getting Things Done next actions list.

People either love or hate this one. How about you?

Explosions, fires, sparks


A favorite explosion

Hello explosion seekers from Google, Yahoo and beyond,

The word "explosion" ranks among the most popular search terms for traffic to my site. I'm not really sure why so many people are interested in explosions. Since these images aren't representative of my main work, I wondered if I should take them down, but I decided instead to move them here. If you like fires, you might also like the What Lights Nate original and remix.

Look around, and then would you do me a favor and click on the Technorati faves? Make a link to my site. Or leave a comment and explain the mystery - why are so many of you looking for explosion pictures?

Thanks. AT

Updated 2007.03.20 - if you reached this page from an Omerta user's page, please leave a comment or send me an email with that person's username. Thanks.

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What's that - is it a monster?


My monster from Japan

I brought this fellow home from Japan in either 1997 or 1998. I kept him in my office at the UofU and brought him home last year. He sits peaceably next to the pink elephant and the Virgin on my Artist Way shelf. I bought it as souvenir of all the great monsters of Japan, mythologic and cinemagraphic; only when I got home did I realize that the tag (which he still sports) said "made in China." I think the tag looks like a cape in this photo.

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Talking, and about pink elephants

Pink elephant toy

I long known of the "pink elephant in the living room that no one talks about" as metaphor for denial, so imagine my surprise when I brought home this little guy. Sharon took me on a shopping trip to acquire the Feng Shui'ing necessities for the Year of the Pig (I bought lots of green bamboo). The table of plastic elephants kept calling my name, and this one was the best, even if pink. Sharon says elephants are symbols of good luck in the Feng Shui paradigm. So the pink elephant sits on my Artist Way shelf, alongside my glow-in-the-dark Virgin Mary from Lourdes.

The real problem with this Getting Things Done system is eventually you finish organizing and then you have to actually do some things. Especially the things you've been procrastinating on, because they are new, uncomfortable, risky. And those items are staring you in the face on the "Next Actions" list. Day after day. Ok, only for 5 days since I got set up, but I have a low tolerance for that kind of structured pain.

I heard a great line today: "if at first you don't succeed, ask for help." I've been making cold calls for the project, 3 in the last 2 days, asking people I don't know to set up specific images I want to put in the book. Lucky pink elephant must be working, because everyone has been so kind and helpful. I'm thinking that the magic/metaphor isn't the elephant itself, but whether I talk about what's important, and ask for help when needed.

The best thing about my elephant isn't the color - it's the circus ball. Because this is fun - there's nothing I like better than talking about my project, telling all the stories I'm collecting, inviting people to the party, making the pictures. And if it takes a lucky pink elephant to get the job done, I'll be the first one to laugh at the mixed metaphor.

Car Show Preview

chevy body corvette

Bill Barnes in Ogden invited me to come shoot his newest baby at the first car show of the season. I met Bill at Bonneville last year, and we hooked up again at Peach Days last fall, so when he called, I knew it would be worth my while to go out in the snow and take a look while they were setting up the show.

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A tilt of the axis - Galway, Ireland

Galway central business tourist district color abstract

Galway central district, multiple exposure

"Cheerios have holes." That's what Deann said today. It's an immutable fact. Another fact is that I smashed my seven month old Motorola Razr V3 in Marlene's car door, and that wasn't too good for it. I'll be getting a new phone tomorrow. It actually still works, if I were a true aficionado of duct tape, I probably could keep it going. But I can do better by myself these days. Luckily, I got it to work long enough to forward my calls to another number. Dang, I loved that pink color.

Continue reading "A tilt of the axis - Galway, Ireland" »

Restocking the well - wildflower abstract

colorado wildflower abstract blue yellow motion

Wildflower abstraction - 2004

One thing I've learned: I need to remember to "restock the well" that feeds my creative process, hopefully before I completely deplete my resources and exhaust myself. Usually, this requires only a small amount of time devoted to off-topic, aimless diversion, free-association, and fool speculation.

Julia Cameron's work recommends "artist's dates" at least once a week, a goal I have a hard time meeting. But I did some profitable blog browsing yesterday, which resulted in finding out about the OUT/EX film series. The films were all based on found footage repurposed by the directors to tell their own stories. Each piece dredged up a new stream of memories and associations.

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Meta-blogging - Big Blue, Salt Lake City, Utah

Big Blue Wells Fargo building in Salt Lake City

"Big Blue," the Wells Fargo building in Salt Lake City

Yesterday, I had a long conversation with Trish about finding one's authentic voice in corporate blogging. We've both been reading Don Loper, and marveling at his openness in some recent posts.

Trish and I covered the waterfront on issues of grammar, style, acceptability of ranging off-topic from the blog purpose, etc. I got on my soapbox a bit, going on about how blogging requires a greater level of candor and informality than traditional corporate PR media. The blogging audience has come to expect authenticity, and when they read corporate-speak, they distrust, and then they become disinterested. Trish had an interesting take from the 45 minutes of time I took up that she could ill afford to spend on philosophy.

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I think I'm turning Geekinese

the perfect latte

Perfection in the art of latte

Picture this: R and I sitting on the sofa, downloading all of the new Mac ads. Since we don't look at tv, how else are we going to see them? (Geek point: +1, total of 1) We would have looked at the superbowl, but we don't have cable and the rabbit ears couldn't pull in the channel. (GP: -1, net 0).

Mitchell and Webb, the Apple ad presenters in the UK

Now picture this: This afternoon, after working at VisualShare for a good part of the day making training movies (GP: +.5, net .5), I sat down to listen to the Geoff Show on ITunes while knitting on my sweater (GP: +1, net 1.5) and reading some feeds on NetNewsWire (GP: +1, net 2.5). The prize for the Dead of the Night contest was a CD by Mitchell and Webb, the presenters in the Apple ads. Huh?

Different ads on the Apple UK site. Different scripts for the same concepts, and one UK-specific concept. More downloading, more frittering, more geek points ensue ( GP: +1, net 3.5).

The one thing that might save me from total geekdom is that I don't drink coffee. Not as a moral issue, or part of a healthy lifestyle. I just don't like it - ain't it sad. (GP: -2, net 1.5). I've tried; my days could be a lot easier sometimes with a serious shot of caffeine. Despite this character flaw, Alan, the Coffee Garden proprietor, let me come down Saturday morning to try out a remix concept.


Derrick and Michelle, coffee collaborators in the pursuit of a noble art form

Saturday morning before 8:30, when relative calm prevails in the Coffee Garden oasis, and the barristas (that link earns a partial GP: +.5, net 3.0) have time to make the most beautiful lattes in the world. R has drunk them on four continents, and scales their flavor to the CG standard. Nothing compares. Or so he tells me. I bought them, made my shots of the beautiful foam, and gave them to the spectators. I was happy, they were happy.


Latte in a box

Lofi latte set (a cardboard box lined with aluminum foil). Behind and to the right of the box, you can just see the conclusive evidence that I just might qualify as a geek - the diet cola habit. (GP: +1, net 4.0). Alan never says a word about my everpresent pop when he's making R's skinny grande latte. Alan is definitely not a geek.

Working on the timing - Snow-kiting in Fairview UT

snow-kiter Fairview Utah snow-kite mountain winter sports

Photographing a sport I know nothing about means committing to some effort and practice time to learning the intricacies of its timing. I went out Saturday, a beautiful blue-sky afternoon on the slope, wandered about, and made a bunch of pictures.

The wind blew snow crystals grating across the surface. This sounds like sandpaper. The snowpack was icy; some of the kiters hit really hard. Yet, despite going every direction of the compass, these folks are under control - no one got anywhere near colliding with me, and I was out in the middle of it, almost certainly in the way.

I know what I want for the project now. Hopefully, third time will be the charm. Chris says he's going to go take a lesson soon, maybe we'll go up together.

P.S., if you were out there on Saturday, and I made your photo, send me an email or leave a comment on the blog, won't you? See you next time.

Where does the time go?

umbrella and palm trees pink aqua teal green relaxing alt process remix

Perfect for frittering the day away

What I'm reading:

What I'm knitting:

  • Durrow in a spring green
  • Blanket Coat from Sally Melville's The Knitting Experience: Color in Knit Picks' Wool of the Andes hand-dye bulky yarn, Redwood Forest
  • Socks for me, a turquoise, brown, orange variegated Opal with some Knit Picks turquoise solid for toes, heel, cuffs (almost done)
  • Socks for R, Knit Picks Essential Sock Yarn in cocoa (ripped back and in a pile of string)

What I'm working on when not frittering time away on above:

  • revising the book proposal
  • training materials for VisualShare
  • Printing and matting a full set of the Remix Series so I can carry it around town
  • Filing taxes for me and the company
  • Sending out queries and promo materials
  • Scheming and scheduling the spring and summer shooting I want to do for all my projects

I don't think Nile Tiles counts as working. The Geoff Show counts so long as I listen while I work. But I'm the only one counting, and it's my opinion that counts.

Neon sign needs TLC - Ogden, UT

North Start movie marquee neon Ogden Utah

Look at the potential in that faded beauty

All that's left of the North Star Twin theater in Ogden, Utah is the marquee, and that doesn't look like it'll last much longer. The new houses on the lot are already roofed, sheathed, and the curbs for the new street look very new. In fact, I couldn't quite figure why the sign is still there at all. Peeling paint, dangling neon tubes, broken bulbs. A minor tragedy in the scheme of things, but it makes me sad nonetheless.

I want it. I want to rescue it, and all the others. I love neon. I want to ranch neon. Neon is compatible with my other dream - keeping donkeys. A small herd, to carry my gear. Because donkeys are social creatures, I wouldn't dream of having just one. Same with neon - it needs like companions. The donkeys can graze under the neon. The neon can be restored to its former glory - just look at what they did in Albuqurque.

In the 21st century, audacious plans begin with "can I get the URL?" And the answer is YES, I now own and


Party Beverages at Park City

Vodka drinks blue and red, beautiful manicures

Vodka party beverages

I got up to Chester's Blacksmith Shop in Park City on Friday, photographing an art show opening again this year. See the on-line gallery.

This year, I arrived early enough to poke around the Sundance scene on Main Street before the party started. I counted three tv satellite trucks in two blocks, and the night was young. Not clear to me why ESPN and MySpace have a presence on Main Street.

At Chester's, I met five of the artists in the of the Hang'm High exhibit, all doing some pretty cool stuff. I met more interesting people, like David Choe, who did the recent cover of Juxtapoz, and animated filmmaker M dot Strange, who was killing time before the Sundance (world) premier of his animated movie, "We are the Strange" at midnight that night.

I would be a useless paparazzi, in that I don't recognize celebrities. If I ever looked at tv, I might not have been surprised that:

  1. People are wearing fur again
  2. poor-boy caps are back (for women at least), and
  3. vodka comes in red, orange, green, blue and purple.
And it was quite a party.


Do I really have to stop?

infrared scene stop sign multicolor

Same infrared image, 6 color maps.

I spent the better part of this week on digital house-keeping, and found this stop sign picture. I took it on a walk when I first got my IR filter last summer and I remember thinking how cool it was that the paint seemed to disappear. Yesterday, I started goofing around with different color maps, when I "should" have been doing something more productive. Pretty soon, this is what happened. I'm not sure where I'll go with it next, but I'm glad I didn't stop when my "better" judgment told me to get back to work.

Clearing Storm - Grand Canyon National Park

Clearing Storm - Mohave Point, Grand Canyon National Park

Mohave Point, Grand Canyon National Park

The big snow storm before Christmas spread from SLC all the way to middle Arizona, so we accelerated our departure by 24 hours. Two punctured tires, a stop at Cabela's for hand-warmers, a motel door in Cameron AZ that couldn't be opened except by brute force, and we made it to the Grand Canyon for sunrise.

I hadn't been to the south rim since I was 13 years old - this was not the kind of properly scouted photo-op I like for my best work. R and I drove along the rim that morning, checking out all the overlooks, and I was disappointed to see a little haze already building up in the canyon. A ranger told us that the canyon itself sometimes had a inversion pattern, and what we were seeing wasn't pollution, just fog.

I watched some clouds floating up out of the canyon as we left the visitor center at Mather Point. Riding shotgun, I called for a stop at Mohave Point, where rising warm air lifted fleeting clouds from below the rim. The updraft also brought flocks of ravens. R stopped counting individuals after 202. We've never before seen ravens by the dozen--as many as 50 would stream by in the air currents. We watched them land just below the rim, picking for something (fallen pinons?) on the margins of shady, snow-covered ledges. The next day, the clouds were gone, the canyon got pretty hazy and the ravens cruised along in ones and twos again.

We were lucky, and guessed right on the weather. I would will drive through another snowstorm to see the ravens and the mist rising to meet the canyon's rim.

Haystacks in Jackson Hole Wyoming

Traditional haystack in Jackson Hole Wyoming

Traditional haystack in Jackson Hole Wyoming

I've been meaning to show you this one for a while. I made it last fall on the last day of our annual sea kayaking trip to Grand Tetons. I'll remember for a long time how amazing it was to watch the fog burn off as the sun climbed over the ridge.

Continue reading "Haystacks in Jackson Hole Wyoming" »

Merry Christmas 2006

Salt Lake City Temple Square Christmas lights Salt Lake City, Utah

Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah

Live Nativity - Fairview, Utah

live nativity LDS Utah

Admiring the baby during a rest break

The LDS stake (several small congregations) in our neighborhood hosts a live nativity evey year. For one night. Not 6 days a week for a month. The folks in Fairview have committed themselves to an endearingly audacious plan, and I went out to see it last week.

live nativity LDS Utah three kings wise men

The three kings traveled down Main Street to reach the manger

First, we waited for someone to bring the outfits back from being home laundered. The baby was bundled up, her mom dressed up as Mary, the staffs issued to the shepherds, gifts to the wisemen. No camels, but someone got a fire going. The cast came tumbling out of the restaurant.

live nativity LDS Utah Mary baby

Smiles of an angel

It was below freezing, but not as cold as the week before. I was the audience for the first half hour. Joseph read the Christmas story and everyone acted out their parts. Then they sang all the carols, all the verses. The Victorian-costumed carolers came out of the restaurant for a while to sing with the shepherds. One of the wisemen had an angelic voice. A few people stopped, made a u-turn on the highway. Got their cell phone camera shots, heard a carol chorus, and went inside for a hot chocolate. The baby smiled and didn't fuss at all. The sweetest part of all was that they sang just for themselves. All the carols, all the verses.


Away in the manger, in the cold and dark of the night.

Mixing up the remixes

truck infrared pick-up Bonneville Speedway

Vintage Paint Remix, version 2

In adding a few more images to my permanent galleries, I decided to revisit this one. I really liked the brighter colors when I chose them at great length last month (version 1). Today, I find that the mood of the desaturated tones better matches my intentions for this image.

truck infrared pick-up Bonneville Speedway

Vintage Paint Remix, version 1

I could go either way, maybe do an Andy Warhol and make a half dozen variations. I may know what I want it to look like, but thinking up the title is a different kettle of fish. It's easy to be too clever by half. Obvious locations help, but not for this one (which I happened to shoot out at Bonneville Speedway). I thought about V173212, briefly, and discarded even more silly ones that I've already forgotten. "Untitled #xx" feels pretentious, so I pick something simple and hope I remember it. Wouldn't want to be mixing up the remixes, now would I?

Indicators and Signals - a rusty car metaphor

rusty car or truck turn signal indicator

Signal indicator on an old Ford truck

I am not sure about how to think about this. According to my Google stats, two phrase tie for most referrals to my website: "explosions" and "live nativity".

I have some good news about the website - I just added a shopping cart and some products to buy! I'm starting my adventure in e-commerce with 11 different 5x7 notecards. I'll probably mix in a few sets. If there are any other images you, dear reader, would want in a notecard format, let me know. I'm working out the arrangements to offer matted prints as well.

I'm off tomorrow for Tucson on a photo expedition. I'm planning to go to San Xavier del Bac, Tumacacori, the botanical garden, and scout all the way down to Nogales.

One more thing: I've joked [sort of] that I might put the camera away if I could learn to work with glass. There isn't a hot shop in SLC, but there is one in Tucson, and they offer a chance to blow a Christmas ornament. I'm signed up for Saturday. I asked if I could bring the camera - not planning to give it up just yet.

All the (water)colors of Zion National Park

Zion tree and redrock watercolor effect photography

In the canyon of Zion's Weeping Rock

I captured the underlying picture in this image in May 2005. It took me eighteen months to decide how to interpret it. My Mom pointed out the scene and asked me to shoot it. I probably would still be mulling this shot over if I weren't driving south this coming week and stopping at her house on my way to Tucson. If I'm lucky, she'll want to come along.

Continue reading "All the (water)colors of Zion National Park" »

fun wedding ring shot

wedding rings

John and Meredith's wedding rings

John and Meredith invested into their wedding ceremony all the beauty, grace and humor that they exude as a couple. It was my good fortune and great priviliege to be asked to photograph their wedding. As part of their celebration, they and their friends folded 1,000 Japanese paper cranes. Hung in groups of 25, the cranes fluttered in the breeze of friends' yard where the ceremony toook place. If they could have, those cranes would have taken flight with joy from the outpouring of love we witnessed that day. John and Meredith, Good luck to you both!

Full moon over Park Avenue, Arches National Park

Arches National Park Park Avenue night star photography

Park Avenue under the light of a full moon

I think of this picture as a moment of celestial lagniappe. I had already had a great sunset/moonrise at the Windows, and then a crazy drive to Balanced Rock for a few shots in the pink glow. But when I saw the color on the walls of the Park Avenue, I had to stop, and the non-photographers in the car were not just willing, but excited, to take a moonlit walk. It doesn't get any better than that.

This shot has been whispering to me since I shot it back in April, but I didn't have the tools to finish it until last week. I tried out Noise Ninja, a new (to me) noise reduction filter, on this image. It worked completely as advertised. Now I'm running through my mental inventory of images, like a carpenter with a hammer looking for nails to pound. Only this will be a lot more fun.

Good-bye summer - Albion Basin Utah

wildflowers in albion basin wasatch mountains

Wildflowers at Albion Basin

We haven't had a frost yet in SLC and the garden is still lush with marigolds, sunflowers, even roses. But the leaves are starting to fall and the garden reprieve won't last forever. At 9,500 feet, Albion has had some serious snow by now and the short summer is just a memory. Flying over the Wasatch range this morning, I remember how short the glory of autumn in the west can be: the aspencade has muted since last week, and the sagebrush slopes have taken on a soft winter dun.

Continue reading "Good-bye summer - Albion Basin Utah" »

Cottonwoods in the fog - Jackson, Wyoming

cottonwood in fog south of Jackson Hole with Teton range in background

Fog rising from the Snake River south of Jackson, Wyoming

Snow forecast for Utah tonight, time to get out of town again. We had snow in Jackson a couple weeks ago too. On our way out of that town, I made this picture.

Next on the flight deck: Argentina. R has a science meeting in San Carlos de Bariloche, and we are enrolling in Spanish language school for a few days prior to the meeting. I learned French in school, not Spanish, a curious and regretable decision I made in seventh grade, considering that I am a westerner and there is a lot more call for speaking Spanish. So to get ready for this trip, we've been studying. R turns on Azteca America on tv while he works out and reads Argentine Google news, while for the last 18 months I've been listening to La Gran D on the car radio.

Continue reading "Cottonwoods in the fog - Jackson, Wyoming" »

How to roast a pig - Antelope Island, Utah

pig on a spit

Victory is near at hand for the pig roasters at Antelope Island

  1. Have a dream and two birthdays Millie has wanted to roast a pig for at least as long as we've lived next door to her. Millie and Joel both know how to celebrate the achievement of a new decade. Millie, Joel and Marilyn organized Millies' dream into an actual plan (with shopping lists, recon trips and invitations) when they were celebrating something else a couple months ago.

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Sheep driving on Highway 89 - Sanpete County, Utah

sheep drive along highway with vehicles

Sheep moving to winter pasture in Sanpete County

The phone rang at 7:00 am this morning - it was Tina in Sanpete County calling to tell me that her husband Wade would be moving sheep would on the highway in a couple of hours. Get directions, grab the gear, gas and go. That's 90 minutes to make 100 miles

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New friends in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Andrew Tynes saxaphonist blue suit Halifax Nova Scotia

Andrew Tynes entertaining the passers-by in Halifax

R gave a lecture on Saturday at a science meeting and I tagged along to reconnoiter Halifax. I didn't get out of the downtown area before I had made a lot of new friends.

It's a small town, such that after wandering about for an hour, I started recognizing the skyline, coffee shops and street buskers. Saturday's weather was fantastic, even so, this town does not wake up early. I followed a trail of people to the farmer's market, looking for breakfast. Latte shops are everywhere, too bad I never learned to drink the stuff. Eggs, toast, juice proved elusive, although around noon I found a place a block from the hotel (naturally).

I first saw Anthony at the farmer's market, He's a native Nova Scotian, pipe-fitter and self-taught saxman. We had a chance to talk later, when he had moved to the corner near our hotel, across the street from the public gardens. I was curious why everyone was honking horns, and Anthony explained that the public gardens was THE place to make wedding photos.

bride and bridesmaids at public gardens in Halifax Nova Scotia

Two of twelve bridesmaids photographing Crystal and her father-in-law

I love bride-spotting when I am on a trip. I nabbed seven happy couples in an hour. Crystal and Ian's friends were waiting for the photo session with Paul Adams to end.

Continue reading "New friends in Halifax, Nova Scotia" »

Top of the Crop Horse sale - Salina Utah

Top of the Crop foals horse sale in Salina Utah branding irons detail

Branding irons dipped in paint to number the horses before the sale

I posted briefly on the Top of the Crop sale in Salina Utah. When Maggie and I arrived, some of the mares were being shown off on the grass next to the highway. Since Mapquest failed to locate the Livestock Producers Arena, we were happy for a clue that we were in the right place. Before the sale, we walked around with the buyers looking at the stock. I tried to talk to a few people, but everyone was consistently keeping their own counsel. Surely they could not have dreamed that I was going to bid against them!

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Mt. Leidy - East of Grand Teton National Park

Mt. Leidy - East of Grand Tetons National Park

Clouds billowing over Mt. Leidy, east of Grand Teton National Park

Sunrise on our second day in Grand Teton NP - cold, some light clouds on the Teton range, not much color. Then heading back to the lodge for breakfast, I saw this scene. The clouds dissipated as fast as they tumbled around the peak, changing by the second.

Continue reading "Mt. Leidy - East of Grand Teton National Park" »

Brigham City UT Peach Festival

Brigham City UT Peach Festival amusement rides

Amusement rides at the Peach Festival

Brigham City's Peach Days organizers hold it is the second oldest ongoing harvest festival in the nation. The parade began with every fire truck (or so it seemed) in Box Elder County, each one blaring its siren, lots of kids riding on top. I hope they had ear plugs. The usual suspects, politicans tossing candy to the crowds, marching scouts, waving beauty queens, went by in turn. I wonder if it is normal in other places for people to walk the parade route handing out plastic bags to the kids so they can collect their candy. More candy than Halloween, and some of the vendors tossed t-shirts and ballcaps.

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Stephanie Pearl-McPhee AKA "The Yarn Harlot"


Stephanie Pearl-McPhee AKA "The Yarn Harlot"

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee [left] entertained hundreds of knitters tonight at the Salt Lake Art Center. We'll let her blog about it. Thanks to Black Sheep Wool Co. and SLAC for hosting her talk. PS Go see the fiber exhibit at SLAC before it's too late. More photos below:

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Not in Utah when you're at Bonneville

Bonneville Speedway streetrod on the salt flats

In line for another go at Speedweek

This is the tow car for the Dripps & Gibby Racing team, and behind you can see car number 1986, in the E/STR class. Their best time at Speedweek was 163.035 mph [Quarter: 161.588 |Mile 1: 147.625 | Mile 2: 163.935]. Driver Robin Dripps owns the record for the east coast in that class, and was attempting to set the Bonneville record. One of the team members, Lucia, told me that last year they had used a recent model Ford as their tow car. A supporter decided they needed more style in the operation and loaned them the classic Pontiac.

The IR stuff is really fun, because there's no wrong answer. I can imbue it with as much drama as I like. This one uses a much simpler technique than one in the previous post, with as good effect.

Bonneville in a different light

bonneville speedway infrared car on salt flat

Colorized IR at Bonneville Speedway

Thanks to Bryan, another fine outing to Bonneville Speedway for Speedweek. We got going a lot (4:30 am) earlier than last year, but we didn't quite make it to the salt flats before sunrise. The light was good for a while even so, and the cars were parked in line overnight, so we got some fun shots of the place waking up.

I was curious to see how the IR would look on the salt flats, so I took my D70 and filter, and did some experiments. I'm also working out color palettes for the final images, since there isn't a right answer. Spent most of the day trying to match one picture I colorized using a highly improvised technique to something that is repeatable, save-able as a Photoshop action (actionable? er, no.) So I ask my nerdier audience members, if I have an image that has been colorized, can you extract a gradient map out of the image to apply to others? Because I like this palette, and I got close making a gradient map, but not the same. I want the map. If not that, another trip to Speedweek next year would be nice. Thanks, B.

And Albion too

Days of 47 parade float in Salt Lake City Utah with Hawaiian hula dancer

Days of '47 float

At the Days of '47 parade in SLC for "pie and beer" day, I got the perfect spot under the eagle on State Street, right down the centerline of U.S. 89. I like how the hula arms are mimicking the bird.

Continue reading "And Albion too" »


Inis Meain - stone walls and cellphones

stone wall on Inis Meain (Inish Mann) Aran Islands Ireland

Layers of history, labors of centuries

The middle of the three Aran Islands, Inis Meain is the least visitied and developed. Most tourists go to the big island, Inis Mor, to the north. We were going to go there, until I bought a Lonely Planet guide on Ireland and realized that Inis Meain was more our speed [slow]. Even then, only two nights wasn't enough to get on island time.

Continue reading "Inis Meain - stone walls and cellphones" »

South of Galway


Kinvara main street

Some of the older buildings on the coast road of Kinvara. I have a straight shot with a tractor cruising along too. I like the VW Bug, seems to be just the right vintage for the scene. And the plastic chairs.

Continue reading "South of Galway" »

Neighborhood Castles


Ruin above Doolin, County Clare, with Aran Islands in the distance

Every neighborhood has its local ruins. Some are very old, like the pre-Christian fort we visited on the middle Aran Island, Inish Meain.

Continue reading "Neighborhood Castles" »

Fabulous Thunderbirds


Coming 'round the mountain...

Caught the Air Force Thunderbirds on Saturday with Bill and Carla and nephews too numerous to count (ok, there were three).


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Two-fisted shooting


Golden Spike National Historic Site (D2X)

Brilliant colors, not so good in the IR, so...

Continue reading "Two-fisted shooting" »

Is this working?


First remix with an IR layer

Sunday, being bad art day, was the perfect chance to test out the new toy(s) I ordered: an infrared filter and a new tripod head from Really Right Stuff. The IR exposure is about 1.3 - 1.6 seconds at f16 for 200 ISO. And the D70 is the right tool for this job.

Continue reading "Is this working?" »

Moonlight Escapades


Orion setting over the Park Avenue in Arches NP

Still mining through the shooting last month, and I shot about 5 GB on Saturday I haven't looked at, so pictures will have to follow in another post. The Mt. Pleasant Rhubarb Festival presented a goldmine of shooting ops: Ugly Truck parade, kids on bikes with rhubarb leaf decorations, a soap box derby, pie eating contests and snow capped mountains in the background. Just what I went for.

R is convinced, and I don't disagree, that a prominent group at the festival came from the Krishna temple in Spanish Fork. He is certain we've seen them at the India Fest. One of them won the raw rhubarb-eating contest, holding down 6.8 ounces in 60 seconds. Didn't catch the prize, hope it wasn't a rhubarb pie.

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Lucy's Dream


Lucy sees herself in her dream

I have declared Sunday to be Bad Art day, because you can't make bad bad art. This way, I get one day a week off to play with my stuff that doesn't count as "real art." To make stuff with the neon playdough, drag out all the bright colored pencils, and ponder how to make a Lite-Brite image in Photoshop. Remember Lite-Brite? My personal censor doesn't like it, but I insist: one day a week to play.

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Usage not covered under warranty


What was the 2 lane road to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

When we moved here in 1993, the road to the refuge had not yet been reopened from the great floods. When we crossed it on Saturday, it gave way under our wheels, and we back-tracked to the highway side of the breech. I doubt the roadbed held up even until nightfall against the water flowing over, under, through the it, while the manly full-sized pick-em-trucks rumbled across.

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Under the golden arch


7:58:34 a.m.: A very patient dawn spectator

Dawn at this location depends on direction of light (better in the winter than April) or some dramatic clouds. I liked the pattern of the shadows, and then I saw him basking in the sun, a classic R pose.

Continue reading "Under the golden arch" »

Death Valley - many degrees off normal


Sunrise from the Zabriskie viewpoint, 180 degrees in the "wrong" direction

Last day in Death Valley, a sunrise shoot from the classic Zabriskie viewpoint. The temp at sunrise at the Racetrack had measured 24 degF, the sunrise at the sand dunes was blah, and we drove up to Z point in the rain! As I set up, looking east there was only a tiny slot that the sun could shoot through before the weather socked in. At least the wind wasn't blowing 30 mph, like out on the salt flats the evening before.

Continue reading "Death Valley - many degrees off normal" »

Our lady of Las Vegas - the American Dream


Lady Liberty in a town where everyone is looking for Lady Luck

Not quite back in the saddle, but getting there. Making calls, putting queries in the mail. Updated the public website. Have a list of things to do when we get back from Death Valley, send out the Christmas project. I've started some new B&W conversions, printing very draft images today. I'll tape them to the door, ponder them a while. Send them out some place arty, literati, glitterati. When we get back.

9 dogs and a baby


Bhikku, part red wolf

Saturday was another day for DogShotzz. I really need a trailer with a cyclorama on it. Maybe there's a market for one if I build it. The dogs were great, operator error is a different matter. If it were that simple ... [fill in the blank]. Just call it another learning experience, and thanks to everyone who brought the dogs (and Kennedy the baby) over for me to practice on.

Tempest (inquiry) [SIGGRAPH entry #87]


My SIGGRAPH Teapot Exhibition entry, Tempest (inquiry)

I've explained in a far away place and time "Why the teapot?" but the call to enter my own version to the 30th anniversary celebration of the Teapot in SIGGRAPH's annual meeting this year appealed for many reasons. Not the least of which is ego, the chance to put my work in the highly competitive science meeting that is gold standard for the people I've been working for the last five years.

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Flame flies again


We should be in Turin for the party

R and I promised ourselves we'd be in Torino for the 2006 Olympics, but, as with so many good ideas, it didn't pan out. The flame is lit in SLC until 11 pm tonight, at a cost of $12K, they say. Plaza was thick with photogs, and the full moon rising. The full moon, BTW, caps off the Chinese new year celebrations to usher in the year of the dog.

Memories of 2002: it was fun to see speedskating for the first time, and the women's hockey match, to have my Mom come for a visit, and to see the Chihuly exhibit. The torch passed within a 1/2 block of our house, working at the U was a daily comedy as to which roads would be blocked off. And by far, the best fireworks ever surrounded the city on closing night. A real ring of fire. Not even being in Torino could top that.

Happy New Year


Year of the Dog

Sil Lum Kung Fu Club brought their dragon out to a Feng Shui class I attended with Sharon. Need a red Budddha in the center of the house this year, and a whole bunch of other things, but a red Buddha is essential for a calm center this year. That sounds good.

Sundance gig


Main Street, Park City, Sundance opening weekend

A private party/art opening/shopping with celebrities event at Chester's Blacksmith and Mary Jane's clothing stores (upstairs/downstairs). The plan was to cover the VIP room filled with goodies for celebrities, get their pictures with the goodies, and the crowds in the stores. I shot a lot more, especially the second night, when the place was open to the public. The show was called Young Guns, curated by a White Walls gallery from San Francisco.

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Subject #1 in the next series

I don't even like dog spit, so what I am thinking of, shooting dogs. Sharkey is an English Bull Terrier.

Last chance to shine


Salt Lake LDS Temple Square lights

It finally rained the day before New Year's Eve. I wanted a midnight blue sky, but the lights came on too late. On New Year's Eve, this place would be a mobhouse.

Rising to the task


Christmas Street not quite ready for prime time

I met a resident of Christmas Street who told me that the lights were supposed to be on by 5:30. The Grinch didn't get the memo.

Hot and cold holiday celebrations


Chuck Wight co-stars in the New Faraday lectures

A chemistry tradition since the days of Michael Faraday, this is Chuck's first year in the limelight. He made some limelight, literally, during the performance, along with polymers, sparks and explosions. more pictures

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Work print


Kauri trees of western Australia

Printing again. I love the feel of the Hahnemuhle paper.

Honey Colored Holiday Cheer


Main Street trees ready for the big display

A week ago, the trees were hanging onto their leaves, and last Friday, the "Lights On" crowd didn't even need a coat. The turn of the weather on Saturday night might feel more seasonal, and the inversion can go any time, but it sure was an easy transition to winter.

Metal and rust


More from the metal and rust series

When we went to Fremantle, Western Australia in August 2004, we (R, Bryan and I) toured the HMS Ovens Submarine. For the life of us, we could not figure out what an ovens submarine was. It isn't, it's just the name of the boat. Nice tour from an expat Brit who served on subs. Did not know how much Australia suffered in WWII until we went down there.

Chief of turbulence

at the What Lights Nate fire vortex demo

Co-producer of What Lights Nate? Pat McMurtry

I found out about this movie screening via a postcard with a scribbled note from Pat on the back. It said, "Ann, you will love this" with all the certainty and enthusiasm we who love Pat have come to count on. He was right, and he didn't even mention the drumming that followed the pyrotechnics.

What Lights Nate?

What Lights Nate fire vortex demonstration at Salt Lake City library

Post-film demo of Nate Smith's fire vortex machines

Thanks to co-producer Pat McMurtry for the front row access at the city library. Nate pioneered the technology to make three story tall vortices of fire and starred in an indie documentary on creating them at Burning Man 2005. Despite the high winds, the Salt Lake City Fire Department let Nate perform his demo in the Main Library plaza after the premiere of the film. I'm sure this documentary will be coming to DVD soon, no doubt to finance next years Burning Man production.

Poking the skies - Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park cactus at sunset

Saguaro National Park cactus at sunset

Reconnoitering makes a huge difference, and I didn't do enough of it specifically for the photos I took on the trip. I have tons of notes for a return trip, but I was pushing the speed limit of the scenic loop to find this subject as the end of the weather clouds was clearing off even as the sun set.

Lemmonade sunrise - Tucson Arizona

Mt. Lemmon Arizona sunrise

Mt. Lemmon highway, Tucson, AZ

My first panorama, composed of 8 shots. It should print to about 6 feet long, if I had a place to put such a creation. I "pre-visualized" it the day before at mid-morning, and it was a sunrise worth getting up before 5 am to see.

Tucson is a food town, but not a coffee town. I drove around for blocks, looking for a latte for R. Finally found a red London double-decker bus converted to a drive-thru coffee bar. On the other hand, at El Charro, which looks like a tourist trap or worse at the original location, produced the single best huevos rancheros I have ever tasted. Think tortillas, eggs, red sauce, a cheese-stuffed roasted green chile and home-smoked bacon piled one atop the next. I could go back tomorrow. I tried, but we had to come home.

Oompah! Salt Lake City farmer's market

Oompah band in traditional German outfits at Salt Lake City farmer's market

Downtown farmer's market entertainment

The farmer's market is over for the year - the pleasures of fresh rasperries, Green River melons, corn, green chiles and music are the experiences of the moment, not treasures that can be stored up. Although I do have some peach and blackberry jam in the freezer for a cold grey winter day.

An Embarrasment of Riches - abstractions in Las Vegas

abstract glass multicolored

Found in the archive

Never finished properly archiving and reviewing files from a Las Vegas trip last MARCH and I just found this treasure today.

abstract glass of the MGM building in Las Vegas

I like geometry, plain and simple. This is the MGM building in Las Vegas

Cast adrift - rafting the Nahanni River in Canada

Third Canyon of the Nahanni

Third Canyon of the Nahanni

The boatmen kept the rafts close to the wall as we descended, so we could admire the plants, lichens and rocks that made a tapestry.

Third Canyon of the Nahanni abstraction

Third Canyon dreamsicle

Even in the slower current near the wall, I couldn't get a crisp shot between the speed of the raft and the shade, only an impression by letting the shutter drag to capture the colors.

Slideshow is done, as is the IBook. That might even arrive today. Real progress. Brooks Jensen in Lenswork (volume 58) says, "There is a universal Law of Audience that says if you finish work, the universe cannot stand that it remains unseen." That remains to be seen.

Sunrise +37 minutes at the Oxbow in Grand Teton National Park

Oxbow aspen sunrise Mt Moran Grand Tetons National Park

Ox Bow, home of otters, elk, trout and moose

Still out in the frost, R having retreated to the car. Oddly, I don't get cold while I am photographing, but feel chilled later, when I go inside. Chemical bootwarmers are a very nice thing indeed.

Waves of sunlight - Grand Teton National Park

Tetons and cottonwoods at Menor's Ferry

Still a little early on the color at Menor's Ferry, Grand Teton National Park

I staked out my position to align the bush in front of the fence just where I wanted it, to the consternation of two other photographers who showed up a few minutes later, and jockeyed around me. I didn't move until the sunlight lit up both trees and the Grand Teton itself.

Mt. Moran, 7:10 am, Grand Teton National Park

Mt Moran pink sunrise Grand Teton National Park

Sunrise officially happened about 5 minutes later

After an hour waiting in 25 deg fog, frost will form on a photographer's pack, shoulders, and anything else that is conveniently horizontal.

Martin and Max -rock climbing in Utah

rock climbing near Echo Utah

Max, at an undisclosed location

rock climbing near Echo Utah

Martin: history made, a months-long problem solved

I hope the subjects will comment and explain why this is so hard, beyond the obvious fact that they are upside down. Something to do with the rock being a conglomerate.


Fishing gear - Grand Teton National Park

little girl fishing on the Snake River in fairy costume

The launch site for Snake River canoe/kayak float trips is a prime fishing spot.

Met this shy little princess as we were gearing up for a float to Deadman's Bar, about 15 miles downstream. No bears, one coyote, three otters and lots of osprey and pink tulle.

Wipe yer feet - Bonneville Speedway

driver entering car at Bonneville Speedway

Study in Blue and white

While they don't want the salt in the car, the racers are really concerned about the salt flats themselves. No one may set up pit crew without first laying down a tarp on the salt. With hundreds of cars, we didn't see a single oil spot, nor even an empty soda can. No dogs either. Very clean, very civilized, but very loud.

Salt, Flame, Metal - Bonneville Speedway

line of classic cars at Bonneville Speedway

Salted rims at Bonneville Speedway

Thanks to Bryan for the invitation, I have been to the speedway and seen fast cars up close and personal.

SCTA organized the event, maybe they organize all of them. Cars, up close and personal, hobbyists and the very terribly serious, most people happy to talk while they waited in line for a couple of hours for a very short ride.

Above Virginia Falls - Nahanni National Park

Nahanni River above Virginia Falls

Don't fall in now

There is one last chance eddy, but you don't want to try it, and the vantage point here is well past it.

Now that the obsession to get up to Albion is lessening, I'm making lots of progress on editing my Nahanni files for a slideshow and some portfolio pieces. At 6 seconds a slide, it takes 200 slides to be entertaining and not wear out one's welcome. My NZ show was 218. I'm up to about 50 so far. But I did 30 today. Progress

Albion Basin sunshine

wildflowers at Albion

6:55 a.m.

The first benefit of my new lifestyle is that we can go camping on a Thursday night. I went up early and secured a site, and my guy met up with me later that evening for some chili and pan-cooked biscuits. The next morning he fell asleep in the field behind me while I exclaimed over the sunrise.

This is too close

moose at Albion Basin Utah

Albion Basin roadside attraction

I in fact kept a car and several other people at all times between me and this moose. I stopped behind another car to see what was the matter on the first curve after the road turns to dirt. What scared me more than this guy were the other two that drifted alongside the road and out of sight.

Spectators included the usual clueless who allow their children to risk personal carnage. While his mother blithely stood there taking photos, one 10 year boy was gawking about a car length away. A complete stranger had to tell him to get back - she seemed to wake up then as if she had momentarily forgotten she wasn't at a zoo or watching tv. Disaster momentarily averted.

Loveless MC classic cars - Salt Lake City Utah

Pontiac car ornament

Chief Pontiac, I presume

Driving over to Pictureline to pick up my new light meter, the one that does it all, and I took a slightly different path than usual. When I do these things for no reason and pay attention, good things can happen.

In this case, the Loveless MC classic car competition on State Street, next to Sears. Lots of Chevys from R's youth, and some metal flake paint. I have an affinity for chrome, that's for sure. Hadn't seen a true Pontiac emblem before yesterday - asked R if it was after-market, but he said, no, original factory equipment.

Preliminary sketching for the tipi cover - Ft. Simpson NWT

community art project tipi canvas painted by artist and children of Ft. Simpson Northwest Territories

Ft. Simpson community tipi decorating project

The youth center of Ft. Simpson, NWT, created this community activity as part of their Open Sky Festival. The event itself happened while we were on the river. Here the kids are drawing whatever they want to include on the tipi canvas, and the artist-in-residence helps them paint it on the canvas. Whatever the kids want goes on the canvas: Smaug from the LOTR, a heron, cartoon characters and the bank swallows that flew along the MacKenzie river.

48 hours of self-employment

raft in rapid on Nahanni River

Nahanni white-water, class "scary for canoe, fun for rafts"

I've been self-employed since Monday, officially, during which time I have clocked 9 hours at my old job, and about the same at my desk at home. Tomorrow I plan to recon a location for a shoot later this week, if tonight's thunderstorms didn't flatten every wildflower to Idaho.

This transition is what it is, and if I had an idea of how it would be, it was just a guess anyway. I have plenty to do; I will learn to appreciate my progress in my own way and pace. In the meantime, I've been to Costco and cooked ahead some chili and spaghetti. Learning to use IChat and MSN messenger and count it as work. No great photos have been made or finished in the first 48 hours, but it will happen, if I give it a chance. Wait for the miracle, that's what I've heard. Plenty to do in the meantime.

Proofs and Pioneer Day

proof sheet of business cards

Proof of my proof for my business cards.

The business cards should be here in about a week, coincidental to my last week of full-time wage work.

If I'm not careful, it could all become work, and that wouldn't be fun at all.

One thing I find terribly fun is a fireworks display. For reasons I still haven't completely acclimated to, in Utah the fireworks are usually much better for Pioneer (Pie and beer?) Day than the 4th of July. And seeing as how Pioneer Day is today, a Sunday, some fireworks were yesterday and some will be tomorrow, a state holiday. Last night we walked to a school parking lot near the U's stadium to watch the fireworks that followed the pro soccer match. We stood at the back of the lot, next to an empty, weedy field where we had a clean line of sight, beside a school bus that blocked some of the school's security lighting. While we waited, a 4 or 5 point mule deer stepped into the light, followed by a doe and another buck. They didn't freak out at the fireworks, just moved off into the dark. Wildlife in our neighborhood isn't that strange - we had a doe and fawn on our street a couple days ago. And rabbits twice this season. But more frequent this summer than ever before, I don't remember anything quite this bold.

Chasm of chills - Nahanni National Park

Lafferty Creek swimming hole a tributary to the Nahanni River Northwest Territories, Canada

A dash through the first of three pools

Lafferty Creek meets the Nahanni in a broad and completely dry delta system. We hiked up the stream bed until we reached a narrow group of almost slot canyons with water so deep in places we couldn't touch bottom. My camera didn't go any further, but I did, to a pool with a natural slide and another where you could jump in from above and make a big splash. We started the hike before lunch and we were hot when we got to the "Chasm of Chills" but we weren't hot walking back to camp in the heat of the day.

That afternoon, when we had some downtime, R and I sought shade up the streambed, a place to be still and quiet. I looked down and then up and saw a wolf. It saw us, contemplated and then loped off, not afraid but not all that interested in us either.

Brightening by the moment -Nahanni National Park

Fog on the Nahanni River, Northwest Territories, Canada

Downriver from painted face mountain camp

We woke to a fog that slowly lifted as our party fished, breakfasted and readied for a hike up canyon to look at fossils in the rocks.

The fog and the angle of the sun combined to create a hundred moods in about 10 minutes. I'm sure I amused the river guides washing up the breakfast dishes as I ran across the cobbles with all my gear to get the next shot.

A really big river - Nahanni National Park

view of the Nahanni river above the Gate

Above the Gate of the Nahanni

If you can imagine the foreground right wall descending to river level, that's where we camped our fourth night on the trip. It was Canada Day, July 1, so we celebrated with temporary maple leaf tattoos and a hike up to the overlook. Scramble was more like it, a scree slope with almost enough trees to grab onto and pull oneself upward. About 900 ft from river level. The Canadians are bi-measurable, and we worked in both metric and English all the time.

The Nahanni drainage is composed of four main canyons, each with its own character, like Third Canyon here. In between are wide expanses of country, a place where a person can breathe deeply, even if summer is short. The compressed calendar is made up by sheer quantity of light - it never got dark in our tent, not once at any hour of the night. Some people can't sleep. I couldn't sleep for the excitement of a four hour sunset that blended right into sunrise.

Sluice Box above Virginia Falls, Nahanni River

Sluice Box of the Nahanni River Northwest Territories Canada

Sluice Box slo-mo

Above Virgina Falls, the Nahanni flows swiftly but without much whitewater until it widens out briefly, as if gathering forces for what's ahead. Here is where the float planes touch down, and the gear is transferred via a 1.2 km portage down to the base of the falls. Within meters of the canoe dock, the river enters the "Sluice box" as it narrows into the canyon defining the falls.

Yes, those are full sized logs. We watched one bob around like a cork in an eddy. Because we were on the 12 day trip, we spent 2 nights at the top of the falls in a camp elevated on boardwalks to preserve the fragile moss and muck plant life.

Extended exposure achieved while throwing all my weight and strength onto the tripod in a huge down-canyon wind. I am pleased it worked out. And I did end up using almost every piece of photo gear I brought, and it all came home intact. More or less. My shutter/mirror complex seized up on the 11th day (probably cumulative dust). It happened right after I made the last image on my shooting list, so I took it as a sign to take the rest of the day off and enjoy the moment. That evening, I checked for a miraculous cure - it had come unstuck on its own and has been functioning fine ever since. And I did not turn it into a dramarama, in the moment.

It's a big river - Nahanni National Park

VirginiaF alls Nahanni River Northwest Territories src=

Virginia Falls on the South Nahanni River

The postcard shot of the falls, taken at the portage end point, just before launching. 3 plane loads of gear and passengers about to be stuffed into 3 little rafts.

The park literature says the falls are 90m high, which is a lot, twice as high as Niagara Falls. I like how the water and light splits around Mason Rock, one of the few features NOT named for a person whose trip down river ended in disaster.

Zion NP camp-out

Zion National Park trees in canyon>
<p class=Mom asked me to take this shot. Good seeing, Mom

The Virgin River was running high, and the temps hit the 90s when we were in Zion, but we sure had fun. Mom herself hiked to Emerald Pool and Weeping Rock.

Airboat birding on the Great Salt Lake

American Avocet on the Great Salt Lake

American Avocet lift-off

Our neighbor, Millie, organized an airboat outing on the Great Salt Lake for us and some of her friends. I made a good use of the chance to test the VR capabilities of the 70-200. Bird photography requires more throw yet, but it was a fun recon mission. I'd like to go back in August when the phalaropes are migrating through, or in October for the 10,000s of eared grebes. Wouldn't that be something?

Continue reading "Airboat birding on the Great Salt Lake" »

New road trip destination - Cathedral Gorge, Nevada

Cathedral Gorge, Nevada

Cathedral Gorge, Nevada

Back in March, for spring break, we went to Vegas, saw O, and wandered back across US Hwy 93 to Ely, and then across US 50 to Delta, near the Japanese internment camp, and into the Mormon vatican-by-the-lake. Cathedral Gorge is about 1/2 between Las Vegas and Ely. We were there at high sun, good only for a recon mission, which was probably just as well or we'd have had a long-drive in the dark after I got through with all the cool things to see. Picked up a life bird, the banded-tail pigeon, cooing on the rim of the gorge.


B&W style - Twin Lakes, Wasatch Mountains, Utah

Twin Lakes in B&W


Twin views of a Twin Lake

Didn't find the other lake that day, as the weather shortly turned nasty, spitting snow while we were minding our business looking at aspens up big Cottonwood Canyon.

I put this in the maybe pile when I was choosing my project for the SL Art Center B&W printing workshop. Even though I decided to go with the glass & architecture theme, I still like the lines of this one.

Enough rain


Downright depressing

Enough rain already, even the aspens are weeping. Three infectious diseases from last weekend's trip have sapped my enthusiasm for spring, tulips and cute little fermented-berry drunken cedar waxwings intent on killing themselves by flying into our windows. R was the hero, Tracy Aviary sent a licensed bird rescuer to collect the little beast last week. The incident occurred when it was 35deg on the porch, so we found it a box and a towel to keep it warm until they came. A broken wing and possible spinal injuries, chances were poor, but better than being eaten by a cat. We could all use a day of sunshine to air out our feathers, take a dustbath and clear the winter blahs away.


Further into the archive

Wildflowers in Imogene Basin, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Imogene Basin, Colorado

In Imogene Basin I waited for the cloud to drift from right to left until it aligned where I wanted it in my composition. One of my better pictures from a Rocky Mountain School of Photography workshop I did last July. Someday soon, I will have time to print some more from that adventure. Jeep rides up to 13,000', through snow, thunderstorms, hail and incredible vistas of wildflowers. I can't imagine what it will be like this year with all the moisture in the west. Just might have to go back on my own.

More Maine

Bass Harbor Lighthouse Maine

Bass Head Lighthouse

Said to be among the most photographed sights in Maine. Getting this shot offered a hilarious opportunity to observe the manly photographers among us. Three "serious" photographers with tripods, perched on the rocks. Me and two guys. They were together and got there first. Rt helped me clamber over the rocks to get to a good spot. Already, the manly men were superior for having gotten "better spots" than mine. I'm set up, taking shots, reframing, watching the sunset, which isn't spectacular, but is the only sunset I'm going to get that day. I'm going to do something with it -- this girl is working what I've got. I did not hear another shutter release the whole time. My read was that the guys were so busy impressing each other by not being impressed that neither could take the first shot.

Of course, my bent toward dramatization could have completely misread the situation. Or they could have silent cameras. Or a hundred previous visits to the same spot, so it truly wasn't worth the extra shot. MYOB and I got this shot.


Maine - lobster buoys

Lobster buoys on Bar Harbor Island Maine

Lobster buoys

I'm wading through my back-log of images to be filed, categorized, inspected, cleaned of sensor dust, sharpened and printed. R, or more precisely, Dr. Pok, his alter ego, helped immensely yesterday to simplify the PS workflow by showing me how to test some lore on image quality. In this case, the lore that one needs to enlarge files out of the Raw converter, is in fact, wrong. Which means I can work on much smaller files and get more done. Like getting this ready to show you.

October 2004, during our trip to Maine and Acadia National Park, where I photographed while R, in his full-metal scientist costume, attended a meeting at Jackson Laboratory. We ate lobster together, and went on a lobster fishing expedition, in which the tour leader and lobsterman, reeled up a gravid female. He tossed it back


Final home meet of the season

Gymnastics uneven bars meet motion

Grinning in flight

Another victory, senior night and a 30 year reunion of former teams. The second meet we attended was the 20 year reunion, in which Suzanne Metz scored two 10s and a 9.975 to set a record for the highest ever NCAA individual all-around score.

Continue reading "Final home meet of the season" »

Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple of Utah


Padma, the lotus flower

I've turned my project into a proposal for the Finch Lane Gallery. Making slides from digital files to complete this process ranks as an extremely silly thing I've done for the sake of high art.

Continue reading "Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple of Utah" »

More Glass & Architecture

glass building Salt Lake City Utah

The old American Stores building, SLC

Right after I finished with these shots, the yellow Wells Fargo sign at the top of the buiilding came on and changed everything. Another candidate for the B&W series on glass & architecture

Glass & Architecture

blue glass architecture building Salt Lake City Utah

Downtown SLC

For a workshop at the Salt Lake Art Center, I'm pulling together shots on the theme of Glass & Architecture from my collection of "waiting to see the light of day" negs and files. I have images from Paris, Sydney, Auckland and Perth, and I wanted one from SLC. Here's one I'm considering, taken Saturday night with the new 12-24 DX lens. I scouted this shot the weekend before, and knowing I couldn't make the picture I imagined without the new lens is what broke the bank. It's supposed to be a good thing, to pre-visualize, but no one ever mentioned the expense.

Another victory

gymnast balance beam

A.B Eberle, team co-captain, senior leads the Red Rocks to another victory

Most Utah gymnastics meets are civilized one-on-one matches where we alternate with the visitors on every event, and the spectators can see every competitor's routine. On Friday, the Utes hosted a quad match, which means all events are going on simultaneously. R did a great job keeping up with the score during the events, and the fans around us appreciate it. Utah prevailed (197.425) over No. 6 Florida (196.450), Stanford (196.025) and California (191.500). It was really fun to have Trish join us.

Shot with the new bank-breaking 70-200 VR, worth every one of the vast number of pennies. I have never regretted spending money on vacation or for better toys, but I have later regretted cheaping out on stuff - not this time.

Championship Form

gymnast balance beam

Annabeth Eberle, team captain

Annabeth looks like a weightlifter, not a gymnast - maybe that will be her post-collegiate sport. The Utes thumped BYU 196.650-194.350, the equivalent of a 30 point blowout in basketball, or winning by 3 touchdowns. It never feels safe, no matter how far ahead they are, until they don't fall off the beam. AB didn't fall last night.

Thanks to Dave N for the loan of the 80-200 lens and extras. Compared shots taken with mine and his, then got out the bank statement to see how much it would hurt to get my own. Wow is all I can say.

Llamas of the Krishna temple

funny llamas

Have we met?

I went with Marlene last weekend to the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple to shoot some sacred plants for her research. Spanish Fork, Utah is an unlikely a place to find a Krishna temple. Llamas are for rent for pack trips. They focused intently on the camera as we left the radio station/hothouse.

funny llamas with Krishna temple and Wasatch Mountains in background

Spanish Fork is at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, about an hour south of Salt Lake City

Continue reading "Llamas of the Krishna temple" »

Utah 196.875 Michigan 196.325

gymnast uneven bars dismount

Rachel Tidd, ranked #1 on uneven bars, finishing a 9.95 routine

gymnast balance beam

Katie Kivisto's signature move

Another down to the wire finish for the RedRocks.

I don't know why I didn't think to take the camera to a meet before last week. With second row seats, I have a perfect vantage for both beam and bars. I'll keep practicing, maybe will spring for the VR lens that I want for our Nahanni trip this July. I need the practice, right?

CD boxes - Yellowstone National Park

snow covered trees in winter in Yellowstone

Yellowstone: break in the storm

I have started a fun personal project, cropping and printing images to fit into CD jewel cases. With a little sticky gum, I will fill the hallway with little squares of ideas.

The temperature had reached -40 at Old Faithful the night before, but we set out in the snow cat anyway. The snow clouds swirled around, but dropped back down shortly after I took this shot.

February 2003.

R at Hobermann Arch

flash at Hobermann Arch

Some wacky flash action

Kangaroo and joey

North of Perth, end of August 2004

Wattle Bird - Australia

Kings Botanical Garden, Perth. Note the red wattles hanging down from the cheeks. Wattlebird feeding in a banksia.

Sri Ganesa Temple - Salt Lake City, Utah

Sri Ganesa Temple in Salt Lake City Utah>
<p class=Private devotion at the Salt Lake Hindu Temple.

Monet's SLC garden

watercolor effect on flowers at the Salt Lake City LDS temple

I took this image at the SLC Temple grounds on my first WCC field trip in April 2003.