The last 12 months have been a strange period of realigning my compass after completing the Highway 89 project. I suspected but now know as fact that peddling books takes as much time as photographing them. I struggled some this year with the need and desire to make new work competing with the goal of marketing, selling, shipping books. The creative spirit sagged sometimes under the weight of so much paper in boxes in the basement. There are far fewer boxes these 12 months later, enough that I am working up strategies to update and reprint. That would involve more driving-something I discovered I dearly missed this year.
Thanks again to Jim Goldstein for the prompt to do this whittling down of my images to 10 favorites for the year. I found a couple images languishing in the Lightroom archive, like this architectural view in Nagoya’s train station. My husband gave a keynote at the Japanese Ophthalmological Society meeting in Nagoya in April and we were treated like royalty. After the session, we toured Kyoto and the Chita peninsula. I have been to Japan three times now, and I would love to do an extended stay there.
In May I went to the Moab Photo Symposium. This has to be the best kept photo workshop secret in the west. One of my sessions was with Jack Dykinga, and we were treated to a gorgeous stormy sunset. I collect a lot more panorama series than I ever get around to processing. This one used 13 images; the final file is 15,000 pixels wide.
I also went shooting with my friend Charles Uibel to some of his favorite locations on the Great Salt Lake. Too often I say no when I should say yes to life, and these expeditions with Charles are proof positive.
In November, R and I went to Escalante, Utah for a working retreat. The sun rose at the entirely civilized hour of 7:30, and I took this shot in my pajamas and Goretex coat.
As the Highway 89 project wore on, I began shooting more and more cultural events. I got really good at finding photo-worthy events, a skill that translated to Japan, even without any of the language. Samurai-costumed actors in the park around Nagoya Castle is exactly the kind of thing that entertain me. Somewhere here at the palace, packed in a box destined for Stray Arrow Ranch, are my notes, but I think this member of the Omotenashi Busho Tai troupe is portraying Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Don’t call me on it.
One cultural event I somehow missed on Highway 89 was the Panguitch Quilt Walk Festival. The event commemorates a heroic effort to save the lives of the early settlers of Panguitch (go read the story and come back). One of the key events is a relay race down Highway 89 where teams of kids scramble down the street on a row of blankets. When the last blanket is reached, the kids pass the quilts in the back to the front in sort of a leapfrog-style event. Or that’s the theory-the rules about not stepping in the street are liberally interpreted. This kid was having a great time despite the rain.
Most of my shooting over the summer was for my Entrada Institute Artist-in-residency documenting volunteerism in one of Utah’s smallest counties by population, 2,600 people spread thinly across Wayne County. Stuff like the Small Fry Rodeo just doesn’t happen without people stepping up to make it so. I hope to be one of those people when we finally move to Torrey full-time.
I had a great time with Maria Langer on a day trip to the Mountain Man Rendezvous in Ft. Bridger, Wyoming. I love passionate people of any stripe, and I am fascinated by the efforts these folks make to transport themselves back in time.
A fleeting moment of golden light in someone else’s garden. Best not to say much more about that. I saw it, I liked it, I photographed it. It doesn’t have to get any more complicated. Or so is my intention for 2011. Happy New Year to all.