Month: July 2015

Snow Field, Rocky Mountains

Snow Field, Rocky Mountains

Snow Field, Rocky Mountains

I don’t shoot things because they’re pretty. In fact, I often use “pretty” as a backdrop for troubling things, contrasting the sublime with the symbolic, rejecting simple aesthetic for a more introspective examination of my own relationship with the visual and modern world. Those “fusion” images, to borrow a term from a dear friend, are rare, and even more so those that grab me by the throat and shake me, demanding to be made.

The above image is one of those images for me. I had seen it from afar several times in the high country over the preceding days, but the high altitude light and cheery, puffy clouds had not illuminated the deep, brooding character of the composition. In looking at it, I felt bitter cold, profound isolation, and looming threat. On the third day, with churning storm clouds boiling overhead, and the freezing wind chewing at my face, the photograph finally revealed itself, and I made eight frames in response to its demands.

Reblogged: Five Essential Lessons (and One Great Tip) I learned about Photography at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops

One of my participants at the Santa Fe Workshops was journalist and traveler Susan Portnoy, who was a lot of fun to work with during our week together. She’s done a wonderful job distilling some key points of my approach to a photographic life on her blog, The Insatiable Traveler, as well as a similar post on Leanne Cole’s blog in Australia. I’m overjoyed Susan came away from the course with a sense of growth and newfound sight (as well as some sweet images!).

Santa Fe Photographic Workshops-Santa Maria bldg The Santa Maria building where I stayed and where breakfast and lunch was serve

The article below originally appeared this week on Leanne Cole Photography  but I wanted to share it here as well. I had a very meaningful experience as a guest of the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and the lessons I learned, while still a work in progress, I think will have a major impact on my photography. It wasn’t an easy journey, in fact it was very frustrating at times but immensely satisfying in the end.  ~ Susan

When you first arrive at the Workshops, Reid Callanan, the company’s founder, will tell you that no matter what course you take the week is not about creating masterpieces, it’s about learning new approaches to photography, opening your mind and eye to fresh ideas and challenging your skills. It was all that and more.

My instructor was fine…

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Gone for three weeks? Then back? Must have been shooting.

Town Hall, Gunnison County

Town Hall, Gunnison County

 

One may assume, for a photographer, a drought in the publishing of images means one of three things: 1) the photographer has finally reached the limit of his or her tolerance for despair and thus has given up the craft, opting rather to join the merchant marine; 2) the photographer has been in the field shooting; or 3) the photographer has been eaten by a bear.

I’m glad that No. 2 was the case for me.

I’m just back from teaching at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, where I had the pleasure of shooting with Susan Portnoy, the blogger behind The Insatiable Traveler, as well as my dear friend George Bumstead, a rising star in the photographic world. During that workshop, a bit of black and white humor emerged as the class began equating personalities with Ansel Adams’ and Fred Archer’s Zone System.

The class decided I am a Zone 3.

And so I returned to the Colorado backcountry after Santa Fe to work on new visions, fully embracing the darkness.