Yep, I have been gone a while. Such is the life of a nearly-done PhD student who is working overtime and has a family. But the darkness is gone, and though I feel very withered from a tough, tough semester, I can now return to photographing—after all, that’s what I do.
So I began looking for images to warm my skills again after a 4-month hiatus, and to rekindle my visual emotions. And behind a school in a far-flung county in the Nebraska Sandhills, I found a greenhouse that reminded me how much I love the light.
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!).
Why did I find the Grant auction so enthralling? The reclamation of historical chaff. Our need to place value on the lost and the discarded.
Canyon Grove and Aspen, Chaffee County
I continued to experiment with expressionist techniques during my entire time in Colorado this year, working to find ways of incorporating the light, textures, lines and shadows that make secluded forest groves so mystical for me, while simultaneously paying homage to the brush strokes so critical to that artistic period.
Water Grass, Chaffee County
I spent a fair share of early mornings at 9,500 feet with this single piece of water grass as the sun rose, and it reminded me again and again of the meaning of “good morning.”
Cemetery Angel: PlainSky, Nebraskans No. 7
This eerie scene of a child’s grave in the Whitman cemetery in Hooker county has haunted me for some time in my photographic efforts. The young girl died in the first years of the twentieth century as her family struggled to establish a life in the rugged Sandhills, a life tied to the growing town of Whitman. Now, Whitman is nearly extinct, and the monument to the child has only the trio of nearby cedars for companionship on the High Plains.
American Serengeti: PlainSky, Nebraskans No. 1
Well, it’s time. For four years, I’ve been working in western Nebraska, photographing, meeting, talking, listening, and … looking. Watching. Composing. It is a path that I could not have predicted, and one that has delivered me to ends I could never have predicted.
This has been a windfall of creativity, and this blog shared in the credit. As do its readers and followers.
It is a strange place, that destination one reaches when voice arrives, and I’m grateful to all of you for sharing the journey.
Above, image one from the full PlainSky, Nebraskans series as the group will debut in one month’s time.
New Year’s resolutions on my end have involved a change to archival gicleé printing on my new Epson 3880 (but prints larger than 16″ high are still done on Fuji Super Gloss), new paper types (all matte, semigloss, and cotton rag), a possible move to blog self-hosting, and a major website change. In fact, Brett L. Erickson (.com) will be down for a few days (until about January 10) until the new site’s hosting change is completed.
Until then, I can be contacted via comment on this post, on Facebook, or on Twitter.
Take a look at Sport Illustrated’s photos from a day of gymnastics. For sports shooters (even a former one like me), this stuff is photographic crack cocaine.