A hot day and High Plains light greeted me when I rolled into this small town of fewer than 100 people, a village accessible only by dirt roads. As is my practice, I drove the town slowly, looking for images, and soaking in the feeling of the place. The playground held my attention for quite a time.
A technique I have long used for finding photographs is moving before stopping. An area, object or moment captures my imagination as I pass, and I then proceed to work at an image (Harry Callahan walked to do this; I tend to drive, due to the massive expanses of the West). In the case of this image, the billboard first captured my attention, and after working the image for more than an hour, I finally settled on this composition, and waited for a train to pass.
Sometimes the most interesting or evocative photographic opportunities require us to be intimately familiar with a place and its changes. This was just such a time, as I found an ancient bristlecone pine uprooted and discarded among the debris from a recent avalanche.
It’s Halloween. Happy Halloween.
I was visiting my close friend George Nobechi in Tucson, Arizona, and he took me to Bisbee, Arizona. He said I’d like it.
Every time I think my favorite places in the West are played out photographically, devoid of further inspiration for me, I go back and have to eat my words.
One of my best friends and I made a long photo journey to the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain foothills recently, looking for those elusive photographic treasures called “keepers.” On the way, we talked about innumerable things, but one of them was the Giant Thirst series, and how it continues to evolve. I channeled George’s wisdom regarding the wider world, and this image is a response.
We needed milk and eggs, but I never made it into the store.
I know, I know: I’ve been gone a while, again. Since the last post in June, I’ve been busy teaching at Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, and making a bevy of new images for my now-named project, “A Giant Thirst.” The project is inspired by an Edward Abbey quotation, given to me by a close friend and fellow photographer, Melinda Green Harvey (who should also be congratulated for being named to the 2016 Texas Photographic Society Members Only Exhibition).
In any case, I’m not going to spend any time explaining the image, per the Robert Adams verse I provided in my previous post; my hope is that the image speaks for itself.
I have just returned from a photo expedition intended to jump-start a new series, which I will not yet name in public. Why? As Robert Adams notes, if we must use words to describe what we endeavored to do in an image, we have failed. So I give you this photograph, and hope it speaks eloquently in the place of language.