Movement and conflict for the eye have always been an obsession for me. How does an image allow the eye to enter, to move, to stop and contemplate? I was strongly influenced in this long ago by the work of David Plowden (click the link to see), and ever since have sought to visually examine the ways in which we exercise our vision.
The showcase image for PlainSky, Nebraskans, “High Plains Train” could never be shot again, since in all my years, I’ve never seen a storm that looked the same over the winter Nebraska Sandhills.
Storms are a hoot to shoot; easy evidence is this shot, made on a hot July night as a massive and violent electrical storm rolled through, just south of Hastings. I made about 20 exposures that night, each time waiting for the perfect bolt of lightning to split the space between the Gray Center and trees. And with shot 19, nature played along.
My mentor has told me reviewing old images is sometimes even more fun than making them, and in the case of “Cascades Trio, Chaffee County,” that’s certainly the case. I’ve been visiting this spot since I was very small; the dust of the area permeates my soul. But the place, like all in nature, subtly changes even from moment to moment, and I knew these three granite souls would be gone the next spring, moved to newer pastures by the rushing snowmelt, one more stop on the way to becoming so much mountain dust. And so one evening, as the red light bounced from canyon wall to canyon wall, the high summer water rushing past, I set my tripod for a long exposure to still the waters and record the light.
And, for a single moment, I could record the answer to the question, “What is this place?”
I’ve been asked on many occasions how remote Nebraska must be: no towns; no people; and no light. Continue reading