Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The map is not the territory....but that doesn't mean a map is not a VERY handy thing to have.

.....especially if you are about to go footwalk around on the territory.  Google satellite images taped together give a terrific look at the country.  I'm finding tree trunks pointing South, the way I need them to point, for starters. Looking at road surfaces.  Running fence lines.  Perusing good sites for pueblos. Don't want to get lost.

  Many animals carry maps in their heads, some globe-spanning.  I'm getting most of Petrified Forest in my head...but also on paper.  I'd like to think I could be dropped anywhere in that country and figure out where I was pretty quickly.  The rock layer most commonly capping the high mesa tops fractures SE-to-NW, for instance.

  Will navigate with garmin as well.  Help from the heavens.  Just have to add water and fresh socks.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Prep time.

  Bestiary show to be delivered November 1st....and October 3-19 we are going to be in the West doing an A-I-R at Petrified Forest.  Might not get to process film until later.  The Blackfork Bestiary is mostly printed and ready to go for the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, Texas, though there are many details as always.  

  I'm not packed, but will be to travel West for two weeks plus. I threw a climbing rope and a sleeping pad out in the middle of the bedroom floor.   Katie is going so we are anticipating a wonderful time.

  Film bought.  Taking 250 sheets.  The digital folks miss out on the experience of a certain number of sheets of film in a box.  A film box holds potential in a way unlike an erasable card.  You know there are 60 or 100 camera set-ups in a stack of film.  There's also mornings and evenings and reloads and freezing blue cliff shadows and braided underfoot water and coyote tracks and wind breaks and moon rises, Ravens passing with a glance and deserted ruins and negative space and framing and waiting for light and long humps with all the gear after the light has faded.  It's just different.  Who knows who I will be when I come out the other end of this stack of boxes?  I hope a better version of myself.  Photography is a great way to see the country.

Update:  Hardly anyone does this, but I always Vista-print up a business card JUST for the A-I-R.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Byron, listening.

  Working on a kinetic still life idea that didn't work and shot an extra piece of film on the 8X10.

Others are last prints before heading out to Artist-in-Residence at Petrified Forest.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Petrified Forest Artist-in-Residence on deck!

Going to pick out some images to sell to defray gas, guide, film, food costs on the two weeks in Petrified Forest.  25X16.  Pretty dadgum good digital prints made by Chris Johnson and I in Oakland at his house in 2006 for a show.  Epson matte paper which was state-of-the-art at the time.  Unmounted, mailed in a tube.  200.00 delivered.  Just one of each of them.  The images have held up pretty well.  It was a biggish show, oddly enough they wanted to do white trees and Shiprock.  I was willing, always glad to have museum space.

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Shiprock, evening from South Dike.

Blooming pear with chairs.

Moonrise, rosefields.

Shiprock shadow from North Buttress.

Same area, different trip.  Or maybe earlier that same day.

Moonrise, blooming pear.

Shot this same tree for a couple decades now.

Nice little wild pear from the same field as above.

Fledgeling American Crow.  This is a stray image but was my favorite for a long time so I scanned the neg and had Chris crank out a few.  Last one.  Big.  Quite a story behind this one.

Couple more in the stack, just have to get a file of them.  Will put them up in next couple of days.

Thanks for any support.  Like a lot of you guys, I don't waste a cent.  It all goes to photography.

Wild Pear.

Moonrise, tree shadow, woodline.

South Dike, Shiprock.  Had to sleep on an almost-flat boulder to wake up in the right place for this.

Morning Shadow, Shiprock.  Was just a child at the time, slept on the Climber's ledge to see what might happen.  I think I started speaking in tongues when this fired up.

Moonset, Shiprock.

The Meteorite.  It's not really a meteorite, but instead a big block off the West Dike.  Has quite a presence.  I always stop to give it a pat when I'm up that side.  Several photos of it.
In fact, here's one.

And another.  Never seen the three all together.

Storm was rolling in and my friend Jackson pulled up in a jeep to get me just before the bottom fell out. We never looked behind us and missed what must have been a pretty good waterfall on the East Face.  Shiprock.  We thought we might be stuck overnight but 30 mins later the ground was dry.

The Pulpit and South Dike.

Near Encino, NM in the East side of state.  So old that it was shot on 4X5.

Shiprock, with a little rain storm over the end of the South Dike.

  Over-walking the ground on Google Maps. Pretty interesting to look at it as terrain and then switch to satellite.   I'm sure I could navigate on foot around the area.  Desert is full of roads, pipelines, fencelines, washes, buttes, mesas.  One of the common rock layers fractures NW to SE, so that's an easy compass.   Got several photographic situations in mind and multiple sites that I could find those situations.  Just gotta find the spot and be open to the surprises.

  In contact with several of the artists who have been there this year.  Making a list and checking it twice.  

Old proofs with negatives....Plus update.

  Looking through negative boxes peruse 5X7 contact proofs....

Climber's Cave, Shiprock.  A solitary place.

East Face, Shiprock.

Canyon de Chelly.  I've shot this shape since 1974 and never quite gotten the feeling of the powdery light color of the rock while pulling the negative space just right.  Tricky.  Might get another chance.  On the wall to the right past White House Ruin.  You can walk down.  In the mid-70s the wash hadn't channeled and you had to wade across a wide, braided stream if you came in the wet times.  This shape was up in some greasewood.  A fire burned through in the 80s and cactus filled a couple of acres in front of it.  Now it's fenced and posted and full of cactus.  They can't even graze it.  The first time I took a 4X5 Sinar down here in 1976, I shot from White House 300 yards all the way down the wall to the right to where it ends.

North Road, Shiprock.  Looking south from top of Pathfinder.  You just can't get up enough out here.

North Road, Shiprock.  Looking North from top of rented Pathfinder.

Sorting shapes in mud hills South of Nazlini.  I think this is Okeefe's famous painting spot.

Spent a lot of intentional time looking into rock walls at Canyon de Chelly the last few trips.

Rainclouds, Canyon de Chelly.  How many times have I pulled the guide over and set up on this wall over the past decade....


South Dike, Shiprock.

South Dike, Shiprock.  Just after 1:30 when the sun has crossed over into the West.

South Dike, Shiprock.

Shiprock, West View.

Morning Shadow, West side, Shiprock.

Cottonwood, Canyon del Muerto.  Just before Blue Bull Cave area.  Love those big old trees.

North East Dike, Shiprock.

Shiprock shadows.  Gotta be careful with these tones.  Delicate.

Shadow from Hermit's Cave on the North end of the North Buttress.  Hermit's cave isn't habitable due to slanty floor, but it's a neat place to sit out of the wind.  This is looking West at the end of the morning shadow.  Tough hike with a lot of loose shale to get up.  Work.  Camera looking over a drop-off that is pretty sporty.

Salt Cave, Shiprock.  Rare place.  

Slab off White Tower.  You can walk right under this flake.  A little rare for this formation.  Not many people ever come this far around the rock.  Precarious doesn't begin to describe my tripod and camera position.  I have two tripod legs on one boulder and one on another.  The camera is so elevated that I can't see more than a glimpse.  I got it composed, then elevated the central column past where I could see what was on the ground glass.  Nuts, though for 50 yards you can just stroll along along the base of the cliff while trying not to be surprised by a snake.

Little Necks, Shiprock.  Got up on a VERY difficult rarely-visited House-sized boulder top. 

Rockwork, Climber's Cave, Shiprock.  Climbers cave is by far the biggest shelter.  It had to have ritual significance.  Certainly does to me.  Cave is sealed off by waterfall briefly in big storms.  Spent several nights in here over the years....once behind a waterfall.  Bats, owls, bugs, packrats.  Look at first photo on top of this series to get a peek the other way.

Dike and Shadow, Shiprock.  This image is inside an image about eight images scrolling up, from another day and a different angle.

West Dike, Shiprock.

South Dike from West Hill, Shiprock. Standard Shiprock.  Poltergeisted here twice but they have left me alone the last few years.  There's a cairn the big birds like to sit on.  I always add a rock and make sure the perch is steady.  I don't know what's in the cairn, if anything.  Lizards.  

  There are another 30 I could have iphoned.  Didn't start until I was in the last few boxes.  I remember each scene vividly as soon as I look at the proof, but hadn't thought about some of them in years.  Helps to get a little distance.

  There's more than a whole show or a book, just waiting to be printed.


  This is the box of CDC negs from an AIR at Hubbell last year.  I got into the canyons four half or 3/4 days.  Pure heaven.  Went early and late.  Up the Del Muerto side three times and up the de Chelly side once.  Got to look at the same things more than once.  I'd decided I was going to look closely at the walls, not worry about the ruins and see what else showed up.

  Shot these this morning while texting them to a friend and having a little discussion about the canyon. iphone-d with a pair of cropping bars cut out of that white piece of cardboard they give you inside a box of 8X10 film.

These off the Del Muerto side:

That's a visual little thing on the right middle edge...

Hope to be walking along under that overhanging curve in a few weeks.  Get another look.

Canyon de Chelly side:

These are the one's I didn't look at very long after getting home and processing and proofing.  Going back and thinking about hits and misses ought to yield something.  Much fun.