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The Coalmine Canyon Album

Coalmine Canyon #1

Yes, there was once a coal mine here in the late 1800s. But the seam was small, the coal was poor quality, and so the pioneers moved on from Coalmine Canyon and left the land to its owners, the Navajo and Hopi tribes of Native Americans. Good thing, because this gem of the Southwest is as lonely as it is gorgeous. The coal deposits at the top levels of the canyon are a key to its unique beauty, as they add black and blue colors to the usual red, orange and yellow tones of the desert, constructing a landscape like no other.

Coalmine Canyon #2
Coalmine Canyon #2

It is a photographer’s paradise on many levels. Most obviously, it is colorful, high relief, and in a climate zone of constantly changing light and seasons. Dawn, mid-day, sunset, bright sun and passing storms all change the character and mood of Coalmine Canyon. You will never see it and photograph it the same way twice.

Coalmine Canyon #4
Coalmine Canyon #4

It is also lonely. Not only will you see few other people exploring its rim, but the Native American stewards minimally manage your explorations. The Navajo tribe requests you get a permit to visit from any Navajo Tribal Parks office, but it is managed as wilderness and you are on your own to care for the land and respect the privacy of landowners.

Coalmine Canyon #5
Coalmine Canyon #5

One of the fascinating aspects of the canyon that appeals to me is the thin but intense red sandstone layers that occur among thick layers of white mudstone. In the canyon relief they give the strong impression of elevation lines on a topographic map.

Coalmine Canyon #7
Coalmine Canyon #7

Not only do I find these features appealing in horizontal vistas, but when seen in aerials taken directly above, they achieve an abstract quality. It can take a moment to realize what you are looking at.

Coalmine Canyon #8
Coalmine Canyon #8

As with most landscape photography, it is the light that makes or breaks the picture. The warm, angled light of dawn and dusk — broken clouds streaming patches of light across the immense acreage — even bright sun penetrating into impenetrable canyon — every condition presents new possibilities of color and composition.

Coalmine Canyon #6
Coalmine Canyon #6

To get to Coalmine Canyon, go to Tuba City, Arizona, which is on the Navajo Nation an hour north of Flagstaff,an hour south of Page, and an hour southwest of Kayenta. Stop at the Tribal office in town for a visit permit, then take Highway 264 southeast for 20 minutes, and you’re there. Find a few turnoffs on short dirt roads that will take you to overlooks. Most passenger cars can get to the closer vistas; a high-clearance vehicle takes you to some of the more remote spots.

Coalmine Canyon Arizona Map
Coalmine Canyon Arizona Map

Two FTF Photos in Top 250

Iceout, Lost Lake

Further To Fly Photography has placed two landscape photographs in the top 250 nature shots of 2017, judged by the North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA). The group’s annual “Showcase” competition attracts three to four thousand photo submissions annually from hundreds of the world’s top nature and wildlife photographers. Both photographs will be publish in NANPA’s “Expressions” presenting the competition winners.

“Iceout on Lost Lake” is a sentimental take on the passing of Winter into Spring in the high peaks of the Uinta Mountains, Utah. Intricate detail of a submerged, snow-covered log contrasts with a snowy sunset reflected in the patch lake waters. Finding this photo required a cold, snowy exploration of muddy lakeshores, trusting that the perfect composition would eventually reveal itself.

Iceout, Lost Lake
Iceout, Lost Lake

“First Light on Fall Creek” is a scene from the beautiful Swan Valley region of eastern Idaho. Fall Creek flows east out of the Caribou Mountain and cascades fifty feet directly into the Snake River. This photograph, taken in February at the first light of dawn, highlights the veil-like waterfall in the yellow morning sun while the surrounding river remains cold and blue.

First Light at Fall Creek
First Light at Fall Creek

Fall Creek sees its share of visitor in summer warmth, but virtually no one comes by in the winter to crash through the brushy, snowy riverbank in search of the perfect shot. In Winter, the rising sun catches the falls perfectly, the creek is full and the waters crash, creating a completely different picture. An exposure of about five seconds expresses the multiple water channels best.

“Lesson,” “Sorica” at Springville Museum of Art

Lesson for Young Buddhist Monks

Two Further to Fly works, “Lesson” and “Sorica Village Church,” will hang at the Springville Museum of Art’s upcoming show, “32nd Annual Spiritual and Religious Art of Utah.” The show opens October 18, 2017, and runs through January 10th. Both works are photographs.

“Lesson” depicts two young novice monks, around seven years old, reading a text together. The photograph was made by Tom Horton in 2012 at Schwe Yan Pyay monastery in Nyaungshwe, Shan State, Myanmar. A class was underway on a warm afternoon, Tom recalls, and many other novices in the room were bored and nodding off, but these two were clearly interested in the lesson.

Sorica Village Church
Sorica Village Church

Sorica is a small mountain village in Bohinj province, Slovenia. In October of 2013, Tom captured an image of the village church on the crest of its hill as the afternoon sun highlighted it against the dark forest. It is an Eastern Orthodox church dedicated to St. Nicholas, and contains important works of the impressionist painter Ivan Grohar, a native of Sorica. The mustard yellow panels of the white church pick up the afternoon sun and rivet the eye to the scene, Tom notes.

Springville Museum of Art, the first visual arts museum in Utah, has curated this multi-media exhibition annually for 32 years to “celebrate the diversity of religious experience and belief in our community. Using different media to express these ideas artists create works which will engage and inspire viewers to contemplate and reflect on the vibrant spiritual traditions we share.”

A public reception will open the exhibition at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, October 18. The museum is in Utah County, several miles south of Provo, Utah. (map)

 

It’s a “Forest Planet” at Red Butte Garden

Forest Planet Poster

Acclaimed forest landscape scenes from the western US to as far afield as Botswana, Slovenia, India, China, Cambodia, Russia populate the gardens exhibit hall from September 15 through October. Prints in various sizes and media are available for acquisition, as well as souvenier exhibit poster and note cards.

Cycling to the Hanerik Market, western China
Cycling to the Hanerik Market, western China

“The world’s diversity is expressed nowhere better than in the varied beauty of forests around the world,” notes Tom, owner of Further To Fly Photography. “We see forests ranging from primal wilderness to urban tracts that wind through some of the largest cities.”

 

Red Gate at Dawn, El Dorado, California
Red Gate at Dawn, El Dorado, California

The exhibit consists of 29 photographic prints on two kinds of media, satin canvas and watercolor paper. All the works have descriptive captions.

Redwood Sunbeams, California
Redwood Sunbeams, California

Red Butte Garden is a well-known regional facility that combines and arboretum, gardens, exhibits, educational activities, concerts and other events in a beautiful foothill setting on the University of Utah campus. It is open daily from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm in September and 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in October.

Lost Prospector Trail in Autumn; mountain autumn
Lost Prospector Trail in Autumn, Park City
Huangshan West Sea, China
Huangshan West Sea, China
Pond on Redwood Creek, California
Pond on Redwood Creek, California

 

 

“A Mountain Autumn” – Exhibition at Park City Library

Lost Prospector Trail in Autumn; mountain autumn

It’s up! Further To Fly Photography is pleased to announce the opening of “A Mountain Autumn,” an exhibition of 40 photographs celebrating Fall in the forests of Park City, the West and the World. The exhibition in the Park City, Utah, library runs from September 15 through November 25, 2017, and is open to the public during library hours.

Photos in the exhibit are from Tom Horton’s portfolio of nature and landscape photography and are from the past 10 years’ work. They are glicée prints of various sizes up to 40 inches by 30 inches, handmade by Tom on archival canvas and watercolor paper.

Early Snow, Wasatch Range - Brighton, 2016
Early Snow, Wasatch Range – Brighton, 2016

From the Artist’s Statement at the show: “The wistfulness of a passed Summer is unknown in mountain towns. In August, we begin stealing glances at the hills and forests. When the maples show hints of sunset-red and and the oaks are Halloween-orange, we sense the main event is coming. While the aspens blaze yellow, we clean house, fill the wood bin, and set out the good china for our guests (and ourselves). Our pace quickens and our hearts turn over. Life starts another chapter.”

Survivors - Kamas, 2016
Survivors – Kamas, 2016

Works in the exhibition are available for sale directly from Tom Horton. Tom is donating 15% of gross sales during the exhibition to the Friends of the Park City Library, a citizen’s support group for the library. Email Tom with this contact form,

Kate Mapp, Curator, Park City Library
Kate Mapp, Curator, Park City Library
Sunspots - Park City, 2016
Sunspots – Park City, 2016
On Treasure Hill - Park City, 2016
On Treasure Hill – Park City, 2016
Under the Aspens - Park City, 2016
Under the Aspens – Park City, 2016

 

Hidden Places / Secret Times

Sorica Village Church

Apparently I have developed a reputation for photographing different places in unusual ways, because the Wasatch Camera Club in Salt Lake City, Utah, asked me to divulge some of my secrets. I was happy to do this, of course, but I got to thinking there is a deeper question to be addressed: WHY would you bother to find your own hidden places and secret times? After all, it is much more work, with a higher incidence of failure, than just tagging along with everybody else. You have to want to do it. So the first half of the presentation is about the “why” question, and the second half gets into actual locations and times. I’ve provided the original Powerpoint in PDF format without narration. You can view it live at the link below or download it. The slides should be self-explanatory, but please leave comments and questions and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Enjoy!

Hidden Places / Secret Times

“Wave” at 93rd Spring Salon Exhibit

Wave Monochrome 1 Spring Salon

Our image “Wave Monochrome #1” is in the catalog of the 93rd Spring Salon exhibition at the Springville Museum of Art, staring April 26 and running through July 8, 2017. The image is one of nine monochrome studies of “The Wave,” a geologic site in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona, USA. A few other images from the series are shown below. More detail about the image is available here.

The Springville Museum of Art is Utah’s first museum for the visual fine arts. Dedicated as a “Sanctuary of Beauty and a Temple of Contemplation” by David O. McKay, the Museum houses over 2,500 works. Utah art, twentieth-century Soviet Realist art and American art, comprise the Museum’s permanent collection.

With over 15 exhibitions annually, the Museum is a key promoter and contributor to the arts in Utah. Artwork is displayed throughout 29 galleries in this 45,000 square foot facility and a beautiful outdoor sculpture garden.

Wave Monochrome #8
Wave Monochrome #8

Black and white derivations of the Wave images were begun in 2015 and completed in 2016. They are unusual visions because virtually all expressions of southwestern desert “redrock” scene are done in color, reflecting the dramatic hues of the terrain. Further To Fly’s monochrome impressions show them in a new light that emphasizes line and shape.

Wave Monochrome #4
Wave Monochrome #4

The Spring Salon was first held in 1922, and has been held annually since that time, except during World War II when fuel and other goods were rationed nationwide.  The exhibition is a juried competition that showcases the diversity and quality of contemporary Utah art. Over 900 works were proposed for the exhibition in 2017 and less than 10% were selected.

Wave Monochrome #5
Wave Monochrome #5

Yemen’s “Windows of the Moon”

Windows of Old Sana'a #1

The old quarter of the ancient city of Sana’a, Yemen, is a marvelous architectural monument at any time of day – but at night it becomes a stunning, luminous wonder. The difference is the ubiquitous stained-glass “Qamariya” windows – the “windows of the moon” in Arabic translation.

Old City Sana'a at Twilight
Old City Sana’a at Twilight

First-time visitors to old Sana’a marvel silently at the sight of the world’s oldest skyscrapers, built by hand from brown stone and mud-brick and decorated with whitewashed geometric designs and patterns. The effect is so unique in the world that it is hard to describe; terms like “gingerbread” and “Aztec” and ”Abyssinian” come to mind, but don’t quite describe it.

Windows of Old Sana'a # 2
Windows of Old Sana’a # 2

It is no surprise that old Sana’a became one of the first United National World Heritage Sites in 1986. The current version of old Sana’a dates from the first days of Islam in the 7th century, but it has been a major city for at least 2,500 years. Some claim it was a stronghold of the Queen of Sheba of Biblical history. Many of the building designs and detail may date from at least that age.

Windows of Old Sana'a # 9
Windows of Old Sana’a # 9

The Qamariya windows come out at night, of course. They are virtually always used as transom windows – a small decorative window above a main window. Their rainbow colors of stained glass are built in what seems an infinite variety of shapes and patterns. I have seen hundreds, but by no means all of them, and I have never seen two identical.

Windows of Old Sana'a # 21
Windows of Old Sana’a # 21

At night, when they shine out of on the tall buildings and narrow stone alleyways of the old city, the Qamariya windows transform this old mountain fortress and its Afro-Arab people into a lively market town with an artistic and esthetic overlay. It is a calming experience just to walk the streets and take in the multicolor glows.

Windows of Old Sana'a # 18
Windows of Old Sana’a # 18

Some think that windows’ reference to the moon reflects an Islamic tradition, but it actually goes back much further than that. The juxtaposition of the crescent moon and star was also popular in ancient Greek and Byzantine culture, and did not become associated with Islam until advent of the Ottoman empire. Qamariya windows were common much earlier than that.

Windows of Old Sanaa # 2
Windows of Old Sanaa # 2

The windows are hand-made by craftsmen who learned the trade in traditional apprenticeships. The bits of colored glass were initially encased in gypsum-based stucco, due to its availability and affordability. In the last few decades, metal fixtures have become more common for greater durability. The Qamariya window tradition extends to many other countries in the region, notably Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Windows of Old Sanaa # 5
Windows of Old Sanaa # 5
Windows of Old Sanaa # 28
Windows of Old Sanaa # 28
Windows of Old Sana'a # 7
Windows of Old Sana’a # 7
Windows of Old Sana'a # 31
Windows of Old Sana’a # 31
Windows of Old Sana'a # 15
Windows of Old Sana’a # 15
Windows of Old Sana'a # 13
Windows of Old Sana’a # 13

Sources include:

Feeny, J., Saudi Aramco World, Saudi Aramco Corp., pgs. 2-3, Vol. 26 no. 4, July/August 1975

Berer, J., Nomad Out of Time (a journal of islamic art), accessed 4/4/17 at https://joshberer.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/the-qamariya/, October 5, 2009

Grand Staircase at “Red, White and Snow”

Grand Staircase

“The Grand Staircase”, a large canvas print in high-end framing, is available at a major fundraising auction in Park City. The National Ability Center’s “Red, White and Snow” gala is offering this compelling print in its Premium category at a value of $5,001. The work measures 40″ x 57″ and is print #2 in an edition of 10 in the Further to Fly Photography catalog.

Interested collectors can preview this art and bid online at this link. The gala is part of many events on the Red, White and Snow weekend and is Saturday, March 4 at the Montage Deer Valley resort, 5:30 pm. 

“The Grand Staircase” is an excellent example of having to get away from the trees to see the forest. The Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument is the largest national monument in the lower 48 US states and features endless terraced mesas, redrock formations, shady slot canyons, lonely streams, and an immense stratigraphic and paleontologic record book. It is impossible to comprehend the whole of it when you are inside it.

I was at nearby Bryce Canyon National park on a winter afternoon, and the combination of elevation, snow, and the warm, low-angle light of sunset was a sudden, almost accidental revelation. The literal Grand Staircase was in right in front of me, compressed between a bluff in Bryce Canyon and the shoulder of Navajo Mountain, 160 kilometers away — and the lines, shapes and colors made it whole in a way few had noticed before. This rendition is one of my favorites, not only for its beauty, but for the way it simplified its complexity for me. I love it when a shot comes together.

Zion National Park Photo Tips

Zion National Park Photo Tips is a presentation requested by the Park City Photography Club, made in November, 2016. This is a video version.

Further To Fly at Art Elevated Holiday Market

Swaner Preserve Holiday Market
Put nature photography on your holiday gift list this year!

Park City’s Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter will feature Further To Fly Photography’s work at the 2016 Art Elevated Holiday Market starting December 2nd.

The event marks the first public offering of a photograph named among the “Top 100” nature photographs of 2016 by the North American Nature Photographer’s Association — “Grand Prismatic Spring at Sunset” from Yellowstone National Park.

Grand Prismatic Spring at Sunset
Grand Prismatic Spring at Sunset

“The autumn foliage colors were great in Park city this year,” notes FTF photographer Tom Horton, “and I will have several new local autumn color photos available.”

Lost Prospector Trail in Autumn
Lost Prospector Trail in Autumn

The Art Elevated Holiday Market runs December 2nd through 4th, at preserves visitor center at Kimball Junction, Park City. Several local artists will display and sell their work, and local entertainers will provide a fun holiday experience. The preserve is an ecology education center operated by Utah State University.

Giclée Printing Services Now Available in Park City

Giclee Printing Services Now Available

High-quality, affordable giclée images are now available to you without the hassle of the big city, or the indifference of online mass-production.

The Further To Fly Art Printing, a new division of Further To Fly Photography, prints large-format digital images using museum-quality materials. Three service levels are available:

  • Standard 7-day turnaround
  • Expedited (overnight)
  • Expedited (while you wait)

Service features:

  • Variety of high-quality art papers and canvases inventoried
  • Professional color management
  • Secure and efficient Web ordering
  • Roll stock to 44” width
  • Newest Epson printing technology

https://FurtherToFly.com

tom@FurtherToFly.com

 

Further to Fly Awarded NANPA Top 100

Yellowstone Hot Spring at Sunset

The N. American Nature Photographer’s Assn. (NANPA) chooses “Yellowstone Hot Spring at Sunset” as one of the top 100 nature photographs of 2016. Tom Horton’s photo from Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park‘s Midway Geyser Basin picks up orange and purple sky reflections on sinuous travertine terraces, framed by a forested horizon. “This very popular tourist spot is totally vacant by sunset,” Tom notes, “and like many Yellowstone locations, it completely changes character in the twilight. Anybody could make this photo, but nobody is there.”

Two more of Tom’s photographs were semi-finalists in NANPA’s competition, which drew 2,600 entries from 275 professional photographers. “Receding Tide, Canon Beach” frames an Oregon seascape with sunset-tinged clouds.

Receding Tide, Canon Beach
Receding Tide, Canon Beach

“Black on Red” juxtaposes a foreground of black rocks with a red sandstone plateau at Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park, while a jagged monolith dominates the horizon.

Black on Red, Valley of Fire
Black on Red, Valley of Fire

“Ghosts of the Great Basin” Exhibit Opens Oct. 21

Ghosts of the Great Basin #6

“They seem to be arriving and leaving at the same time, halfway in and halfway out of the world.” That’s my impression of the wild horses I photographed for the exhibition “Ghosts of the Great Basin,” opening October 21st at the Utah Art Festival Gallery in Salt Lake City.

Ghosts of the Great Basin #4
Ghosts of the Great Basin #4

American wild horses (more accurately termed feral horses or mustangs) endure a tenuous existence and uncertain future. People brought these horses to the country’s wilds, yet we saddle them with a love/hate relationship. There are far too many for the land, as we manage it, to support, yet our will to make decisions about them wavers. They are truly in limbo, as pointed out recently in a New York Times story.

Ghosts of the Great Basin #1
Ghosts of the Great Basin #1

Mustangs overpopulate their American ranges by up to 10,000 horses today, and we provide extra water and food for their survival. They are efficient competitors for resources with livestock and wild game, which generates some criticism. But to many, they are simply beautiful, inspirational free spirits.

Ghosts of the Great Basin #3
Ghosts of the Great Basin #3

In addition to the wild herds, there are 40,000 more in captive holding pens in the Midwest. Some are adopted, but that is not a solution because it is much easier to raise a domestic horse.  They depend on humans to exist, yet we don’t know what to do with them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Ghosts of the Great Basin #4

The reality is that of about 70,000 feral Mustangs, we are warehousing about 1/3 of them on the range, and 2/3 in captivity, and none of them are truly wild. Another story of  hurting the ones we love.

Gallery stroll and artists’ reception — 6:00-9:00 pm, October 21st, 230 S. 500 W., Salt Lake City. Details at the Utah Art Festival Gallery website.