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!
Further To Fly’s panoramic photograph, “Earth, Air, Wind, Fire,” an image of the Great Salt Lake in winter, is a finalist for the Alfred Lambourne Prize in visual arts, which will be awarded by the Friends of the Great Salt Lake on September 16. The public is welcome to attend this annual celebration of the lake and the arts — see attached invitation.
Is there an art of seeing?
Any number of people seeing the same object will report entirely different observations. What more evidence is necessary that seeing is a subjective experience; indeed, an artistic experience?
Recognizing that, the Wasatch Camera Club and the Jewish Community Center have joined forces to present “Art of Seeing,” a curated collection of over 70 photographs that see everyday scenes in a unique way. Further To Fly Photography is pleased to have five photographs selected for the exhibit, and to invite you to spend some time browsing the exhibit. You will, I promise, see some things in a different way.
“Close Shave in Hanoi” — Simplified routines of life play out on a Hanoi, Vietnam, street;
“Fishing the Nile” — Egyptian boys participate in a timeless ritual of finding adulthood;
“Peace in the Middle East” — A story of sand, a dove, and a hasty departure from Arabia.
Honored to be judging the winter competition of the Wasatch Camera Club, and critiquing selected photos. These photographers are serious about their craft and are producing some exceptional work. If you’re a Utah photographer, you should affiliate here and you are guaranteed to learn a lot!
A large, salty lake in the desert might seem the most monotonous of subjects, but in fact the opposite is true. The Great Salt Lake in the western USA has a way with light that produces myriad colors and shapes — it becomes a palette from which to paint endless scenes, both real and abstract. In winter, the effect is exaggerated, as if the observer has stepped off of Earth and onto another planet.
The Great Salt Lake, Utah, is in an ideal geographic position to play host to spectacular sunsets all year around. It backs up to the tall Wasatch Mountains, where clouds driven by prevailing winds stack up. But in the direction of the setting sun is the vast salt pan known as the Salt Flats with its clear skies and long vistas, giving the red rays a direct shot at the mountain clouds. The result is the brilliant orange and red clouds and alpenglow for which western US sunsets are famous.
This setting is Antelope Island on the eastern side of the Great Salt Lake, specifically White Rock Bay. I especially like winter sunsets, because the snow picks up the red light so well and contrasts it with dark rocks. Here recent storms have left pools of water on the sand, nicely reflecting the glowing orange clouds. A perfect evening in an unusual place.
Large-format landscape photography, as defined by Ansel Adams, enthralls me because of the exquisite detail in even in the most obscure parts of the photo. I could stand in front of such a print and look at it all day, examining every twig and grain of sand.
This photo, from a the White Pine trail in a mountain canyon outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, is in that spirit. I took this photo in 1970 on 4″ x 5″ color negative film, and recently had it scanned and converted to a digital file that came in at a huge 440 Mb. As much as I love digital photography, I still admire the incredible image quality those old view cameras and negative films can produce. (Pricing Schedule D)
When I was in college, around 1970, I would lug a 4 x 5 camera and big, ugly tripod around the mountains trying to be Ansel Adams. Not that I’m dissatisfied, but that didn’t quite work out — life intervened. But now I am back at it, and that’s what makes this photo special to me. It is nearly 50 years old, one of the few I have remaining from that camera and that era, but it is every bit the same as I remember that day. Originally it was an Ektacolor negative, and about 10 years ago I had it scanned and converted to a digital file which turned out huge — about 450 megabytes.
The fall colors in the oak leaves, the high relief of the granite boulder, the blue air — it all has a nice harmony. This spot in Little Cottonwood Canyon has many visitors, but most are not interested in the beauty — they come for the “bouldering.” Yes, around here are many large granite boulders with steep faces on which mountain climbers like to try out their risky moves. They fall only a few feet, and may get bruised but not maimed for life. I guess there is a certain beauty in that. (Price Schedule D)
Salt Lake City loves its slogans. They relate to the world class skiing, the rich cultural life, the cooperative climate, the diversity of experiences, the friendly business environment. And like slogans everywhere, they avoid they negatives.
I have a new one: “America’s Best Sunsets.” Because it just may be true; summer or winter, yellow, orange and red skies regularly stretch horizon to horizon. Alpenglow kisses the mountain peaks, turning them into cherry snow-cones. The city has a perfect sunset situation, with tall peaks to the east, flat desert to the west, elevated foothills for good views, and some of the clearest skies in the USA. Don’t plan much around sunset time in Salt Lake City; you’ll probably be looking at the sky. (Pricing Schedule F)