Pictures from the Road
(October 2002)

Pictures that I liked from my wandering through the great National Parks in October 2002 -- places I wanted to see, hike, or just be enchanted by. =)
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Sunset near Death Valley, CA
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Reflections at the river in Sedona, AZ
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The Theatre at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah
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Metate Arch near Escalante, Utah

These pictures -- it was strange how they happened. I was touring the National Parks in the west and when I was in Utah, I came across this old man taking pictures at Bryce. He had all this old equipment in a truck and it intrigued me. He would walk around the rim and cup his hands over his one eye and look around. He did this for quite awhile. Then he disappeared back to the parking lot and proceeded to carry back this giant tripod. Back he went to his truck and carries out this pre-historic looking camera a few minutes later. I didn't know what was more interesting -- the scenery or watching the old man!! I decided it was time to go over and chat. I felt compelled for some strange reason -- there was a story here that would be entertaining.

Too make a long story short, I somehow became his "assistant" for the next couple of days! He retired many years ago and now just wonders the USA and Canada taking pictures. We wondered parts of Utah and I carried his gear for him to get pictures that he physically was unable to get. The whole time, I am standing by his side getting a lifetimes experience in composing pictures and understanding light. Whereas I am infamous for burning through film, he would setup and wait for the exact perfect moment and take only one picture and then move on -- quality vs quantity. Even if it meant one picture for the whole day. Although I didn't get very many pictures taken while with him -- the difference in quality is apparent (I do need a better scan of the images though). I applied the same concepts to pictures I took from Sedona as well as Mono Lake, Joshua Tree, and while in Death Valley.

Right now as I write this, he is probably somewhere setting up his tripod at some scenic location. Next he will get his camera and get it ready. Then he will get out his little folding chair and then just sit there smoking his pipe. Just waiting ever so patiently for the sunlight to dance across the surface of his next subject. Just fractions of a moment before it's perfect, he will stand up and stand near his camera and trigger the shutter timer for the 30 second delay. Then he will walk away and start folding his chair and put it back in its bag. The camera will go "click" but he won't hear it. He is headed back to his truck already and is packing. He took the only picture he wanted and he knows that he got it.

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