Note from Mom


I recently visited White Sands National Monument in Southern New Mexico, and upon return I sent a few images to my mother. She sent this note in reply.

“When we went hunting with my Uncle Lester on the Havasupi Indian Reservation North of the rim of the Grand Canyon we would sit by the campfire every evening and he would read stories to us about the desert. We would have eaten potatoes and fresh deer meat with onions. The wind would make that low whistle you can only hear at a place like this as it dances around the sage brush. Perhaps those ghosts are dancing there. We would be up before daylight back to the business of hunting. I got lost once with just a MilkyWay candy bar. I finally climbed a high hill and took a look around. Made my decision and traveled on. I finally ran into the cross fence I was told I would run into if I went that-a-way. It was just about dark when I got back to camp. I was glad. These are times that build wonderful memories that last all your life.
The desert is a magical place that plays all kinds of tricks on you. What you know well other places doesn’t apply to the desert. It shows you another dimension. You need time for the desert. You have to let it find you.”
Like the pictures.

The Leica File 4

Okay folks, yet another installment of the beloved Leica File series. I like to think I’m the beloved part of this, but I KNOW that isn’t accurate. This time I take you a long ride down a road in my distant path…Guatemala. This trip taught me a lot about being a photographer, about being in a rapidly changing scenario. That trip taught me about working with other people and what to do if “Plan A” doesn’t work. Have a look. Have a listen.

Random Snap

Mexico circa 1994

South of Nogales. A community living in old train cars. We stopped, got out, started walking about and shooting. People were great, fun, interested and living a tough existence. Leica, Kodachrome.

At the time, I totally took these moments for granted, heck, these trips for granted. Now, it seems like I never have the time to do any of this. So rare.

I’ve seen people living in train cars all over the world, Sicily, Mexico and in the Western United States.

In Sicily they have been living in government provided rail cars since the earthquake in the 1970’s. In the Western United States these things are considered art forms. Odd how this works.

This picture bugs me because I’m too far back and it’s tilted for no reason. Well, it’s tilted cause I’m walking fast and trying to bridge the distance to make another shot. I like how the one boy is framed in the window but the others are not right.

When I teach I often talk of the “picture within the picture” and this is a great example of a not quite there photograph. But, inside this, sure, there is a better image. Did I get it? Don’t know, have to look at my chromes.

What I do like is the memory, the color of the image, and the light, which for being overcast, still has a nice punch to it. Normally this light is “black and white light,” but I think color also looks great in flat light.

Kodachrome was unique in its pallet, which is partly to blame.

I don’t take these trips for granted any longer. They are far too precious. Heck, time to shoot is far too precious.