Subject matter has changed too as I shot photojournalism, events, and on-location advertising for nearly a decade before moving to Europe and primarily doing large format  studio work. I always ventured out to work with non-assigned landscapes from the very beginning of my becoming a professional photographer. I worked with local landscapes, Civil War battlefields, historic monuments, etc. while occasionally taking students with me to locations they might otherwise never see. I worked with a Mamiya RB and a waist level finder and that combination gave me a different point of view. I am fairly tall and so being able to shoot with a camera only four feet off the ground on a short tripod was different.

I tend to venture out to locations which are not just off the beaten path, but may not be available to the general public. I suppose my preferences are a result of going on field trips with my father and his fellow geologists in the desert when I was seven or eight. We lived in Denver, so the guys went into the Rockies for rock samples and we observed natural features like the natural bridge, dinosaur footprints and bones, petrified trees, fossils large and small, semi-precious stones, gold and silver ore, and along the way I was taught how to pan for gold. By the time that got washed through another few decades of experiences and sights my feelings about landscapes began to appear on film. I could hardly believe that those summer junkets into the desert would affect me so greatly, but their memories have stuck with me for my entire life.

I also like working on government reservations behind fences even though the various powers at such places always assume I am snooping for the latest secret plane or other weapon, while I am really trying to show ca. WW2 and earlier man-managed landscapes and structures. (insert Thermal WW2 hangar). The NTS was an extreme version of shooting behind fences, as it mostly contained large areas of a facility which had been stripped to the essentials by professionals. They tried so hard to show nothing that they left a lot of strange detritus behind and just when I thought our guide had run out of places he could show off, he would take us down another road which led to (for example) a lot filled with v trailers and box trucks which bumped my Geiger counter up a couple of notches. But there they were for sale as though they were just left over from a construction site somewhere else in America.

A few years later I was able to get into and shoot on Davis-Monthan AFB. It is the Air Force storage lot for thousands of retired, mothballed, parts planes, and B-52’s being chopped up in order to comply with the START II treaty. Next time I go out West I hope to spend more time in a desert or two shooting detritus at Inyokern, Roswell, or other parking lot for planes and weapons no longer in use. Shooting there is heavenly when carrying a panorama camera.


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