Topic: marshes (2 posts)


Saltair. What a great word: Saltair. Did I photograph it because I liked the name so much or was the place so good it needed some serious attention and the name was a kind of bonus?

Probably a little of both. But the place was spectacular. The word Saltair conjures up visions of a castle-like building up there on the top of the craggy cliff overlooking the crashing waves below in the North Sea in Scotland. At least it does for me. 

I just returned from a one week trip to Salt Lake City to aerially photograph some of the shoreline of the lake and also the Potash Evaporation Pools that are scattered along the edge of the lake (here). In exploring the area in between flights I found Saltair.

In reality Saltair is a concert venue lying at the edge of the fetid and massively receded Great Salt Lake about an hour from the city. Actually, the "edge" isn't quite correct as the lake has receded in recent years. This occurs occasionally and has hurt previous iterations of Saltair. You can see how far the lakeshore is now from Saltair 

with the loupe showing semi's parked alongside as there was a concert coming that night.

The first Saltair, circa 1893. There have been three versions in the 120 years or so since.

As you can see the lake took over at one time.

Saltair is a club-like venue for concerts and large parties. During the day it seems abandoned.

The first day I drove out there I was the only one around. I really didn't know if this was an abandoned building or if it was still active.  After the first day shooting there I went back a couple of days later, feeling I hadn't quite "got it".

And then began to work  around to the back of the  building.

With this most incredible expanse, mountains way across the lake shimmering in the distance. Only to find a lawn, maybe the most shocking, as it led us out to the shore, which didn't exist.

This was a man with a metal detector taking his dog for a walk.

Oops. No shore. I'm sure the intention here was to lead us to the beach but is in reality very far away, too far away.

Then I worked a little on the building itself and what it reflected back on.

and then finished by working with the extreme nothingness that was this:

which I'm sure on your 1 1/2 inch screen looks a little anticlimactic but as a 40 inch print might have perhaps a little more presence.

Is this a series? No, not yet. Is it sequenced and tightly edited? No. Will it be? I am not sure yet. Sometimes we need a little distance from our work to fully understand it. One way to help understand it better is to put it in front of people. I've done that in this post. Feel free to send in your comments. I would welcome that. My email is here. And thanks for taking the time to look at my pictures.

Topics: Aerials in Louisiana,marshes

Permalink | Posted September 16, 2015

Was it Worth It?

Last week I flew to Salt Lake City ostensibly to shoot aerials. I am on my last day as I fly back tomorrow to be in town for the opening of Wild Thing at 555 Gallery on Saturday.

Let's see now: round trip flight, hotel, rental car, food, 2 charters totaling 2 1/2 hours, shipping (of the Kenyon gyro stabilizer I use): not insubstantial money to spend on a little over two hours of flying.Worth it?

You tell me:

btw: if you are looking at these on your new super wonder 47 inch monitor that cost more than what you drive then great. But if you only look at those three images floating above this text on your iPhone while you're riding the subway on your way to work while you're sipping your laté then I really have nothing more to say to you. Well, maybe just this; you should be ashamed of yourself.

I've written before about commitment. Well, sometimes commitment means more than that new lens you want or getting up early to catch the light. Sometimes it means travel.

Let's back up. Why am I out here on a one week trip to aerially photograph in the area of Great Salt Lake north of the city? Because, years ago, on a flight returning from the Palouse shooting wheat fields I flew from Spokane first to Salt Lake City on one of those odd right angle connections on the way to returning home in Boston. As we approached the airport in Salt Lake City from the north we flew over the lake and some evaporation pools with amazing colors. It's probably taken me 10 years to pull it off but here I am back out here with the specific intention to photograph those pools.  After two flights and shooting 600 or so frames I can say that for me it was worth it. Clear skies, plenty of light and sunshine and files of unparalleled quality.

A little tech: with this much light I had the luxury of shooting at ISO 400 at 1/1600 of a second anywhere from 5.6 on up to f11. 

So what else did I do while out here? I drove around looking for pictures. Mostly unsuccessfully but I will share some in my next post.

I've just posted on the site the first edits from the first flight. At 50 something photographs it's way too many but at least you'll get a sense of what it was like out there: here. 

Like another planet.

                                                           • • •

If you're local, see you Saturday at 555. Can't wait. Exceptional coverage of my work in the show by Aline Smithson at Lenscratch: here and a preview by Elin Spring in her blog What Will you Remember: here. Thank you Aline and Elin!

Topics: Monsters,marshes

Permalink | Posted September 9, 2015