Since I was in 7th grade with my first instamatic and developing my mind’s eye as well as my own black and whites I’ve wanted to go on a pilgrimage – Not to the holy land as you know might know it but to the great southwest that my boyhood hero Ansel Adams knew and photographed.
Spanning across the Utah/Arizona border Monument Valley’s extreme rugged features were well documented by Ansel. ANYbody even SORT of interested in photography would recognize his photograph of the Mittons…. or his petroglyphs.
One of my favorite images from his 1958 trip was his self portrait. A simple shadow of an icon – showing us a bit of his personality, his sense of humor and love of these great views that he wanted to help preserve for future generations.
If he were around today I’m sure Ansel would be thrilled to join me with some of his own state of the art digital imaging gear. He’d have a high resolution scan back on a view camera or maybe want to borrow my Nikon D800 😉 but in any case I would have given just about anything (sorry to my firstborn child) to be able to visit these world class settings with the man that inspired me more than just about anyone!
I’ll be making this trip – though not with Ansel. This trip will be a be with one of my current mentors and friends – Paul Rogers. Paul has spent his own time photographing parts of this beautiful country in ways envious to me. We’ll not have the seemingly endless time Ansel had. But I’m thinking three sunrise/sunsets and everything in between should be a good start to pay homage to Mr. Adams.
And you can bet I’ll be sharing images and thoughts about all sorts of things after I get back!
Are you ready Paul?