Saturday, May 14, 2016


Rugby is said to have been first played in 1823 and is thought to have spun off into
both soccer and American football...but I could be wrong. All I know is that I played
some high school football, in pads from helmet to cleat and played quite a lot of sandlot
tackle and flag football. I thought long and hard before trying out for Rugby. It is a game
seemingly more barbaric than football, due to the lack of pads, but I've found out that
it's actually the other way around with American football the more brutal because of the
"anything goes" field etiquette. Rugby, with longer periods and no substitutions is
rough by anyone standards, but the rules of engagement are more controlled with no
tackling while in the air, above the shoulders or at the knees.

I had an opportunity to catch a scrimmage with our local high school level team yesterday 
before they headed of to a tournament in the big city today. I was surprised to find out that we
had a high school level rugby team here in town, and even more surprise to find out that
the cleaned everyones clock last year and this. The were state champs last year, besting
all of the well funded city teams here in Colorado.

I ended up having about 45 minutes with the young men and here's what happened. 


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hesperia, California and the Upper Sonoran Zone

I don't consider myself to be a landscape photographer in the true sense of things, and
certainly not in the rarified air of many of my colleagues in this business. I do, from time
to time, get called upon, hired, commissioned, to spend some time on a specific tract
of land to tell her story, reveal her secrets and portray her moods. 

I always arrive knowing not a thing about her complexities and I've learned only to ask
questions and keep an open mind knowing that, when the light is right, after I've strode about,
my subject might give up some of her secrets to me. And it's always upon leaving that I am
just starting to understand her.

When I arrived out on the land beyond Barstow, California - Hesperia to be more specific -
the promise of a successful photo shoot evaded me. It was a parched, nearly colorless and very
forbidding landscape. It was, however, only 3 pm and I knew I would need to reserve judgement. 

    The first evening, not knowing precisely where I should be standing at the
hour of magicness, on this 9,000 acre piece of California desert, I headed for high ground, which seem like the obvious thing to do, as one would if they were lost. And in a manner of speaking, I was lost, with the hope that my subject might find me and give up her first secret. She was stingy, but
as the sun dropped from the sky, I started to see what she had been hiding from me at 3.

That evening and for the following 3 days, I conversed with my subject, learning a little more
about her as we spoke.

When I thought I might like to be a photographer, at about age 16, I thought this might be what
I wanted it to be like. In the years hence I traveled in many directions with my camera bag, but it's
interesting where we end up. If I had to give it all up, I think I'd be happy walking the landscape
having conversations like these.