My only part in creating this image was walking up to it and shooting it. Someone else is the artist and gets all of the credit. Or blame, depending…. Western Art. Ain’t it Great?
The Rio Grande, known in Mexico as Rio Bravo del Norte, spills out of New Mexico’s mountains and meanders through the Chihuahuan Desert, spliting the land into very different cultures, belief systems, and countries (none of which is visually apparent)…. And this is what it looks like. That’s Mexico on the left of the river, and in the distance.. This landscape technique of putting a representative object in the foreground and using the fairly stark background as context can render almost any scene well…Try layering your landscape scenes with different things to look at, varying distances from the viewer. It makes the image more interesting; and the story the photo sings richer and deeper.
I love to visually anthropomorphize natural objects, whenever I can. It allows humans to feel kinship with things not normally accessible… Here, a cluster of Giant Spanish Daggers looks the proud family unit that they are.
I’m sure this is no big deal to anyone residing higher than the 30th degree of Latitude (like Austin), but we don’t get “frozen precipitation” here very often, so the novelty evokes wonder and appreciation. I just skated out on the frozen ground without skates. It’s covered with almost an inch of solid ice; this detail tells the story. I’m going to look at this during the summer and dream…..Hell DOES freeze over.
Sometimes I’ll take a tour of old shots to see what unpublished images might be fun to show…. Here’s one;…Selena, taken at one of those clubs that changes their name every month or so. Here, she had two years still to live and already looked like an angel Sometimes photography seizes a likeness so well you swear you can see the Soul…I hadn’t seen that aspect of this image when I initially reviewed the shots years ago. Now, I don’t see how I missed it.
My favorite politician ever was Ann Richards. There was no bullshit with Ann, not if she could help it….she called it like she saw it and had lots of fun along the way. I was lucky to work with her from her Travis County Commisioner Court and State Treasurer campaigns up through her run for Governor. She was one of a kind, a true Class Act.
Yesterday, my eldest son Hawk flew back to Seattle after a holiday visit.. It seemed like a good time for a quick self-portrait on the front porch, right before he drove to the airport. I just hold the camera up, zoom it wide and blast a few digits. Eventually, you’ll get tired of mugging and some truth might just slip into the shot. That’s the one you want…. That’s me on the right. Hawk is the together one in the middle. In retrospect, one of the best things I ever did was feed his interest, displayed at a very early age (2), in all machines, but especially computers. He has made my move from film to digital,( including writing the software for this website,) and all that move entails, not only possible but positive in every way. Lucky me….I don’t know how other film/dinosaur photographers do it…. …..Sometimes “the child is the father to the man” in more ways than just one.
This is the tallest pyramid on the Yucatan Peninsula, at Coba, which, at least then, was only partially reclaimed from the jungle. I love the shot because it conveys the impermanence, and impertinence, of humans in their quest to tame Time and Nature. Time always eventually prevails in the battle between Time and Art; and Nature will always bat last.
I remember thinking that the woman performing the ceremony looked like how I envisioned Gaia, the Spirit who personifies the Earth itself. Her hands looked like jagged timeless roots, melding Phil and Ann like Earth and Water. She grasped their hands like this, urgently, while she was speaking, like it was really really important….. Must of worked. They’re still together, after 27 years; and after creating and raising three fine humans to maturity. There’s something truly magical and beautiful about all of this, living and loving, slowly passing on precious Life. And I love it when you can see the story right there in the details.
Texans seem to reserve their deepest appreciation and respect for the ones who go against the grain, break the mold, and shatter the icons, and pull it off….. These guys, at least in 1995 when this was shot, all fit that catagory, in their own inimitable individualistic ways. Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers, Willie Nelson of “Outlaw” hyped infamy, and Roky Erickson, of, well, 13th Floor Elevators, (among other incarnations), shared their time in front of the lens backed by a Texas flag in a barn at Willie’s Western Movie Set and Village, Luck, Texas. I can’t remember why….