Monday, October 8, 2018

Kutz Stairway - Greater Chaco Viewscape
The Great North Road from Chaco Canyon leaves Pierre's Outlier heading directly to Upper Twin Angels mound in the Angel Peak Badlands.  A small shrine-like ruin sits on top of the mound.  This marks the point where the North Road ends and the Kutz Stairway descends 500 feet into the canyon.  People of Chaco traveled along the bottom of Kutz Canyon to Twin Angels Outlier over 800 years ago.  The stairway is a challenge to define due to hundreds of years of erosion and the industrialization of the area by oil and gas development.

Kutz Canyon is dotted with well pads and multiple crisscrossing oil and gas access roads.  Along the canyon rim the Great North Road has been covered with fracking fluid evaporation ponds.

Nancy and I spent several days last week along the rim and in the canyon working to capture the spirit, meaning and importance of this sacred site.  Click here to view Kutz Stairway - Greater Chaco Viewscape.

be strong, be safe, Talon

Friday, October 5, 2018

Alice Gilmore - Standing Strong for Truth and Justice
December 2006, a harsh cold winter day on the Navajo Nation.  Alice Gilmore's grazing permit was in the process of being taken away from her illegally.  The purpose, to build the proposed Desert Rock coal burning power plant on her permitted land on the Navajo Nation.  Alice stood strong.  Defending her rights.  Speaking the truth.

That December day, when I first met Alice, was the beginning of an incredible journey working with her. I photographed Alice, recorded her stories, and traveled across the Navajo Nation in my Jeep with her.  There were times of laughter and times of tears together.  She drew a hard line in the sand.  Spoke the truth.  Prevailed in the end.  Truth is always the winner.

Alice finished her journey of 87 years on Mother Earth a few days ago.  That winter day in 2006 seems like yesterday.  It has been an honor to know and work with her.  Her face and strong words of wisdom will forever be in my memories of her.

Safe journey Alice.  Thank you for Standing Strong for Truth and Justice. 

be strong, be safe, Talon

Monday, August 20, 2018

Crafting the Spirit of a Portrait
As photographers, how do we define a portrait?  Is it the pose?  The lighting?  The location? A moment in time?  By definition, a portrait is a representation of a person.  The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person.  But how do we go beyond these simple definitions?  How do we craft the spirit of a portrait?  It is the connection between photographer and subject that lies at the heart of a successful portrait.

Learning how to make that connection is the core of an upcoming workshop I will be teaching at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in Santa Fe, NM on October 1 - 5, 2018.  It will be an exciting week of exploring, learning, and Crafting the Spirit of a Portrait.  Here is the complete workshop information.  Look forward to our paths meeting in Santa Fe.

be strong, be safe, Talon 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Lucy A. Willie 
 Lucy A. Willie was Navajo, and an elder in her community on the Navajo Nation in Burnham, NM.  I first met Lucy in November of 2004.  Stories of health problems, social justice issues regarding mining rights, desecration of ceremonial and burial sites, with the losses of grazing permits and homes had drawn my attention to the area.  For 12 years I documented birth, death, joy, and sorrow in the Willie family.  I viewed, experienced, and photographed a way of life, which is quickly vanishing in America.

Lucy took me into her family.  Taught me the Navajo way.  Called me her younger brother.  Made me the uncle of her daughter and granddaughter.  Showed me how to herd her sheep with the dogs.  We cooked fry bread.  Laughed and cried as one.  Traveled untold miles together over the reservation working to bring social and environmental issues to light.  Lucy never stopped believing in the truth.  She stood tall and strong for her family, community, and country.
Lucy completed her journey on Mother Earth on Saturday July 14, 2018 at 7:20 am.  She co-founded Dooda Desert Rock.  Her peaceful spirit and strong resistance to wrong brought positive changes for all future generations.

Thank you sister.  It was an honor far beyond words to know you, work with you, and be called your younger brother.  May your journey ahead be filled with peace and joy.  I will always remember your gentle smile and the lessons you taught me. 

be strong, be safe, Talon