Photographic Memories

Desert Rats

In the early days of photography, long before it came to be used for virtually every imaginable purpose, photography was largely used as a means of recording people and places. The world was largely “undiscovered” at the time (the western U.S. was still almost completely wild), and the camera was mostly used a matter of record-keeping (think of Eugene Atget’s thousands of determined studies of Paris or William Henry Jackson’s photographic revelations of the “new” American west). Despite the amazing number of uses for all sorts of imagery today, by and large, most of the billions of photographs snapped each year are still a means to record important places, people, and events in our lives. While I may call myself a fine art photographer, my motives behind my work are none too different than most point-n-shooters: I want to record subjects and moments that I want to remember. Photographs as memories – especially for the photographer – are incredibly powerful and can trigger deep and dormant thoughts and feelings.

Almost exactly one year ago today, I spent a week exploring and photographing The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park with two good friends, Guy Tal and Steve Cole. It was an amazing adventure, and not one that many will get to experience, and I shared it with two dear friends. I could have written journals about our adventures; I could daydream incessantly about the things we did and saw; but a quick look at the photographs instantly transports me back to that very special place and time. Only the photographer can have this deep-seated connection to his or her images, and it’s a pretty damn powerful feeling.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

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Photo, picture: Elaterite Butte

Elaterite Butte

Elaterite Butte

Here’s another one from my journey into The Maze. We had several days of amazing weather.

Click on the thumbnail for a downloadable 1200 pixel wide version for your desktop. Enjoy!

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

Photo, picture: Weather Over The Maze

Monsoon Over The MazeWe were running Jasper Ridge (between Jasper Canyon and Shot Canyon) when this beautiful weather started to move in on us. We were a bit of distance from the vehicle and safety from the weather, so it wasn’t unusual for Guy to try to encourage us to evacuate the ridge while we still had a chance 🙂 (I’m a risk-taker, so I wanted to absorb every bit of that wild weather from our high perch!). Steve’s calculations (based on the time it takes for thunder to follow lightning) indicated that the center of the cell was just five miles to our east. We still had time to shoot and be in awe.

As Guy and I kept photographing from our perches, Steve made his way back to my truck parked at Chimney Rock. When we finally caught up to him – hiding from the light rain on the lee side of my truck – he informed us that my truck’s antenna was buzzing. No sh*t, it was buzzing big-time, so I finally got a little nervous (even though nobody’s hair was yet standing and no one had that particular metallic taste in their mouth). We quickly got in the truck and insulated by the tire rubber. What a memory!

This photograph is available as a 1152 pixel wide desktop wall paper. Click on the thumbnail for the enlarged view to download.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

Photo: Overlooking The Maze

Overlooking The Maze

Overlooking The Maze

Here are my friends Guy Tal and Steve Cole on the rim of the Pictograph Fork of Horse Canyon. We had just completed the ascent out of the canyon after visiting the remarkable Harvest Scene (which is regarded as one of the finest native rock art panels in North America). It should be noted that there are no easy walk-in’s or out’s of any of the canyons in The Maze district. All the canyons begin as large and overhanging pour-off’s, and scrambling and exposure (a fear of heights will stop you here!) are par for the course. The rewards are well worth it. These are some of the most remote and quiet canyons in the country where few people tread.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

The Maze

Glowing Cottonwood

Glowing Cottonwood

I just returned from ten days in Utah, mostly spent exploring and adventuring in The Maze district of Canyonlands National Park. My companions were my good friends Guy Tal and Steve Cole, and together we explored deep canyons and exposed rims and ridges; visited ancient rock art left by the natives; and lost ourselves in the silence and remoteness of this magical place. Not surprisingly, re-entry into civilization and daily life has since been difficult.

The Maze is still considered one of the more remote places in North America, due to the difficulty of access (one must either have a 4WD and challenging off-road driving experience, or be prepared to walk or mountain bike upwards of twenty-five miles from where the easy roads cease). I’ll be posting photos from my trip over the next couple of weeks, so please stay tuned to this blog for more.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.