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Canyonlands

noiseunitJul 3, 2018, 3:40:00 PM
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Years ago -- as I was preparing work for my BFA Senior Thesis at San Francisco Statue University -- I went on this fantastic road trip where I criss-crossed the country from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and back to the Pacific again. I was driving a canary yellow 1970's VW Westfalia camper van and pulling off the road onto some BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) when I got tired and started up again after breakfast. The one rule I had was no interstates highways -- only backroads, which suprisingly is a rather difficult route to achieve. Man I loved that van!


Canyonlands Campground


One of the most beautiful places I camped was Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Canyonlands is a geological framework where both the Green and Colorado Rivers merge and what is essentially the Northern range of what eventually becomes the Grand Canyon. I have to say that place is just a visual splendor to behold.


Great Expanse #1


Great Expanse #2


I have made several moves and called many places home since that trip and with each move I always knew where my black and white negatives were but somehow had lost track of all my color negatives...


River Carvings #2


...until last weekend when after yet another move I found them buried in a box with a bunch of unrelated "stuff" -- A box of items that one would never think it might contain a set of long-lost negatives from a grand trip. I thought for certain I had lost these rolls of color film forever. Poof!


Bluff Overlook #1



Bluff Overlook #2


Branch and Sky

Now that I have scanned them and for the first time now see them enlarged (in any form) I am quite pleased and feeling extremely nostalgic.


Rock Outcrop

While scanning these negatives, I noted they were all shot on the old Kodak Royal Gold 100 35mm film, a film that Kodak no longer produces, which is based on the Kodak TMAX 100 film grain structure. However, the Silver halide grain structure combined with the color dyes does this amazing thing in softer areas of focus which when zoomed in takes on this gorgeous "painterly" effect that blows me away. (See below).


River Carvings #1


Detail View - River Carvings #1

Part of this effect may even be further emphasized by the fact that I could only afford a cheap zoom lens at the time likely throwing another aesthetic variable in the softening effect as is also quite evident in rocky background in the "Portrait of a Limb #1" below. Having come to photography by way of painting and drawing, it is these kinds of film grain artifacts (for lack of a better word), especially when it takes on expressionistic qualities, that really gets me excited and inspires me to keep experimenting with my photography.


Portrait of a Limb #1

It was a lost summer of "Art Making" and I even built a wood rack for the back hatch door compartment of the VW camper van where I could put oil paintings in to dry while I drove to my next destination. I painted one of my sentimentally favorite canvases there at Canyonlands. I met some extremely kind, generous and interesting people while painting the picture below en plein air.


Canyonlands - Oil on board - noiseunit


More @noiseunit blogs: https://www.minds.com/blog/noiseunit

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