Mine

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Oatman Mine

I fell in love with the desert when I visited my dad last month. It’s beautiful. I was trying to put my finger on what I loved about it. I think what I loved is that it reminded me of home. Spokane lives on the edge of the high desert of Eastern Washington. For most of my life we drove through it to get to Portland and other destinations on the Western side of the state. Each time (even now), after passing through the lush, wet, greenery of the Westside, the dry, stark Eastside seemed like nothing. It’s home, though. And the climate feels like home, too.

The California/Arizona high desert is equally as stark, but there is a quiet, peaceful beauty to it.

Someday I will post more photos from my trip (if I ever develop the film). Today, I give you a photo of an abandoned mine from the ghost town, Oatman Arizona.

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Geeky bits:
Camera: Zero 2000
Film: Portra 160
Exposure time: 5 seconds

How to become a poet

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I have been remiss this month! It is National Poetry Month and I haven’t even mentioned it. I am going to remedy that right now. Here is wonderful poem that my colleague and I are performing tomorrow night at a poetry reading. It’s called “Reply To The Question: ‘How Can You  Become A Poet.'” Written by Eve Merriam. You can read it in its entirety here.

Salmon River – (Reposted from Pinhole Obscura*)

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river watching

Zero 4×5 + Arista 100 @ 2 min 32 seconds

Have you heard the expression “thin place?” I first heard of this 4 years ago when a Buddhist friend told me about them. Described as places where you can reach out and touch Heaven (whatever that is to you).

The Salmon River is my thin place. I first encountered this place a month after I moved to Oregon. As I hiked along the river I became mesmerized by the salmon spawning. Through the clearest of alpine waters I could see salmon laying on the bottom of the riverbed and I was touched when I thought about what it took for them to get all the way up here on the mountain so they could spawn. What a life they lived. There was something beautiful and also tragic about their story. I come back every year to this spot to watch them spawn and it never ceases to amaze me.

Salmon River 1

Zero 2000 + Ektar 100 @ 12 seconds

 

One day in the summer, A year after we’d been coming here regularly, we were hiking along the trail and a woman we ran into said, “Have you been to the secret island? You should go to the secret island! Turn right at the hollowed out tree.” So we went in search of a hollowed out tree and we found it! And we turned right. And there was, indeed, a secret island where, if you are lucky, you will have the best campground on Mt Hood with your own beach for fly fishing. It quickly became my my most favorite spot on the planet. Everytime we hike here I have to visit the Secret Island.

The secret island

Zero 4×5 + Portra 160 @ 5 seconds

Here are some other photos from along the trail, taken with various cameras at various times of the year.

Salmon River 4

Zero 4×5, 25 mm (graflex 23 roll back) + tri-x film @ 38 seconds

 

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Salmon River 3

Zero 4×5, 25 mm (graflex 23 roll back) + tri-x film @ 38 seconds

 

Salmon River 2

Zero 2000 + Ektar 100 @ 6 seconds

 

This is my favorite place in the whole wide world. It is where I go  when the craziness of life gets to me. This beautiful place slows me down and makes me see what is most important. Sometimes the river will tell me its secrets, if my mind is quiet enough.

Pinhole Obscura is the other blog I write for, along with three other friends from around the world. Do check it out!

Motel 66

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Motel 66

I got some film back this past week! Here is a photo I took of an old run-down motel on Route 66. I’ll post more from this trip soon. I have a roll of Tri-x that I need to develop first. I had a a great trip and lots to say about it. I may even squeeze some Pinhole Obscura posts out of it.

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Geeky Bits:
Camera: Zero 2000 (pinhole camera)
Film: Portra 160
Exposure time: 5 seconds

April Postcard Exchange 

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The April postcard exchange is officially live!

We are exchanging postcard sized prints of our original photography that you either print traditionally in a darkroom, or that you print on an inkjet printer. Sign up here and on the 15th you will be paired with someone to send a postcard to.

Use the form below to sign up or follow this link.

Postcards featured in this post were made by the fabulous Peter de Graaff. You can see more of his wonderful work here.