Click on any photograph to enlarge it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Memories of Palmyra

Temple of Bel

1000 Year Old Fort on Hill at Palmyra

The Fort

Funeral Tower at Palmyra

More funeral Towers

Gate in the Palmyra Oasis

Inside the fort at Palmyra

Cafe on the Road to Palmyra at the Turnoff to Iraq

For the past 7 years I have been fortunate enough to travel in the Middle East and have spent a couple months in Syria on three trips. One of my favorite places in the Middle East is the Syrian desert town of Palmyra. Two thousand years ago Palmyra was a busy Roman town and the ruins left in the desert there are some of the most spectacular you will ever see, until now.

 A few months ago the town was taken over by Isil resulting in horrible death and destruction. People have been slaughtered  in the street, the Roman Theater has been used for beheading soldiers and killing their children, 81 year old Khaled Al-Asaad an archeologist from the museum was beheaded last week and his body hung in the town square because he would not tell them where antiquities were hidden, and 2000 year ruins have been destroyed. Just this week the very large and impressive Temple of Bel and its columns, see first photo, has been blown up. At first it was impossible to believe but now satellite photos show it destroyed.

 These photos were taken on a month long trip I made there in April 2011 with my brother. We traveled over 2000 miles in our rental car which at one time was taken over by the army who had us transport two soldiers to the coast. This was right after the war first started and the owner of our hotel drove us to the airport in Damascus saying he would get us there safely as he knew all the back roads.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

For Samia

This June and July had been rainy in the San Juan mountains and the spring wild flowers were out in force in July. In front of one of my favorite Aspen groves on Last Dollar Road there were fields of yellow and blue flowers. North of Durango the fields of white daisies were so thick it looked like the snow hadn't melted. These flowers are for Samia who does a lot better at flower photos than I do. Sam-wish you had been hear.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Moose are Loose

There are at least three moose in the area of mineral creek but we didn't see them the first time we were there. Then one day we saw this guy in a beaver pond. The same day we also saw two Badgers but they refused to pose for a portrait.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Red Mountain

Red Mountain 

Lake, Velocity Basin

Last week more of the snow had melted and the lake was starting to form with only one large patch of ice on the right side. Lots of spring flowers had started to bloom and this was the first sunny day after almost a month of rain.
Just to the north of Red Mountain the late afternoon sun illuminated the mountain. I believe this is Red Mountain #2. Red Mountain #3 and Red Mountain #1 are also nearby. Can you tell they were named by a committee?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Velocity Basin

An 8 shot panorama of Velocity Basin. The first time we were here, July 2, we had to plow through  snow to get here and the entire basin was filled with snow. In this shot some of the snow has melted and the lake is starting to thaw. Lake Como which is on top of the pass is still frozen over and the snow is too deep to get there on the jeep trail from Animas Forks.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Brown's Gulch Trail

A couple of views to the west from 12,000 feet on the Brown's Gulch Trail.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ridgway Colorado

Ridgway Colorado Looking South

Spent some time in Ridgway Colorado this summer. Great location as it is in a valley half way between Silverton and Telluride which gave us access to a lot of the jeep trails in the San Juan Mountains. Also camping in a condo is more comfortable than a tent.

Ridgway is a neat little town with a population of 962. The guide book says it has 4 pot shops, 16 restaurants, and lists 8 places to get married. It also lists 19 outdoor activities from ballon flights to hot springs.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Colorado Wildlife

More than 100 elk in this herd

This is the third herd of elk we have saw in the area. Also saw a lot of deer and a flock of wild turkeys.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


One bear cub ran across the trail in front of us and we watched it run down into a meadow and start playing with another cub. Knew there must be a mother bear nearby but didn't see it until we went around the next corner. She was slowly walking across the road with another cub which decided to climb a tree. We were close enough to hear her call to the other cubs and when this cub climbed down she lumbered away to the other cubs in the lower meadow.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Waterfalls in the San Juan mountains of Colorado

Near Gladstone

Yankee Boy Basin

Yankee Boy Basin

Yankee Boy Basin


South of Ouray

Cunningham Gulch

Cunningham Gulch

Lots of snow fell here in May so there are many waterfall, large and small. Even got snowed on on a jeep trail above Gladstone on the 9th of July.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Samia Graduates


Samia and Mom

Kaija, Samia, Lexi

Lexi, Kaija, Samia

Last year Kaija graduated and this year was Samia's turn. Graduating from Washington State at 20 years old. Next year it is Lexi's turn as she will also graduate from Washington State.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Platinum Printing Workshop

The Group and Mascot

Some Prints from first of the Week

More Prints

Negatives in front of Prints

Canyon Diablo

Assisted at a Platinum printing workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico last week at Don Messec's studio. He run numerous workshops that involve printmaking, and food, in Santa Fe at

Platinum printmaking goes back to the start of photography in the 1800's. During WW1 the need for Platinum for the war stopped the use of it for photo papers and Silver papers were developed. In recent times artists started using the old formulas from the 1800's to hand coat paper and again make beautiful Platinum  prints. Platinum printing is a contact printing process. You must have a negative the same size as the print. With film that meant large view cameras, the largest I have used took a 11x14 inch sheet of film. In recent years several methods have been used to make negatives from digital files using inkjet printers and color inks. Platinum is exposed with UV light so the negatives had to work with UV light  and were made using color to block the UV light resulting in a difficult and complex process.

One of the workshops at Don's is Jon Cones who has developed a number of ink sets with seven shades of grey to make black and white prints. One of his ink sets had been used to make continuous tone negatives for various alternative processes. These negatives use carbon pigments and look and work like film negatives do. He also developed profiles that would also make negatives which work for platinum negatives.

 Last year I took my platinum chemicals and met him at his workshop in Santa Fe. He made a negative which on the first try made a good print. Since then Don and I have spent many days in my studio making negatives and prints, developing a work flow that was reliable and could be used to teach the process.

This was the first Platinum printing workshop at Don's and from the first day everyone was making great prints. The first photo shows the class holding some of their prints. Don is in the middle and 2ed from the left is Michael Trupiano. Michael is the guy you want around if you have any computer problem. Jim's dog also came with him from Kentucky to offer his critique.

One day we went to Diablo Canyon to get out of the studio and photograph. For a while it looked like the canyon may live up to its name as on the long dirt road in we met a Sheriff Vehicle coming out. It was followed by a State Police Vehicle then an official looking vehicle with CSI written on it in large letters. The canyon was quiet and peaceful, never found out what had happened.