May 29, 2017 – Driftwood

FINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE
– – –
OTHER ‘IMAGE OF THE DAY’ PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.
~Heraclitus

During my time living in the more remote areas of Cochise County in Southeastern Arizona, I made it a point to walk along the trails that followed the San Pedro river. Depending on the time of year, different wildlife could be spotted, from roosting owls to large fish and frogs, as well as javelina, coyotes, and deer.

I could easily fill an album with photographs of the flowers, the driftwood, the butterflies and the beaver dams.
For some reason, this image always stood out to me.

SEE YESTERDAY’S IMAGE OF THE DAY
– – –
SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER

Advertisements

March 03, 2017 – The Tropical City of Urique

FINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE
– – –
OTHER ‘IMAGE OF THE DAY’ PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE

The town of Urique is at the bottom of the valley Barranca de Urique, formed by the river of the same name. In today’s photograph, you can see this river winding through the frame, and the small town huddled around it (a population hovering around one-thousand). The road down into the canyon is a series of switchbacks that wind back and forth toward the village. It’s a low-maintenance road, and a reasonably harrowing experience to drive down. Stories abound about rocks that have crushed cars, and vehicles that have tumbled over the edge.

I bought a bus ticket and put my life in the hands of somebody more skilled at making the journey than myself, and we crawled down the dirt road.

Due to its relatively low elevation above sea level – Urique is about 550 meters – the climate is nearly tropical. The town only has electricity for a fixed number of hours every evening (for light, mostly, once the sun goes down) and, during the hot days of summer, most of the village goes down to the river during the day to keep cool in the water, saving work for the early morning and for sundown.

Papayas, lemons, oranges, and bananas grow wild in the surrounding areas on the outskirts of town, and the villagers actively cultivate their own fruit and vegetable gardens. On hikes through the forest, you can find a shady spot, pluck a fresh orange from a tree, sit down and take a rest. It’s a glorious and unspoiled little corner of the world.

SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER

February 27 – Bridge Over The Wash

02-27 River Wash postThe Rillito River no longer runs twelve months a year, although it is credited with Tucson’s early growth. During a brief period of time, I lived along the wash and rode my bike along the hiking path whenever I could. During the monsoon season, the stretch of the river wash near my apartment would erupt with the sound of chirping frogs, and sometimes at night I would hear packs of coyotes howling.

Beneath the Swan Road bridge, I made several studies of the steel beams. It’s a simplistic composition, but I always thought it looked interesting through the viewfinder of my Fujica Half vintage camera. This is one of the many pictures I made during that time.

FINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE
– – –
SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER

February 15 – The Flamingo

02-16 Flamingo post1The Flamingo was originally built in 1948, providing comfort and shelter for the likes of Bing Crosby, Gene Autrey, Rudy Valley, and other members of the Hollywood and show-business elite. Before it’s doors were closed in the 1980s, it had fallen into miserable disrepair. The rooms were poorly lit, the pool was dry and cracked. The old-world gloss had given way to broken concrete and mold.

When the doors were locked and the windows boarded up, shrink-wrapped soaps still sat in their dishes, dusty towels still hung on the racks, the beds still tightly made. It only sat vacant for seven years before the padlocks were snapped open and the hotel was resurrected with new furniture, carpets, air conditioning, and placards on the doors to designate which Tinseltown stars had stayed there.

I had the pleasure of staying in Burt Reynold’s room. Above the bed was a framed poster of a 1973 Reynolds feature I had never even heard of before: The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing. I still haven’t seen it, but I think I might have to check it out and add a movie review.

The Flamingo was the first Tucson hotel I stayed at – it’s salmon colored paint drawing me in – back in the Spring of 2001. I’d taken a road trip out to Tucson with my girlfriend to check out the city, seeing as how I had just received my acceptance letter from the U of A. Thankfully the new owner respected the building’s history – rather than tear down the classic sign, it was resurfaced and adorned with new neon tubes.

Hopefully, even as the city around it modernizes, The Flamingo will hold onto its charm. The neighborhood isn’t the prime real estate it once was, but affordable rooms in a college town will always find occupants. It isn’t fancy by today’s standards, but I’ll never forget how good that hot shower felt after camping on Mount Lemon for several days.

Today’s photograph is a continuation of “Film February,” made using the Fujica Half. I think the aged aesthetic of film works quite well with a classic mid-century building.

FINE ART PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE
SIGN UP FOR THE LENSEBENDER NEWSLETTER