The High Points Project
What is this High Points thing??

The 'High Points' are the 6 mountains surrounding my home, Las Vegas, Nevada that represent the best views of the entire valley. People look at these peaks all the time yet most don't know what they are looking at. This is a shame, since the peaks are all on public land that anyone can access at any time.

These are not some far off places that most of us will never visit. These are 'right over there' and no matter where you drive in Las Vegas weather you realize it or not you are probably looking at a High Point summit. You're allowed to go 'up there' anytime.

People in much better shape and with way more experience then I have hike these peaks all the time. Not a lot of them are doing it alone, at night, with thousands of dollars worth of high end optics and electronics strapped to their backs in the hope of capturing the light.

Fewer still then are printing their work as big as they can, then driving around town with the works in their cars, hanging it up and showing it.

The High Points Project morphs a sincere love of exploring our public lands, with large format fine art prints that you will not see anywhere else.

People who choose (can't wait?) to go 'up there' are usually both profoundly and very deeply changed forever for the better. That's what happened to me anyway. We live in such a plastic, CGI created, predictable and temporary world these days. By contrast then, this is very, very real. If there's anything in this world even close to 'permanent' it's 450 million year old limestone!

That's why I give away directions to the trail heads at my shows and via email. I want people to go see this, you don't need a camera to 'get it'. It's no secret getting to the tops of these mountains.

The secret if there is any, is in knowing how to read the weather and to plan and execute a shoot to make it count. Then, to get down safely and begin the post process on the images that I want people to see through to printing and framing. My secret is the tenacity of a pit bull latched onto a tire swing in the back yard; maybe I'm just to dumb to stop. I simply love 'up there' and the high places. I got spanked when I was a little kid for going up on roof tops and climbing way up in trees. Now I know why.

This project didn't happen over night, and success will not come easy either. I knew that going into the project. The prints look great in my living room. Nobody else is doing this, not like this anyway.

I have found my life's work, and something that is so much fun, I simply can't wait for the next one. I am blessed beyond what any words or images can convey.

Though I may shoot other subjects, in different moods, times and places, this is what it's really all about; going up mountains usually alone, off trail, and in the dark to capture landscape images in almost any conditions.
Am I crazy?
Define crazy, then look at my images.

As an artist it's about producing a product that no one else has. It's about blowing people's minds. And as I meet more awesome shooters locally and here on Flickr, It's about them blowing mine. Lets raise the bar!

The combination of disciplines required to pull this off, from first vision to finished print, in frame, on wall is a daunting and formidable task.

But to paraphrase JFK when he spoke about going to the moon, "we do this because it is hard". From the first time I hiked Gass Peak in 2003 I knew I had to do this. It took 5 years for me to get off my butt and make it real.

The High Points summits are real. They can kick your ass, they can break you, they can make you rethink your place in this world, they can transform you forever for the better and they'll be here long after you are gone.

Though they mean you no harm they can, and do kill people every year.

The High Points are simply and absolutely indifferent to your passing. When you see 450 million year old sea bed fossils such as horseshoe crabs and nautilus shells thousands of feet up on limestone ridge lines hundreds of miles from any ocean, you start to see it for real too. It's a long walk out. Quite often I have to just stop and stare dumbfounded while I catch my breath at what I am doing:

Rock. Sweat. Space. Light. Air.

Keep moving.

What follows then has changed me in ways I cannot even describe. I hope it moves you in some way as well.

Looking at these images on your computer screen is nothing like standing in front of a 5 foot wide framed print and obviously it can't even come close to standing on a High Points summit an hour before sunrise or an hour after sunset as the whole valley lights up and sparkles beneath your feet. But you'll get the idea.

Perhaps my work will inspire you to go out and shoot something this fun, or maybe just go for a walk in the wilderness near your home.

Perhaps The High Points will inspire you to go 'up there', wherever and whenever your particular 'up there' might be.

It sure is a lot of fun.

Just be sure to tell someone where you're going and when to expect you back, seriously.

Cheers CG, 11-08

Still with me? Great! Please go see individual frames taken on the shoots themselves

37 photos · 4,322 views