High Points Individual Frames
On every High Points hike and shoot, I try to capture a couple of frames that are designed to be stand alone single prints. Maybe someone doesn't want a gigantic panorama taking up an entire wall. Or perhaps they just want a single print to remind them of the desert's natural beauty or beautify a room. Some of these are parts of the panorama's and some of them are shot by themselves during the shoot.

I love some of these single frames so much, it's hard to describe.

I've also included some self portraits from the hikes taken with my humble backup camera, the venerable Canon Powershot A540 because I think they're neat. Plus I wanted you to get a feeling of what being on a High Points shoot is like. Which is usually, cold, windy, and quite frankly; lonely as hell. I don't really think about it much on the way up because I'm toiling and drenched in sweat. But once I hit the summit, drop the pack, and get set up to shoot, it gets awfully quiet and surreal awfully fast.

I bet astronauts and sailors feel like this...... times a million.

All kinds of thoughts race through ones head under those conditions. To me as an artist, controlling those thoughts and focusing on the task at hand: shooting in almost any conditions, is the real test of a successful trip. It's not the destination, it's the journey. It's not getting the shot, it's getting TO where the shot can happen. Its being prepared, relaxed, and confidant enough in ones abilities to ALLOW that shot to happen. Only then can the shot happen, for me anyway. The light is pure magic, and either you get that statement or you don't.

Though I'm staring at a city of 1.7 million souls down below, it's common to feel very alone and vulnerable up there. Here I am a grown man and I'm thinking about the boogie man (or should that be boogie mountain lion??), or how fast I could make it back to the car if I had too, or did I remember to charge the camera batteries? You'd think the cell phone would work and I could call someone who cares, but often it does not work at all or it does this weird in and out thing "5 bars -wait- NO bars, sorry!"

Sometimes a package of beef jerky means a lot more than just a snack. To me it can get pretty emotional doing something like this just to 'take pictures'. My sincere wish is that some of this emotion translates onto the finished print.

It isn't over until I'm taking off the boots and dumping the cards to the hard drives.

When I pull back into my driveway I breathe a huge sigh of relief every time. Therefore I take nothing for granted and I always plan for the worst and hope for the best.

I once read that when solo mountaineering, your attitude should be that every rock and twig means to do you harm in some way. If that sounds morbid, well yea, it kind of is I guess. But consider what spending the night alone in the wind on a hill side with a severely sprained ankle or worse and no cell service sounds like. Hope you packed that space blanket and some extra water. Oh, and you DID file that flight plan with your S.O. back home didn't you? They WILL call someone if you don't show up on time.......right??

What a great 'hobby' huh? (grin)
Hey the Model train club was full up. Plus I hear those guys are jerks anyway.

The look on peoples faces when they see my work hanging on the wall is the most gratifying experience I have ever had as an artist. High Points; You've never seen Las Vegas like this.

Thank you for looking at my images. Now get off the couch and go outside!
C.G. 12-08

Still reading? Okay then go check out my HDR work, and witness the future of modern photography.
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