Stuck from Upper Antelope Canyon


Stuck from Upper Antelope Canyon

I’ll tell you about Upper Antelope Canyon another day. It’s a zoo by the way. Nope, today is about the metaphor.

We are moving to San Diego this fall and preparing to uproot our lives again. It seems utterly crazy, after all it was the middle of May last year that we closed on our dream house here in St Petersburg thinking we just might be here forever. Who knows right. It wasn’t in the cards. Anyway, we adopted a beautiful one eyed doggy dubbed Queenie by our son for his forth birthday last September. She’d had a tough start in life. She actually flatlined during the surgery when they removed her eye and was shocked back. She’s a fighter that one. We rode an insane roller coaster to nurse her back to health including bouts with giardia, demodectic mange, a bladder infection, etc. Happily, I can report she’s healthy now but wait there’s trouble in paradise. We have to move into an apartment in California. This will not work with her. She’s too active and needs a yard with kids and space. We have that now but can’t provide for her longterm needs. Sadly, love isn’t enough sometimes. We were forced to accept that we couldn’t keep her and had to look for a new home. This involved lots of tears. It sucks let me tell you. This dog has slept next to my head since the day we brought her home and her doggie snores will be missed. A good number of those tears were mine. Today, I had to take her back to the shelter where we got her. No worries, they don’t euthanize and it was never an option. Again, this sucked majorly. I came home and misery set in when I wasn’t enthusiastically met at the door by our little girl. I started trolling through images to work on, needing something to focus my mind. What I found was this shot in Upper Antelope Canyon of a log that got stuck passing through the canyon during what looked to be a big flood. It’s a good thirty feet up, suspended by both sides of the canyon wall and it’s how my brain feels this afternoon. Completely stuck!

Rationally, I know she will find a good home. She’s after all the most loving dog we’ve ever had and cute as a button. Still, the brain circles. We think of landscape images as something almost eternal as they evoke a timelessness and aside from the universal appeal to all of us, they are largely devoid of emotion themselves. It makes me think about the subjective nature of art. Clearly, this image will have so much more meaning to me than many of my other images that could be far superior. Honestly, because I’m a talker and it is emotional I’d bet I’ll sell more of this print than I otherwise would. Not purposefully using it but that extension of self with the image will carry it farther than it could ever go on it’s own. Certainly, I’ll be less critical of other artist’s work in the future. After all, who knows how a specific piece could interact with their lives and who am I to judge.

They say art has the ability to heal. I’ve seen it before with a sunset image of mine at the Grand Canyon. My grandmother passed that day. I can’t imagine not having that piece hanging in the house or for the next year in an apartment. I’m sure I will be adding this one to that unique collection as well. It’s interesting what does make its way onto our walls. It’s largely my emotional attachment that drives me to hang something up over purely artistic image qualities. I’ve got a shot of the Maroon Bells up from a family vacation with clearly blow highlights in the sky. It is one of the first pieces I’d ever put on canvas while I was learning the ins and outs of printing. I can’t bring myself to take it down despite the fact that those pure white sections bother me every time I walk by. Nobody else seems to notice so whatever.

So, I’m stuck. Stuck rambling apparently. You wanted the inner workings revealed from the mind of a professional landscape photographer right? Sigh, now it’s time to plan that tattoo I’ve been meaning to get that incorporates all my pets. No, not the fish or reptiles. Here’s the inclusive list: Captain Fuzz, Maul, Titan, Argyle, and of course our little girl Queenie. Ideas?


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Posted by Byron O’Neal on 2012-05-17 22:00:24

Tagged: , page , arizona , antelope canyon , upper antelope canyon , slot canyon , landscape , navajo , navajo nation , erosion , sandstone

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