Photography and commentary by Paul Yarnall

“Twenty Ten” Already & Two New Galleries

I hope all my readers had great holidays with family and friends. It’s hard to believe “Twenty-O-Nine” is now “Twenty Ten”.  It will take me weeks to write dates without the hand writing “09” when the head knows better!

2009 Recap

Photographically, 2009 was a prolific year for me.  I took over 12,000 images from dozens of inspiring locations between the two great oceans of North America.  Of course with multiple exposures for possible HDR and  re-shoots to alter a composition by moving the camera six inches (or six feet) there was a lot of redundancy. Nonetheless the shutter finger got a lot of exercise this year!

As my portfolio of decent imagery has grown, I took advantage of more opportunities to show my work, including The Photopath 12 Exhibit in Rochester, my own solo show at the Canandaigua Wood Library, a continuing exhibit at the Canandaigua National Bank in Geneva, NY and most recently acceptance of three images at the WOW! exhibit now showing at Image City Photo Gallery in Rochester, NY.  The fact that folks are willing to part with their hard earned dollars in these uncertain times to make one of my images their own is greatly humbling and gratifying.  To all of you who have come to my shows, sent kind words of praise, or even  purchased an image, please accept my very heartfelt thanks.

It is bewildering how many  photographers are rapidly maturing with great work to show. I believe this is a direct result of the “digital revolution”.  It is a marvelous artistic pursuit that is always full of surprises.  No two photographers ever see quite the same thing even when they are looking in the same direction at the same time.  Throw in the infinitely variable choices in todays editing arsenals and every photograph is a snowflake.  No two are identical.

Two New Galleries

Back in 2006 Susie and I went on an Arctic “Adventure Cruise” with Adventure Canada.  In addition to the incredible photographic opportunities we were privileged to experience, we also met some interesting people.  One of them was Pete Ryan, a professional stock and assignment photographer, who is on a short list of approved contributers to the National Geographic on-line  stock library.  Pete and I stayed in touch and for reasons only known to him, he graciously invited me to join him on two photo missions this past fall.

Pete throughly researches his subjects and locations before arriving and he always has a list of places to see and shoot.  I got to follow along and tried to stay out of his way while I experienced a photographers’ waking dream of shooting from dawn to dusk.  Only hunger, fatigue or driving to the next site slowed down the relentless pixel count.

This was certainly the case when we joined up in Newfoundland in November.  By his own count Pete has been to Newfoundland dozens of times and he still had a list of “must sees”.  The short version of his list included a remote and little known site, (even to the locals), of a B36 USAF bomber  crash high on a rugged mountain top on the Trinity Peninsula, and a visit to a remote abandoned fishing village, accessible only by boat, just to name two.  I call the village “Sworn to Secrecy” since Pete does not want me to publish the name of the nearly forgotten village.  In spite of uncertain and rapidly changing weather, each day was an adventure all its own.  Newfoundland Revisited samples that memorable trip.

As we parted company in Newfoundland, Pete was thinking about a return trip to Death Valley. Even before the Newfoundland shots were culled, organized and first edits done, Pete was selling me on the hidden gems in Death Valley.  I am not a very ‘hard sell’ and so it was that we joined up in mid December in Las Vegas as a jump off for another photographic adventure.  I piloted a Ford Escape 4X4 and Pete pointed the way to remote abandoned mines and long deserted buildings. Thank god for GPS and topo maps!  We tested man and machine.  We had more fun than should be legal.  We also saw many of the popular and well known attractions in the great valley, but sans the crowds.  It was great shooting.

We even ended up with a day and evening in Las Vegas, a town where “what happens here, stays here” ….  or something like that.  It is a gaudy, sometimes rude, sometimes racy place, but oh my, the lights at night!  Check out Death Valley: Off the Beaten Track, for the highlights of that trek.