Introducing my Light & Shadow blogs. In part, they are the result of my work with The Master Key Experience. I would never have chosen to blog on my own — I was ‘forced’ to as a course requirement of the MKE. I was surprised to find I enjoyed it — for the most part anyway — and surprised to the point of shock to be complimented for my writing. I have a ‘creative bent’, expressed primarily through a career in photography. My first love in the medium was black & white — for years I’ve thought of doing a book of images and the stories behind them. This is a good way to get that project started.
In 1973 at the end of my 3rd year of college, I was hired by the University of Idaho Photo Center — the department responsible to provide photo services university-wide. The U of I had an ecology workshop going on that summer deep in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of Northern Idaho. Participants were taken to the camp by a family-run pack outfitter based in Orofino.
As misfortune would have it, my colleagues — who were scheduled to spend a few days photographing the workshop — were unable to attend. It seems they found themselves under legal scrutiny due to a particular plant found to be growing at their farmhouse. Oops.
At the last minute, I was tapped to make the trip, but had to get to Orofino and didn’t trust my car. Fortunately, two people were scheduled to go so I called my friend Dick.
Early the next morning, we two greenhorns were plopped atop horses in a pack train and led into the mountains. It took much of the day, plodding our way along narrow, rugged trails — I was glad for such sure-footed horses.
My subject in the photo was the family patriarch and camp entertainer. I’ve known other people like George — so full of stories and humor. I’ve always been envious of their ability to engage. “Back when a joint was a dime,” he began one story. Dick and I looked at one another and snickered.
When it came time to leave, the two of us mounted up and rode out on our own. The horses knew the way, we were assured. They also knew when they were close to home and began to trot the last few miles. My tender butt wanted me to get off and walk!
Of the untold numbers of pictures I’ve taken in my career, this was the very first that at the moment I pushed the button, I knew it was a good one.