As we were returning from a trip to the Klamath River to fish for Steelhead, we traveled through Redding, California. I'd long been interested in the so-called "Sundial Bridge", which spans the Sacramento River there. The bridge will celebrate it's tenth anniversary in several weeks. Designed by the Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, to resemble a sundial, it was quite controversial when built. Now, however, the citizens of Redding seem to have taken to it; I find it to be a thing of beauty.
This blog started out as a way of practicing a bit of writing. I thought maybe it might be nice to try to set down some words on paper, and see if I had any talent for that. Since I like to fly fish for trout, I thought stories about my adventures trying to lure the wily fish to my fly would serve as a vehicle upon which to build some story. Friends were very supportive, and I'm grateful. But I don't think writing is the thing that floats my creative boat. Since I was a boy I have taken ("made" if you prefer Ansel Adams' admonition) photographs. In those early days my father paid for the camera, paid for the film, paid the cost of developing it. We would travel on a vacation trip, and I would make pictures. I was always disappointed with the outcome. The sky was not blue enough, or it was too blue; colors were not rich enough, or were not the same as the colors I thought I had seen. In short, I was completely unschooled in the art of photography. Notwithstanding, I took all of the action shots of my high school football team for all four of my high school years. I shot those with high speed black and white film, Kodak Tri-X. In those days the rating was "ASA", not the modern "ISO". As I recall, the ASA on Tri-X was 400, meaning it was pretty fast. I stopped the football in mid-air as it left the quarterback's hand. I loved it. I got away from photography for years, but occasionally went back. But recently, as I approached retirement, I began to renew my affair with it. Henri Cartier-Bresson, a famous French photographer of the early twentieth century said that "Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst". Well, I'm at about 7,000 now. I know enough to know what is wrong with a photograph. I have a collection of approximately 5500 photos on disc, and I go through them from time to time, culling ones that I believe are hopeless, and viewing others with some idea of making an interesting photo. Recently, I happened upon a photo I took about five years ago. I'd looked at it many times in the past, and always thought it was nice. I've now come to believe it is the best photograph I've ever taken.
Yosemite always gives you something. I missed the "Moonbow" on the night of the "Full Flower Moon" because I was not in the right place to see it. Once I found the right place, it was gone. But I did find the Big Dipper hanging above the Falls.
I grew up in Kentucky, and learned to fly fish on small ponds and lakes, mostly for Bluegill, but sometimes for Largemouth Bass. After I moved to California following my return from Vietnam, and thanks to the help of a couple of women who knew me better than I knew myself, I came back to my boyhood love of fly fishing.