Sandstone Creek revisited

Sandstone Creek, Vail CO 2010 copyright Douglas Stockdale

We were back in Vail last week for our annual ski vacation, when the folks from Southern California go “visit” the snow. Only this year the snow was not so great, so lugged the ski gear but did not use it, which was okay. So more time with good friends and family, being a foody, a little drink, DVD movies (little more drink) and lots of conversation (over drinks), nice.

Only not as much photography. It was interesting walking into Vail, as we passed Sandstone Creek, which was the place that re-generated my interest in photography again in the late 1990’s after a 15 year lapse during which I was more interested in drawing and painting. I had dusted off my medium format and with light meter and tripod in hand, had descended into this small ravine to work on my landscape photographs again, as though nothing had happened in between. But things had. Nevertheless, I needed to work through my issues and this was a nice place to do it.

Well almost, as at various times getting my snowshoes dislodged in a really deep snow bank and thought for sure I was going to freeze to death in plain sight, busting both my old aluminum tripod and my old Minolta 1 degree spot meter, falling into the creek and dropping my dark slide countless times in the frigid but shallow water. But it was a process of getting caught up and then realizing that photographing the landscape for anesthetic landscape was not enough for me, so I started exploring the landscape as a social or cultural metaphor. Not as a pristine place without the trace of mankind.

Thus the above photograph this year, the first after a number of years of not photographing this little secret place of mine. I actually enjoyed the experience of searching for an aesthetic landscape image, it is a delightful challenge. I cannot deny that is is a part of me, but more of a part of my past, yet still lingering in my memories. I guess that is what I found interesting in Linda Connors recent photobook, Odyssey, where she seems to lay claim to both her past and present.

Best regards, Douglas

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