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Telecommuting is about getting away from the norm - about breaking free from the crowds - and about being able to focus on what's important. One thing that has become increasingly important to me is to become connected with the land and with our natural surroundings.
For me, the vehicle for doing this is photography, but my interest in photography isn't the only way. Verbal images can be as visual as the most striking photograph, and I have come to appreciate the craft of the nature writer as much as that of the nature photographer.
I hope you enjoy these words and images that I find help get me immersed in the beauty of the land around us.

by Dan McGuire

Gil's Comments

A friend took this picture on a trip to Utah - it's the real me in many ways. I felt as relaxed as I look. If you'd like to see some snapshots of very different settings you can look at photos from my 1999 and 2002 business trips to Tokyo, and also from a trip to Athens.

mountain profile
Click on photo for larger image

This is not the first time I've included a photo of The Watchman, one of the visual highlights of Zion National Park. Every evening near sunset, visitors gather on or near one of the series of bridges crossing the Virgin River that flows by the base of the mountain, and patiently wait for the sun make its slow fall from the sky. Photographers who gather there wait for just the right combination of light, clouds, and color in the hopes of capturing a great sunset image. I've been on one of those bridges about ten times, must have taken 100 pictures, and at least 95 of them have been utterly dull. I have one that (in my opinion and others') is a gem, and this most recent one is on the border. I find its starkness and simplicity very engaging and powerful, though it stops short of really grabbing me. Still, it's a wonderful reminder of being there on the bridge and watching in silence as the sky darkens and another day slips away.
Snow on Rocks
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It must be the absurdly hot and humid weather we have been having this month here in New Jersey that caused me to select this image. The day on which I took it was chilly, and when we walked around the quiet of the canyon was punctuated by the sound of snow and ice crunching and crackling underfoot. This comes from Casto Canyon, tucked away behind Bryce Canyon National Park. Hardly anyone bothers to drive down the side road to get to it, choosing instead to head straight for Bryce - a very understandable obsession. But this side trip rewards the visitor with its emptiness and solitude. The ground is covered with a typically rich mix of stones and pebbles of seemingly endless variety; it is the Southwest's equivalent of looking at seashells while walking on the beach. I was intrigued with how the snow and ice crystals snaked their way around this group of pebbles, perhaps to provide a cool blanket in advance of the high desert summer heat that was a few short months away.

If you are interested in excellent landscape photography, take a look at NATURE'S AMERICA which captures images from around the US, or PLATEAU LIGHT which contains images from the Arizona-Utah redrock canyon country, or ARIZONA: THE BEAUTY OF IT ALL. All are reasonably priced for photography books of this type, and you'll find them endlessly enjoyable.

There are dozens if not hundreds of excellent landscape photographers whose work represents the finest blending of nature and photography. Among them are Michael Fatali and James Kay.

Also, there are many resources on the Web concerning various aspects of landscape and environmental issues, and more. Among the more interesting ones I can suggest are the Bureau of Land Management's Visual Resource Management program, the National Park Service, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

If You'd Like To Explore Some More...

There are several nature writers whose work I really enjoy reading, including Edward Abbey, Barry Lopez, Joseph Wood Krutch, and Henry David Thoreau and Everett Ruess. To see a list of their writings, please visit the Natural Escape Writer's page, and spend some time browsing through the titles.
Entire contents of this website Copyright © 2005 Gil Gordon Associates