On a recent trip to the Grand Canyon I was convinced that my camera and I would be able to capture much of its true essence. After all, I had prepared well in advance by devouring all sorts of advice for capturing the Canyon by camera. The magnitude of my error in this regard was only slightly exceeded by the immensity, grandeur and awe-inspiring beauty of this majestic gash through geological strata, history and time. My not insignificant abilities were completely overwhelmed.
Upon returning home and brooding about the absence of something ‘felt’ at the Canyon that did not fully translate into my photographs I discovered a salve for my bruised ego in a passage written by the great naturalist John Muir in 1902:
‘But it is impossible to conceive what the canyon is, or what impression it makes, from descriptions or pictures, however good.’In the hopes that pictures and descriptions together can overcome the individual shortcomings of either, especially when the descriptions are Muir’s own, I’ve decided to prepare a series of blog posts combining my images with passages from Muir’s 1902 ‘The Grand Canyon of the Colorado”. I am hopeful that Muir’s power of observation and mastery of words will compensate for my many deficiencies fully aware that his brilliance will also serve to make my shortcomings even more glaring.
So here is Chapter 1 - The Living, Rejoicing Colors
“All the canyon rock-beds are lavishly painted, except a few neutral bars and the granite notch at the bottom occupied by the river, which makes but little sign. It is a vast wilderness of rocks in a sea of light, colored and glowing like oak and maple woods in autumn, when the sun-gold is richest.... But the COLORS, the living, rejoicing COLORS, chanting morning and evening in chorus to heaven! Whose brush or pencil, however lovingly inspired, can give us these?” John MuirI’ll hope you’ll join me for Chapter 2 - The Proudest Temples and Palaces - coming next week.