I hadn’t taken many photographs in the period after graduating art school and arriving in the Middle East to teach. A seven year break I estimate.
This is fourth or fifth photograph taken with my brand new Linhof Technikarden TK45 folding view camera in Ouray, Colrado. It was over 25 years ago. I had flown to New York to buy an eight by ten view camera, but the sales man at B and H convinced me I should get something smaller so I could carry it further. I think I had forgotten I wanted a Philips 8 x 10 Explorer, which wasn’t something stocked in a shop as it was a carbon fibre and balsa wood model that was handmade.
After three days in New York, a few second hand lenses, a new tripod, some film and many kilometres walking around every art gallery I could find. A quick stop over in Chicago to catch up with a potential Irish lover who decided to tell me that it wasn’t going to happen in an art gallery.
I spent the rest of my month in the USA skiing and ice climbing. Ouray became my home for a week. The ice park a playground and the local cliffs a haven for my new found passion for ice climbing.
I didn’t climb this route in the photograph or anything on this wall. I climbed the opposite side of the canyon so I could look across at this beautiful cliff. It is a rather dangerous wall, as the snow above often releases and avalanches down the main shoot.
I look at this, passionate about colour transparency film at the time, and ice climbing. Yet I seem to working in monochrome yet again. I even preferred painting in sepia over the full range of watercolours that inhabitanted my palette.
Bird Brain Boulevard, Ouray, Colarardo, USA. Photograph and text copyright ©️ Len Metcalf 2018