Posts Tagged ‘Dale O’Dell’

  • Meeting Nice People in the Middle of the Night: The community of night photographers

    Oct 5, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell If you think rock stars have big egos, you might be right. But rock music isn’t the sole domain of the big ego. There is at least one group of people who can rival the inflated ego of the rock star: photographers. There are a lot of egotistical photographers who act like they invented light or something. They’re really annoying. But there’s one sub-group of photographers who don’t have giant egos, will actually help out another photographer, and are hardly recognizable in the daylight. They are the night photographers, and in my experience they’re a community of friendly folk. I first encountered the community of night photographers while shooting (at night, of course) at Mono Lake, Calif. It’s about a mile’s walk from the parking area to the famous surrealistic tufa spires, and just as I’d located the first place I wanted to photograph a light flashed in my eyes. “Is that another photographer?” I called out into the darkness. “Yeah, over here,” A man’s voice replied. “OK,” I called back, “I’m gonna be over here, opposite where you are, shooting to the northwest. I don’t want to screw up your exposures, so give me a heads-up if my light gets in your shot.” And so it went for the rest of the night. We were respectful of each other and didn’t get in each other’s way

  • Life, death, & strange dreams

    Aug 31, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell On April 12, 1992, Joe died. Actually, he’d been mostly dead for a couple of weeks, laying in a coma in a hospital. His injuries were the result of severe trauma, multiple skull fractures, and his brain was effectively disconnected from his spinal cord. Joe was in his mid-30s when he met his end at the hands of an angry teenager with a bad attitude and a 2×4, but this story isn’t about the senseless death and violence that is so common in America. I met Joe in 1982 when he reluctantly hired me to be a computer artist and photographer at a company where he was the production manager. We didn’t exactly get along. He was playing the corporate game at the time, and I was a rather opinionated and arrogant young man fresh out of college. We had opposing views of the corporate world but similar artistic sensibilities. The difference between him and me, art-wise, was he was a trained artist working in a business environment and I was a practicing artist who worked to fund his art. After a year working in a field of cutting-edge art, but for a shortsighted and low-paying company, I bailed out and moved on to another job. Joe stayed and played the corporate game until the company went bankrupt and he found himself in the market for a

  • Imaginationings: Tales From the Attic

    Aug 3, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell When Grandma died somebody had to clear out her home, get rid of all her stuff, and sell the house. Nobody wanted the job, and every member of the extended family had some reason — or excuse — not to do it. So they dumped it on me. My Granny had always been very kind to me, so I was extra careful and respectful when I went through all her belongings to determine what needed to be saved, what would be sold by the estate sale company and what would be thrown out. As much as I wanted to get the job over and done with, I couldn’t just randomly toss things in the trash; no, I was sifting through a lifetime’s collection of what she’d saved as important. I was careful to examine everything. The housecleaning started easily enough, mainly because during Granny’s extended illness someone or somebodies had already collected all the things of obvious value. The jewelry, fine china, silverware, and valuable antiques were already gone. What was left were the things that had been put away decades ago, unseen and forgotten ever since. The last place to clear out was the attic, and I put it off as long as I could. It required the right mindset and a little courage to pull that old rope, hear the creak of rusty springs, and

  • Antelope Canyon Shootout: Just another ‘bucket list’ place to shoot a selfie?

    Jun 29, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell Earlier this year, I found myself guiding a group of photographers to some of the more obscure photographic locations in Arizona. They wanted to photograph the well-known sites, too, including Antelope Canyon. It had been years since I’d been to Antelope Canyon — so long ago that I’d photographed it on film — so I joined the guys for an Antelope Canyon photography tour. I’m glad I did, and I wish I hadn’t. Compared to my previous visits to Antelope Canyon, this time it was uniquely unpleasant. Popularity isn’t always a good thing. Even if you’re not familiar with the name Antelope Canyon, you’ll recognize the photos. The images of the undulating sandstone walls and light beams of the slot canyons near Lake Powell have become iconic. Pre-2000, few people had ever heard of the place, which was also known as “the slot canyon” or “the corkscrew.” Post-2000, it seemed as if everyone in the world knew about Antelope Canyon and had to go there. In a very short amount of time, photographs of Antelope Canyon transitioned from rare and beautiful to commonplace — beauty gone banal. My own discovery of Antelope Canyon was via photographs in a book by photographer Bruce Barnbaum. His 1986 book featured a chapter of photos from an unnamed slot canyon. Although Barnbaum didn’t discover Antelope Canyon and didn’t disclose its location, he

  • Fringe benefits: That’s not a REAL Bigfoot

    Jun 1, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell If you read Alan Dean Foster’s article in last month’s 5enses, “Your Science Conspiracies may be Charged at a Higher Rate,” you got a taste of the ridiculous things conspiracy theorists believe, like how the Rothschild family “controls the weather.” Taking the path of least mental effort, it’s easier to believe a rich family controls the weather than it is to learn some weather science. Mr. Foster’s article presented a long list of conspiracy theories credited to the Rothschilds including Bigfoot. Ah ha! Bigfoot — now that’s a conspiracy theory I know something about! I absolutely assure you there are people all over the world who believe there’s a real Bigfoot creature out there. These people are true believers and they will NOT be dissuaded, facts be damned. There was the guy who brought me a picture of Bigfoot for photo analysis. He was so biased and absolutely positive he’d found a “real” photo of Bigfoot that when I didn’t confirm his bias he got angry and called me a liar. He could not accept he was wrong, so I had to be. He stormed off before I could tell him how I knew the photo was fake: It was my photo! He had a stolen copy of one my Bigfoot photos. This isn’t the first time I’ve run into caption confirmation bias. So many true believers

  • Ancient rock art of the American West: A case of unnecessary endangerment

    May 4, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    Photos by Dale O’Dell Many of these petroglyphs are no longer protected. Find out more at DaleODell.Blogspot.Com. ***** Read Dale O’Dell’s blog post about these images and the larger political and cultural issues surrounding them at DaleODell.Blogspot.Com. See more of Dale O’Dell’s photography and digital art at DalePhoto.Com. Contribute to his “Documentary Photography of Rock Art” project via GoFundMe at GoFundMe.Com/documentary-photography-of-rock-art. O’Dell is this month’s featured artist at Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery, 134 S. Montezuma St., 928-776-7717, and his new work, “Southwestern POP Impressionism,” featuring petroglyphs, is on display through May 23. Find out more at ArtsPrescott.Com

  • Photographic Memories: The story of the shoe tree

    Mar 30, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Photographic MemoriesNo CommentsRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell A shoe tree is a tree with shoes on it. It’s kind of like a Christmas tree, except it’s decorated with footwear instead of ornaments. According to my internet research, there are more than 50 shoe trees in the United States — one or more for each state. Because they’re such bizarre sights, I always stop and photograph shoe trees when I find them during my travels. I’ve photographed shoe trees (and one “shoe fence”) in Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Texas, and Utah. And it’s not always shoes in the trees. I’ve seen trees with socks, hats, T-shirts, and even bras hanging from them. So what’s the deal with shoe trees? How did this practice of tossing shoes into trees get started? The most common story I’ve found comes from American folklore. According to legend, a newlywed couple had an argument while driving to their honeymoon and the bride became so angry she threw her new husband’s shoes into a tree. He never got his shoes back, and when others came along later they added their shoes to the collection and the shoe tree was born. Other urban legends about the origin of the shoe tree: throwing shoes into trees on the last day of school; hanging shoes from tree branches to denote a place where you can buy illegal drugs; discharged soldiers throwing combat

  • Photographic Memories: The first pictures I took … and can’t help but keep taking

    Mar 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Photographic MemoriesNo CommentsRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell April 1994: Life is in chaos. The house is a mess. My darkroom and studio have been deconstructed. It is a time of extreme disorganization, stress — and joy. After living in the hustle-bustle metropolis of Houston, Texas, for 12 years we are moving away. We are moving to Arizona, to the country and to a new life doing the same thing, photography. We are forsaking freeways for dirt roads, suit and tie meetings for higher long distance bills, and two-hour E-6 processing for two-day processing. As I pack every photograph I’ve ever taken into a forest of brown corrugated boxes, I pause from time to time to look at the slides, some of them unseen since their original filing. What’s this? Looks like a shot of my feet when loading the camera. Why’d I keep this? I must have had some reason for keeping it, don’t throw it away now. Each subject category gets packed into its own brown box. Portraits, sports, aerial photos, oil rigs (maybe not living in Texas will mean not photographing any more oil rigs, could I be so lucky?), farming photos, travel pictures, religion and the files go on. Religion? What’s this? I’ve never shot for a religious publication; why do I have a file marked religion? I should be packing those boxes, but I must check out this photo file

  • Shooting selfies with the aliens: A return to Area 51

    Feb 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5ensesNo CommentsRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell Everybody knows about the “secret” airbase in central Nevada, Area 51. It hasn’t been secret for a long time, though. In fact, Area 51 is so well-known that it’s become part of the UFO folklore. But unless you’re a super secret, deep black military contractor, X-Files type who’s signed an “upon pain of death” security oath/nondisclosure document, you have not been to Area 51. Any “normal” person — ufologists, ancient astronaut theorists, conspiracy theorists and paranormal tourists — who says they’ve been to Area 51 hasn’t; they’ve actually been to Rachel, Nevada. Rachel is an oasis located along Nevada’s Route 375, the Extraterrestrial Highway. It’s the nearest town to Area 51. The hub of human activity is the Little A’Le’Inn, a combo motel-restaurant-bar where true believers gather. If you’ve watched a UFO program during the past two decades, you’ve probably seen some “expert” standing in front of the Little A’Le’Inn Inn espousing some theory about back-engineered alien spacecraft or captured alien pilots held at Area 51. It was the UFO folklore that motivated me to visit Rachel back in 1996. You can read all about that adventure in my book “Photographic Memories” in a chapter called “Wide Awake at Dreamland.” That visit was interesting. I met some true believers and visited the infamous Black Mailbox when it was still actually black. In Rachel, aside from the Little

  • (Ca(r)t): Dale O’Dell steers into automotive art

    Dec 29, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell Are you looking for something a little different for your next family vacation? Is the beach too crowded with starlets posing for paparazzi? Did bears eat your tent the last time you went camping? Perhaps the outdoor music concert has lost its appeal? Does Disneyworld give you the creeps? Maybe you’ve already seen the Grand Canyon four times. What are you going do, and where will you go to do it? Here’s a crazy idea for you: Go see some Big Art! Most Big Art in America is called “installation” or “land art,” but I’m not writing about the highbrow sculptures in front of corporate offices that we all ignore, oh no. I’m writing about lowbrow, cheesy-fun, borderline kitsch, land art installations featuring cars. “Automotive Art.” The American love affair with bigness and the automobile has inspired some artists to use the car as both subject and medium for large-scale outdoor art installations. And this art is much more fun than what you’ll find in some white-cube art gallery where the artworks are obtuse and overpriced. With automotive art you can still play outdoors and you won’t need a docent to explain “meaning.” I’ve visited and photographed the four most famous automotive art installations in America. And you’ve got to slow down to find these places because, at a distance, they can look a lot like junkyards

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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