Posts Tagged ‘Dale O’Dell’

  • Ancient Rock Art of The American West: Unnecessary Endangerment

    Feb 10, 19 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureComments Off on Ancient Rock Art of The American West: Unnecessary EndangermentRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell Normally when you see a sign on the bathroom door at a national park or monument it says something like, “Closed for cleaning.” It is definitely not normal to see a sign that reads, “Please Help Save…” the very place where you’re standing. Yet this is what I saw after wrapping up a photo shoot last year at Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. I’d begun my documentary photography project of Ancient Rock Art at Newspaper Rock specifically because it is easy to locate and protected within Bears Ears. Well, I thought it was protected. The sign, as usual, made no difference whatsoever, and now the Monument has been reduced to 15 percent of its previous size and uranium miners are moving in. Newspaper Rock could be destroyed, or access to it denied by a mining company. The environmental impact will be destructive, permanent, and unnecessary. Ancient American Indian rock art, petroglyphs (made by chipping rock surfaces) and pictographs (made by painting or dying rock surfaces), are found throughout the American west. The Native American artworks are between 500 & 4,000 years old and some are even more ancient. These are beautiful symbols and stories, permanently preserved in stone by ancient American Indian shaman-artists. Imagine the native artist of 2,000 years ago: He spent nearly every waking hour simply surviving — hunting, gathering, seeking water and shelter

  • A Fishy Story: The bald-faced truth behind those eagle photos

    Nov 30, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureComments Off on A Fishy Story: The bald-faced truth behind those eagle photosRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell [Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in “Photographic Memories,” 2009, by Dale O’Dell.] When you see pictures in books and magazines of bald eagles I’ll bet you’re pretty impressed. I used to be — until I saw how they were done. If you know where to go, and who to see, photographing eagles is a piece of cake. Not all pictures of bald eagles are shot this way, but a lot of them are. This fish-flinging adventure occurred the second time I’d gone to Alaska to photograph eagles. I’m not going to give away all of the secrets; you’ll have to do your own research if you too want to photograph these majestic and sometimes goofy birds. There’s a town on the southern coast of Alaska (is that vague enough?) where bald eagles congregate in the winter. The eagles range all over the place but gather in one specific spot, out near the beach, where a certain woman feeds them. Although, technically, it’s illegal to feed wild animals, this woman is credited with nearly single-handedly saving the southern Alaskan bald eagle population, so the Fish and Wildlife guys just look the other way when it comes to her feeding activities. She lives across the road from a fish packing plant. Every day during the winter months, when many eagles might starve because there are too few animals

  • Weather or whether?: Fleeing the tornado

    Nov 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell I’d been photographing electricity-generating windmills in Oregon, Washington, and Montana and was on my way to North Dakota. Things were not going well. After spending the night in Glasgow, Mont., it was about a 110-mile drive to the North Dakota state line. It would be an easy drive on the nearly arrow-straight State Highway 2. Commercial-free jazz played on the XM satellite radio and the cruise control was set at the speed limit of 70 mph. The weather had been bad for the past few days. Storms chased me across northern Washington and late May snows in central Oregon called for a mid-trip course correction, so I was in Montana sooner than I’d planned. As I drove, I scanned the skies. Although it was partly sunny on the high flat plains of eastern Montana, I could see a thunderstorm off to the north and two more in the southeastern distance. So far it was dry, but I wondered if I’d be driving into heavy weather. As a guy who watches The Weather Channel and as a child lived in Kansas for a while, I know what tornado skies look like; the distant skies were angry. As fate would have it, it wasn’t long before I drove right into a major storm. I don’t know if the road took me to the storm or the storm came to

  • 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

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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