Image: "Queen Esther Baptist Church, Lancaster, Virginia" (c) 2011 Stu Jenks (Just down River Road from Victoria's house. Love that luscious red carpet. And for you nocturnals out there, it was handheld. Rare for me.)
In this time of making photos on iPhones and Macbook Pros and only looking on screens, I forget I'm a old-school guy. I make a 8 1/2 x 11 work print on archival paper of EVERY image I make. EVERY one. It's the only way, for me, to accurately check for color shift, density, composition, etc. I really like my iPad screen but it's no way to make a good print.
And I have hundreds, if not thousands, of work prints artist proofs at my studio.
If you see an image of mine on The StuBlog or on my old website or on the Fezziwig Press Store or in any of my books, there's a beautiful small print in a box somewhere, perhaps with your name on it. And since I'm organized, I can find it.
Many of you can't afford my larger prints. I understand. I don't have an extra 50 or 100 lying around either. But I do have an extra $20 for stuff I really like.
So if you see an image of mine on any of my sites or in any of my books and you want it, it's yours for $25, shipping, handling and tax included. (I believe in paying taxes, sales and otherwise.)
Just email me at my facebook page or through the StuBlog or at firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell me what print you would like or just pull the jpeg and send that to me.
I was just watching the Tarhells lose today in basketball, working on images at my computer when I thought, 'I bet people don't realize I have boxes of work prints here.'
You all do now.
Love and light,
p.s. Ignore the catagories belows. The computer went wacky. Another reason why I prefer a print in the hand as opposed to an image in The Cloud.
I smelled the ammonia a few miles back. I knew what was coming. I’ve driven by this stockyard a few times now, on my way to San Francisco. This is the first time I’ve stopped. Behind me, tractor trailer trucks blow by as I shoot the cattle with my long lens. A white cow notice me and stares. She, like all the thousands of others, stands in her own shit. It’s not the smell that gets me. It’s the borderline cruelty perpetrated on this sentient beings, having them eat shit, breathe shit, and lay in their own shit. I don’t think I’ll have a hamburger any time soon. I get back into Martha B. and merge back onto the Interstate. The smell lingers for many miles.
Alamosa, Colorado. The first Western town I ever visited and stayed at, for a length of time. (I don’t count Austin, Texas, the city I visited a few days before Alamosa in 1977. Texas ain’t really the West to me. Texas is Texas, a separate country.) Came to visit Bob, a friend I went to Carolina with, until he transferred to Adams State in Alamosa. Sadly I haven’t keep up with Bob. Have no idea where he is. Then again we drifted apart soon after he left Chapel Hill. Visiting him in Colorado was one of the last times we spent any real time together. Still remembering drinking the 3.2 beer and complaining about it. Also remember drinking Lone Star beer and not. Bottom line, Bob was a good man and I hope he is doing well, thirty years after our last meeting.
I visited the Great Sand Dunes National Park this morning. First time in thirty years. Hiked to the top of the highest dune, 700 feet about the surrounding landscape. Beautifully cold. Ran into an older man at the top who said he was ‘semi-retired’. (Semi-retired means to me: Rich; Maybe have to fly to a board meeting every now and again; Travel a lot; Spend a lot of money.) Tough old bird. A member of the Elite but he can’t be too spoiled if he was willing to plod through steep sand to get to the top of a big-ass sand dune. Not an easy climb at all. I left the $1200 Canon 30D in the truck today. Took the Brownie and the old Pentex instead. Had a wonderful time, wind hitting my face, sand soft and rough at the same time, thinking about days, thirty years prior, with Bob and some of his other friends. Happy I can still make it to the top. Remembered a voice telling me back then, that I needed to ‘stop smoking.’ It was saying stop smoking dope not tobacco back in the day. Now, the voice is saying ‘quit smoking’ and now it’s about tobacco. I tied a red prayer bundle (containing tobacco) on some tall grass, prayed for others, and myself and found a healing rock for me and a power rock for Annie on the way back to the truck. Got to Alamosa in the mid afternoon. Stopped and mailed a few postcards at the main Post Office. Longed for a Daylight Donut but they were already closed for the day, yet I could still smell the baking donuts on the sidewalk by the front door. Hmmm. (A day or two later I was driving through Alamosa again and stopped by, but alas, still closed. No Hot Donuts Then Either.) Oh well. Got some gas and headed west toward the San Juans and Uncompahgre Peak.
The plan was this: Drive to the 4 x 4 trail that goes up to the trail-head for Uncompahgre Peak. If the snow is too deep, car-camp at the base of the jeep trail. If the snow is shallow, head up as far as I can go. Probably won't make the trail head. Definitely won't be hiking to the top, like years ago. Just camp somewhere along the jeep trail. That was the plan. I’m driving on Route 149 west of the little village of Creede now. Up I go. No worries. No snow except on the highest peak from what I can see. Easy driving. I drive by a formal Forest Service campground with its ten campsites, its wooden picnic tables and its iron grills. Called the Silver Thread Campground. Looks to be only one camper there. It is Fall, it is cold, and it is a weekday. I turn my nose up at this modern campground as I drive by. Wouldn’t think of camping at such a citified campsite. I’m heading for the wilderness. Up in the deeper snow. Then I notice it’s getting colder and colder and more and deeper snow is appearing on the roadside. I know it’s colder for now my truck heater can’t keep up with the outdoor temperature. That means it’s very cold. I reach the Slumgullion Pass, that is south of Lake City and now I’m hitting patches of snow and black ice in the road. My heart rate goes up. About an hour, maybe two of sun left. I engage the four-wheel drive, but as any rock hopper knows, the four by four is really a two by two, and it doesn’t do much if anything against ice. I crack my moon roof and stick out my hand. Sweet Jesus it’s cold. Well, I am at around twelve thousand feet. I do the math. If it’s this cold now, that means tonight it’ll be zero or below. I won’t freeze to death for I've got a good bag and a good coat but I may be uncomfortable. And I do have a desert battery in my truck. Negative teen temperatures tend to kill car batteries. I’m beginning to reconsider my plan. Even at the base of Uncompahgre Peak I may get stuck in snow or at least be really cold. Hmmm. Suddenly, I round a corner and see Uncompahgre Peak a few miles in the distance. “Good Lord!” I say. This is a sight that I’ve only seen on TV and in movies but never in person. An image of snow being blown horizontally off the top of a mountain by the very high winds at the summit. An image of the Dead Zone. I stop and take the Dead Zone’s picture. I then settle on an improvised Plan B.
An hour later, I’m at the Forest Service campground I scoffed at earlier. Suns almost down. I’ve set up my Svea 123 stove on the picnic table and it’s burning like a jet engine, heating water to a boil, to make coffee and oatmeal for dinner. I’m eating string cheese while I wait. It tastes like creamy ambrosia.
I’ve unrolled my Kelty bag in my truck and I’ve set up my old Rollei camera on a near by hill, for some nocturnal star circles shooting later. A couple of hunting parties are across the way in their RVs, but no one is close to me. I’m eating cheese with gloved hands, and I couldn’t be happier. Maybe a little happier if I had someone to share this little paradise with, but not much happier. The snow under my feet is powdery and dry. No clouds in the skies. And the cold air wakes you up like loving slap on the ass. And it’s not too cold here. In the twenties I’m guessing, not sub-zero. Big difference between 20 degrees and –20. Like the three bears, the third bed/porridge/chair was just right. And the Silver Thread Campground is just right. The water reaches a boil and I pour it on top of the instant mocha coffee inside my blue enamel cup. I stir and sip the boiling lumpy liquid. “Sweet Jesus who lives in Heaven.” I take a second sip and close my eyes in rapture.
Friday, October 18th, 2007
Except for getting up once to close the shutter on the 2 1⁄4, I slept for ten hours. Ten hours straight, pretty much. I haven’t felt this good in years after sleeping. The 10,000-foot-high cold mountain air didn’t hurt none either. And now I’m watching a blue jay eat my leftover oatmeal.
I leave the bird to peck my bowl in peace and headed up a spruce-covered hill to the south. Already been up to the ridge-line a few times this morning. This time I’ve come up to pray. After prayers, I come back down, pack up my gear, and finish my coffee. The blue jay has finished my oatmeal. It's still early, around 8 a.m. but I have one more place to go before I leave. The small stream that traverses the campground becomes a hundred-foot waterfall a couple hundred yards from my truck. I grab the Canon and head to take some pics. I arrive and just slow down even more. I take a few impressionistic zooms of the rushing stream but mostly I just sit. Sit and have a smoke. Sit after the smoke. Sit and sit some more. Loud water, be it a fast stream over rocks or waves at the ocean, does that to me. Slows everything down. Thinking stops, feelings settle, my eyes sort of cross. I then close my eyes, and all the World is Sound.
"Stu at The Cup Cafe, Hotel Congress, Tucson, Arizona" (c) 2007 Cathy Spann
[I'm as vain, if not more so, than anyone else. But when I first saw this photograph, I thought it was one the truest ever taken of me. It looks and feels like how I see myself. By the way, my shirt came from Safehouse Coffeehouse, here in Tucson. It says 'Art hurts, Coffee helps.' And, yes, that is a picture of John Dillinger on The Cup's menu.]
[Hotel Congress, Saturday Morning. Breakfast at The Cup. I had a Turkey Chorizo and Provolone cheese omelet (which you can partly see in the reflection of the pepper shaker's lid). Cathy had a Short Stack and a single egg. Coffee all around. Note: Double-click to make the image larger and notice the pepper in its freefall to the egg. Cool, eh?]