At the end of June, I received a call from Barbara Hines of the Big Bend Natural History Association. She invited me to be the featured photographer for the 2015 Big Bend National Park Calendar. After a moment of shocked silence, I responded, “Yes, why it’s a dream come true!” They needed the images by the first part of August 2013, and you may wonder why so early? They needed time…time to select the images and for park personnel to write narratives about each photo. Time for the graphics company to design the layout and to have the calendar printed at the first of 2014. The goal was to have the calendars ready to sell by February. That meant I had only July to add new images to my portfolio. How will I document snow and fall foliage in the middle of our desert summer? “May I dig in the archives?” and yes, was the response.
So off I went, tromping through old hard drives and using images I had considered for nothing else. The ones waiting for their shining moment. With the unusually mild temperatures and the classic lovely rains in July, I was also able to trek across the desert, chasing evening rainbows and early morning light. Exploring new locations and visiting old favorites in the hopes of seeing iconic places of our beloved national park from a different perpective. I found my mind dancing with ideas…there was so much to share. Beautiful flora, interesting fauna, exciting geological formations, historical sites. The different biomes…the river, the desert, the mountains. The subtle changes in seasons…rain and blooms and fall colors. Through all of this, I had to think in a square format which was exciting and different for me. As a photographer, I’m technically challenged, but the praises of a ‘good eye’ pressed me forward. My final images were taken with 5 different cameras…most of which are a point and shoot variety. I even resurrected an old camera that had taken many of my favorite images.
In a whirlwind, I delivered my files, and the staff of the association chose their favorites…13 for the large spaces and 12 for the small spaces. Now the images are with Chris and Ellen Ruggia of Vastgraphics in Alpine. I have worked with them on many projects in the past so I was thrilled they were handling the design. Now we wait. I posted a few here that were not selected to keep the final product a surprise. In the meantime, you can support the Big Bend Natural History Association by buying their 2014 calendar with images by Blake Trester. Blake’s images include the nighttime Milky Way over the Chisos Mountains and a gorgeous view from the rim of Mariscal Canyon. Trust me, it’s marvelous.