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Viva Terlingua Fest 2014

Regal Ringneck © Crystal Allbright

Regal Ringneck © Crystal Allbright

Terlingua, Texas is rich with the talent of local musicians, photographers, and filmmakers, and they will have the chance to share their artistry this next weekend, August 14th – 17th. A group of fine folks headed up by Pat O’Bryan are presenting Viva Terlingua Fest. “…we decided that we’d put on a party and invite people like ourselves. People who live their lives like art and make art like they live.” So, what do I do? I enter all three categories and had work accepted in each. Insert a little smiling, grateful tap dance here.

The four days of festivities will include a photography exhibit at the Starlight Theater in Terlingua. Three of my images will be displayed…two pics have never been shown in public! My good friend, Jennifer Peña, will be showing her photos for the first time!

The Red Rock Theater in Lajitas will be the cool setting for videos on the afternoons of Friday and Saturday. I submitted a 3 minute video called “Hoop for Rain” which is set to outstanding guitar wizardry of Julian Mock. It will be played on Saturday, the 16th at noon.

I love original music, especially when it is written by friends, especially when it comes from their souls. Songwriters will be featured each evening at the Thirsty Goat in Lajitas and the Starlight Theater in Terlingua. These are two great venues for enjoying refreshing beverages while listening to words spun into song. Prolific songwriter, Laird Considine, will perform on Friday, the 15th from 6 – 7 pm at the Starlight and I’ll be backing him up with the squeezebox. Then on Saturday, the 16th at 5 pm, I’ll sing a few of my creations with Laird weaving sweet mandolin lines into the mix.

What a great way to spend August! Of course, there will be hula hooping, too! A hooping jam will be hosted by the Barton Warnock Center on Thursday, August 14th from 10 am – noon. Come hoop with us on the state park’s spacious, cool porch, and loosen up those hips before a weekend of fine art and fun times.

2015 Big Bend National Park Calendar

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.

Shooting West Texas Follow Up

What a mind soaking weekend in September at the 2011 Shooting West Texas Photo Symposium, and not just because it rained! My head is swimming with so many fantastic images…Wyman Meinser’s aerial view of Guitar Mountain, Terry Nathan’s cloud embraced peaks, and Jeremy Woodhouse’s filmy birds in fight. I loved Rachel Waller’s passionate horse portraits and Laren Bridges’s enthusiastic connection to people. The ranch legacy is revered in Adam Jahiel’s stunning silver prints. Wayne Baize’s gracious love of painting and drawing the West Texas ranch life carries over from his referential photographs. For the next Texas Monthly cover, I’ll muse over TJ Tucker’s perseverance as creative director. True to his home and heart, Russell Graves shared his smile-inducing video ventures. True to the preservation of historical photographs are Melleta Bell and Mike Howard, Archives of the Big Bend. On a menu of fabulous photographers, I was the last to present. My topic was called ‘Macro Mode on the Go’ but more aptly could’ve been ‘Close Up on a Budget’ or ‘Getting Intimate with Things that Stick, Sting or Bite’. I hope it gave folks the gusto to explore with their photography. Again and again, thanks to Barney Nelson, Barbara Richerson and all those that made the event at Sul Ross State University a success. Okay, enough sitting and more shooting!

the audience