My photography, my art, my thoughts.

Time to get serious!

It’s time to get back to my blog again.  I have a lot of things I want to talk about. Not tonight because I’ve had too many Gin and Tonics. But the time has come to get back to this journal of thoughts, art, ideas, and images. See you soon!


Getting in touch…..

As I get older I am sorely aware of how fast time passes. When we are children we cannot wait to get bigger. When we hit our teens we can’t wait to be able to get driver’s license and our own car. Then it’s reaching 21 and being “legal”. Time is like molasses and we are anxious for it to shoot by, we are immortal and will live forever. We tempt fate and do dangerous stupid things without regard. Then one day you find yourself looking back with grown children and grand children and great grandchildren and three divorces and signing up for Social Security and Medicare and realizing that time has somehow sped up to an alarming pace and with every cherished weekend ending and going back to work on Monday that you’ve gotten old somehow and wishing you could just slow the clock down.

Time gets very valuable when you have less of it. We don’t realize that when we are very young.

In the past year, three people I was close to have died.  Last March, just before his birthday, my brother passed away. Died in his sleep. He had diabetes, was a smoker all his adult and teen years. He was a wonderful person and mostly I will miss his laugh.  A few weeks ago I found out that another person I knew very well had died. We were good friends for years. Played cards together, worked together, shared a lot personally. We had a big falling out about five years ago and didn’t speak for two years, but then mended fences and tried to be close again. Then a year ago, another falling out. And again we haven’t spoken since. What I will remember most about him was how much he loved his kids. This week I heard that one of my best friends from high school had passed away.  We were very close for years back when I lived in Georgia. I had heard from mutual friends that he had been ill for a while but didn’t know the nature of his health problems. Now he too has died.

I am at the age where every day brings that possibility.  That I will hear that someone else I knew has died.  I know people that have survived serious illnesses, cancer, accidents, have lost children. And as we age and see that life is only a breath away from ending for us and everyone around us, we begin to finally get very selfish at wanting to hold on to every day, to drag our feet and slow the whole run away train down.

I wish I had stayed in touch with my brother more often. I wish I could have stayed friends with Frank, could have survived his temper and his irrational mind. I wish I had made the effort to contact Jim and just talked with him about old times when he was still alive. I can’t go back and change those things. And I know there are other things I would wish, but don’t know that I will do anything in my remaining days to save myself the regret I will feel when they present themselves to me.

But I do know that every day means more to me with each passing day. And the people who mean a lot to me need to hear it more often. Opportunity, like time, is fleeting and fragile. Carpe diem!

Time To Catch Up

It is amazing to me that it’s been about eleven months since I posted to this blog. Life slips away much too quickly and the days fill with things to do. But I will post a couple of catch up blogs to get back to current, though they can’t possibly cover everything.

Things got a bit crazy last September when my wife and I decided to separate. Unexpected for me, but not surprising. Long story that I won’t elaborate on here. So I began looking for a place to rent and assembling some furniture that I would need since splitting households always leaves one lacking in some of the things you’ve been accustomed to. I know this from experience (long story again).

In the mean time, still working some part time projects at the Art Museum and doing my photography. I was approached in late October by Linda Harris to produce a book to be a gift for her Dad documenting his records of his time in the military. She persuaded him to give her access to many of his documents and photos under false pretenses, then allowed me to photograph them and prepare the book.  I shot his dog tags and designed a cover, laid out the book including some stock photos of ships he had sailed on. It was printed in time for Christmas and was a huge surprise.

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I took a short photo excursion to Elmira one weekend in early October that yielded some nice images. A few of these later were processed using Topaz Labs software and included in my new TOPAZ II book. The deer were in a field with some horses outside of Horsehead.

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Elmira yard

street scene Elmira

In early December it was rehearsal at the Youth Bureau with Running To Places for the upcoming production of Hairspray.

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The day after Christmas I was shooting a family portrait on the Cornell campus. A chilly day, but fortunately it was a winter with little snowfall.

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On January first, I teamed up with my fabulous daughter, Tessa, and her partner, Ariel to shoot pictures for, and produce a book cover for their friend, Dana’s new book. The scene is one from the story and Tessa and Ariel had decided how they wanted it to look, so we set about making it happen.  It was shot in a patch of virgin woods in Trumansburg during the day, then Photoshopped to look like moonlight.  We found some stock photos of blue flames and set the picture on fire.  It was great fun.

book cover

Later in January came the actual Running To Places production of Hairspray at the State Theatre.  I’m sorry I didn’t get up my usual fullblown posts for the last few presentations this season (see my next few posts). I’ve hardly had time to edit the pictures, much less post them to the blog. But needless to say, it was an amazing, fun, comical and entertaining show with great performances.

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I began working full time on January 1st for good friend, Shai Eynav, at his company Spider Holster.  I had been doing trade shows with them and working part time late in 2011, but Shai asked me to come on board full time and I immediately said yes.  Late in January it was off to New Orleans for the Trade Show at Imaging USA. I love New Orleans. It was my third time there and I took advantage of every morning to go out and shoot ahead of the trade show hours.

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The best pictures came from the area down around Frenchman Street in the Jazz district.

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Later in February, it was back to Las Vegas for WPPI. This is one of the biggest trade shows of the season, focused primarily on Wedding Photographers. It always makes for some great antics at the hotel. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas….NOT!

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Bob is up for anything!

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No sooner back from Las Vegas, and it was back to shooting Running To Places and their production of Oliver at the Hangar Theatre.

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In March it was back to New York for Photo Plus Expo at the Javitts Center, the big New York photo expo and trade show and in April it was time for me to move into a new place. Back to living on my own (which is fine) and now having some room for office and a small studio, a place to store all of my framed art instead of constantly moving it around every time my daughter came home (I was storing it all in her room) and only a mile from work which is saving me a ton in milage and gas.

That brings me up to Spring of this year. Next post, I’ll catch things up even further.

Glad to be back.

All images are Copyright © George Cannon, All Rights Reserved.

Images from Running To Places productions are available at 30% goes back to Running To Places.

Senior Pictures with Thomas

I’ve know Thomas’s mother, Sally, for about 25 years. So I was delighted when she contacted me to shoot Thomas’s senior pictures. Thomas is a tall, thin young man with thick hair, a great smile, and easy going personality.  We even happen to have the same birthday so I felt an immediate connection with him. Thomas plays tennis and enjoys hanging with his friends. “A typical boy” according to his Mom.



Ithaca’s Stuart Park is nearby Thomas’s house so we drove over there to get some shots by the lake under the big willow trees. In scouting the location I had been struck by the view down the railroad tracks that pass by the park and just had this vision of Thomas standing down the tracks, so we made that shot and I’m so glad we did. I think it’s my favorite from the afternoon.


We did a series over at the arboretum and then moved over to the Arts Quad at Cornell. The afternoon light was beautiful and I’m really happy we postponed a day to get this beautiful fall afternoon sun.


Thanks, Thomas. It was a great shoot.

All photographs are Copyright © George Cannon – Images.

Great Senior Session with Kevin

I’ve know Kevin  as well as his brother Nathan and sister Erin for a few years because of our involvement with Running To Places. Kevin is a fabulous young actor as are his siblings. He has played lead roles for R2P including an amazing performance as Romeo this year and a stunning part opposite Alex LoPinto in The Last Five Years (see previous post) last season.

Kevin’s family bought a portrait session I donated to an R2P fundraiser and we got together a couple of weeks ago to shoot his senior pictures and a few new head shots.



Kevin is a really handsome young man with a great outgoing personality. Easy going and relaxed in front of the camera, his stage work helped him take direction like a pro model.



We shot pictures in his neighborhood, on the downtown streets, and then over at Buttermilk Falls State Park.



Thanks, Kevin.  You make my job really fun and satisfying.

All photographs are Copyright © George Cannon – Images.

Senior Portraits with Paige

Paige contacted me for senior portraits after seeing some pictures I took of Rachel who goes to the same school. We had a little problem coordinating dates because of weather but finally found a beautiful afternoon. Paige enjoys tennis in addition to school studies, especially French and History. Our first shots were down at the school tennis courts.

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Paige picked out a few outfits including a lovely dress with a lace skirt and ruffled top. After the tennis shots we headed off to the Cornell Campus.



Paige is a lovely girl with fair skin, a strong jaw line, great smile, and deep dimples, and gorgeous hazel eyes. She changed into a great orange top and we drove over to the arboretum, one of my favorite locations.



A beautiful girl with a great variety of expression. Thanks Paige.

All photographs are Copyright © George Cannon – Images.

Senior Portraits with Phebe

I shoot all my senior portraits on location, so was pleased to get an email from Phebe asking if I could do her senior pictures at her farm with all of her animals. Phebe is an amazing girl, confident, talkative, relaxed, great in front of the camera, not to mention, beautiful. Fantastic hazel eyes and a very bubbly personality. Plays beautiful piano and loves her myriad of pets.

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When I arrived, she had a variety of outfit choices to look over and then I asked her to give me a short tour of the farm so we could pick good spots for pictures. Her farm was a perfect location for a great senior portrait shoot. So many settings and so picturesque. We started inside so the sun could get a bit lower and shot at her piano. Eventually her one indoor cat came to be a part of the project as we had hoped.

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We shot a few more pictures in the parlor then moved out to take out the horses. Phebe has two horses that she really adores. The first was a bit edgy and uncooperative, so we spent more time with the other. They are both beautiful animals and made for great pictures.

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When Phebe had shown me around the farm, she said she particularly wanted some pictures down in an old tree covered roadway, so we took their huge white dog that guards their sheep from coyotes and walked down to this beautiful light dappled old road.

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We picked other beautiful spots in the barn, on the front porch, and in the wonderful old swings that hung from the big maple in the front yard, finishing out by the roadside, accompanied by their pretty Golden Retriever.

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It was a delightful afternoon shooting an amazing young woman. Thanks for a perfect afternoon and thanks for the delicious pears you sent home with me.

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All images Copyright © George Cannon.

R2P Closes 2011 Season with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Running to Places Theatre Company finished their 2011 season at Ithaca’s State Theatre with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella in late August to the delight of adults and children, many of whom came dressed in costume for the event and greeted the characters after the shows.

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The starring roles went to Engy Hassan as Cinderella and Matt Avery as Prince Christopher.  Both these young performers have strong beautiful voices and added grace and magic to the stage. Whether in quiet moments alone in the stepmother’s house as in “In My Own Little Corner” or in duets like “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful”, both Engy and Matt gave wonderful performances.  Todd Petersen’s choreography, as always, had these two floating across the ballroom floor as enchanted lovers should.


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Extremely strong supporting performances were brought to life in the characters of the stepsisters, Grace and Joy, played with such humor and delight by Haley Evanoski and Natalia Rathburn, and guided by their mother, played by Allison Mollenkamp. The girls you love to hate were great fun in their disgusting habits and hilarious costumes. Kudos to Michelle Roy for great costume design. Grace and Joy won my heart with their great duet, “Stepsister’s Lament”. Fabulous, girls!

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Another marvelous performance came from Jewell Payne as the Fairy God Mother.  Her powerful voice and elegant stage presence gave wonderful life to the character. Lisa Podulka also gave great supporting performances as Leona the Steward, with strong expression and energy and showing her talents both singing and dancing. Rebecca Woods and Felix Fernandez-Perry played the roles of the King and Queen with delightful duets and good humor.

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Tyler Perry designed beautiful sets, simple and effective, to bring us into the story book production complimented by lighting by Max Doolittle and the pit orchestra led by Richard Montgomery brought the story alive with great music.

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A wonderful family production and great finish to an amazing season. Hats off to all the cast and supporting crew, to Gail and Joey and everyone who works so hard to support this great local company of performers. Our community appreciates you and are lucky to have you all. Now, onto next season, bound to be even better if that’s possible. Congratulations Running To Places on a great season!



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All images are Copyright © George Cannon. Images from this show and all Running To Places season shows are available for purchase at with a portion of the sales going back to support Running To Places. Order your favorites today.

“We are all different”… A Testament to the Power of Faith in Delaware, Ohio

I just returned from Delaware, Ohio, after delivering a car load of my daughter’s dorm clothes and supplies as she starts her junior year at Ohio Wesleyan University. While we are in Delaware, I usually get up early (as my wife prefers to sleep in a bit) and take my camera and head into town to shoot in the early morning hours. When we were there in November of 2009, I happened upon a trailer residence on one of the Delaware streets that was heavily decorated. So I stopped, of course, to shoot this place for my Ornamental America series.

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On the recent trip, I happened back down the same street to take another look and discovered that the place had changed a bit with new decorations. So I stopped again to shoot some new images. This time, however, I was rewarded with a very serendipitous experience as I walked around the side of this glorious setting. I say “glorious” because I am so intrigued by places like this and this one is a true standout in my series.

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As I walked around the side of the house, by the small garage space, I found the trailer’s owner, squatting in the entrance, dipping into a can of yellow paint, to spruce up the color on an iron railing. I introduced myself and was fondly welcomed by Jim Van Buskirk. Jim is a retired gentleman who has, for years, decorated the outside of his residence with all manner of trinkets, statues, tools, signs, and other artifacts, found items and, as he explained to me, things that people just bring him. We spoke for a while and as we spoke, Jim began to relate to me how this project, the ever changing whimsical exterior, is what he does to, one, occupy his time, and two, to fight depression. Then he began to relate his story to me.

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Jim, as I said, is retired. For years he had problems with severe nervousness and was on medication for it. Jim was alone since the death of his wife and most of his friends were dead too. He had survived a bout with colon cancer. His wife passed away from kidney failure after an overdose of Percocet. His son, who was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic had been on medication and was told he was not allowed to drive. After being warned and caught driving for the third time, he was imprisoned for 18 months. While in prison, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Jim fought to see his son, but was consistently denied. After finally writing a letter to the governor, he was able to get his son released to a hospital, but he died two months later. Jim’s daughter worked for the mental health facility in Delaware. While being visited by one of the patients who she had had in her home many times, the patient got agitated and violent. She managed to get him to leave. He later came back to her house with a deer rifle and shot her and her young daughter to death. Jim, as might be expected, suffered from severe depression. As I listened to Jim’s story I thought to myself, “how have you managed to survive all the tragedy in your life? It’s a wonder you haven’t just checked out.”

Jim said, “come inside with me, I want to show you the inside.” We went into his trailer and I was amazed. He said, “this is what I do. I don’t sleep much, so I have to keep myself busy.”

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Jim explained to me how he had eventually realized the depression medication was keeping him drugged up and unable to function. He went to the doctor’s office and in front of his doctor, threw the pills in the trash. He said, “I’m not taking this stuff anymore.” The doctor told him, “we won’t be responsible , Jim”. And Jim said, “You’re not responsible, I am.” He told me he quit “cold turkey” that day and has not taken anything for his depression since. He said to me, “I’m not a religious man, but I do pray. And when I feel nervous or depressed, I just stop and say a prayer. Then I just go on.” And he smiled widely.

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I took pictures of Jim’s house and visited with him for quite a while. I thanked him for talking with me and he said, “Thank you. You made my day.” I left so filled with awe and inspiration and the strength and sustaining faith of this simple man, his friendliness, his since of joy and imagination that could not be extinguished. I will visit Jim again when I return to Delaware. I need that reminder of how lucky I am, how blessed. Thank you, James A. Van Buskirk.

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Images are Copyright © George Cannon, All Rights Reserved.

Return to Utah with Spider Holster

To me, the canyon country of southern Utah is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Grand, expansive, spectacular, and colorful in the most amazing ways. I traveled there years ago when I took a four week photo trip across the country.

After many years, I had the good fortune to make a trip back to Utah this month, thanks to Spider Holster and my good friend, Shai Eynav. Shai is the inventor of Spider Holster and if you have never experienced it, it’s the ultimate camera carrying system. No straps, camera is carried on a waist belt and the weight is on your hips, not on your neck and back. Check it out at

Spider Holster with medium format Pentax

We left from Elmira, New York to go to Salt Lake City for the new Outdoor Photography trade show in conjunction with the Outdoor Retailers Expo at the Salt Palace. This is the largest convention/trade show that takes place all year in Utah. So big that the Salt Palace can’t hold it all. We were there to represent Spider Holster and hopefully sell a bunch of them to the outdoor photo enthusiasts, but alas, the photo show was not well attended. Certainly nothing like PPE in New York or WPPI in Las Vegas, where we’ve done so well. But it’s the first year for this show, so maybe it will improve in the future. Shai and I were traveling with our good bud, photographer Bob Kaussner and Spider Holster engineer, Joe Crum. It was my first time doing more than passing through Salt Lake City, so we got to explore a bit in the off hours.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake downtown at night

I was impressed with the city, very clean, well kept, lots of flowers and landscaping. Downtown seemed to have a lack of night life, a major contrast to NYC or Las Vegas. Perhaps it’s the Mormon influence. We did take a tour through Temple Square, the heart of the Mormon Church in Utah. Temple Square is a large walled compound surrounding the Mormon Temple (not open to tourists evidently), the Morman Tabernacle, the Assembly Hall, the Tourist Center, and some other buildings.

Mormon Temple

Morman Tabernacle Organ

We entered the Tabernacle to see where the choir performed and there were met by two young ladies, missionaries for the church, who took us under wing to show us around and explain much about the buildings in the square and the history of the Mormon Church. They took us across the street to the new (built in 2000) Comfort Center, the new conference center that now is the setting for performances by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The auditorium is spectacular, huge, sprawling, with an enormous organ and choir loft and seating, with the main floor and the huge balcony, for 22,000 people. And not a column, support, post, or obstruction of any kind to block the view from anywhere in this enormous space. It’s truly awesome.

Comfort Center Auditorium

View from the balcony of the Comfort Center

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Almost as amazing is the rooftop, a few floors up, with waterfalls, and pools, trees and plantings, and a spectacular view of the Salt Lake City skyline. We went back on Thursday evening to shoot the sunset from the roof and hear the choir rehearsing.

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Approaching storm at sunset over Salt Lake City

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsing

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We took our rental car for a drive one evening up to Park City to walk the downtown streets and had a great meal at Chimayo, an upscale restaurant on the main drag. We were about to leave after looking at the menu and feeling it too expensive, when the owner offered us a two for one special and convinced us to stay. Glad we did. The meal was amazing including the local Utah brew pub beers. As we were heading back to the car, we stopped in Michael Fatali’s photo gallery to talk with Michael and his wife. The conversations went on for quite a while as we visited and viewed his impressive gallery of large format landscape images of the canyons and red rock country. Michael seemed to take great pleasure in showing us his work as well as a couple of his unusual collectables. A giant camera lens from the U2 spy plane that weighed in at over 300 pounds, and the original HAL computer from the movie “2001, A Space Odyssey”. What a serendipitous day.

Bob and Joe

The following day we drove west of Salt Lake city, past the Great Salt Lake, and then south into the Stansbury mountains, taking a road that lead up to a camping area in the Wasatch National Forest. A nice afternoon drive with some great scenery, then back to town.

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We happened upon the Red Iguana, another fabulous discovery we had made a couple of days earlier. Amazing Mexican fare, authentic and delicious, with a selection of the most incredible molés you could ever experience. You’d never know how amazing this place is to look at the outside of the building, except for the lines that form as the evening progresses. We ate there twice and would probably have again had we been in town longer. Highly recommended.

The trade show only ran two days and on Friday we packed everything and transported it over to Fedex for shipment back. Joe caught the redeye flight back that night leaving Shai, Bob and me in Utah. We caught some early rest and got up at midnight, piled into the rental car with camera gear and headed south to try and catch sunrise at Dead Horse Point overlooking Canyonlands and the Colorado River, north of Moab. It was supposed to be about a four plus hour trip. What we didn’t anticipate was the repaving of I-15 going on during the night. We were caught in a massive traffic jam for almost an hour. This was followed by getting off at the wrong exit which had us traveling for miles through parts of the suburbs with continuous traffic lights, slowing us at least another half hour. I was thinking we’re not likely to make sunrise, but we pressed on. As it turned out, we arrived with about 45 minutes to spare and were there by ourselves to await the sunrise under an amazing star filled Utah sky. Standing there in the dark, we did not know what to expect to see when the morning light finally arrived. But we were blessed with beautiful light, a scattering of clouds, and a spectacular view.

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We spent quite a while climbing about, shooting the canyons and incredible view as the sun rose higher in the sky. Eventually we left Dead Horse Point and drove further down the highway out onto Island In The Sky. This is a huge plateau that was used through history as a place to herd cattle and horses because a very narrow place, called “the neck”, could be fenced easily and isolate the entire plateau.

Shai and Bob at Dead Horse

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view from Island in the Sky

We left Island In The Sky and headed down to Moab to get some breakfast, then drove back north to Arches National Park. We explored here into the early afternoon, shooting, despite the bright sunlight of mid-day.

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To fill the afternoon and wait for the late day light at Arches, we drove south about 60 miles to the lower entrance of Canyonlands National Park where Church Rock sits beside the highway. A brief stay there with more pictures, then back to Arches.

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Newspaper Rock in Canyonlands National Park

We stopped once more on the road back at Wilson’s Arch, a huge stone arch along side the highway. Bob and I climbed up to the arch to let Shai shoot us from the base, then he climbed up as well. I should do more of this kind of hiking. It reminded me of my childhood days climbing about on the back of Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta.

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Bob at Wilson Arch

Once back at Arches, we shot for about another hour, then back in the car to head back to Salt Lake City. We got back near midnight after battling another paving traffic jam making it a 24 hour whirlwind tour with great pictures and well worth the effort.

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My thanks to Shai and Spider Holster for giving us all this incredible experience. I love Utah’s spectacular landscape. I need to get back to the desert and the canyons again, it lifts my soul and helps me to realize how miniscule I am in the midst of nature and the open sky.

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All photographs are Copyright © George Cannon, All Rights Reserved.

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