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Why the American West? A More Scholarly Perspective

Hallett Fog Illustration

    Philosopher David Hume in his 1757 essay, Of the Standard of Taste wrote that some works of art endure over the centuries because humanity, despite time, nationality, and place, finds universal agreement in beauty and “taste”. Thus “The same Homer, who pleased at Athens and Rome two thousand years ago, is still admired at Paris and at London. All the changes of climate, government, religion, and language, have not been able to obscure his glory.”  Hume’s essay was written at a time when theories of aesthetics were being advanced. What makes a thing beautiful?  Why do some works of art endure while others fall away? Can we identify the qualities that make certain works of art, music, and literature timeless?

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The Pinhole and My Vision of the American West: Part Two

Big Thompson Illustration

My story goes like this:  Early in my career I wanted to be a photojournalist but had a keen interest in landscape photography. Between photo assignments for a local Fort Collins newspaper, I honed my craft in black and white photography to emulate masters like Ansel Adams and Ed Weston. And I achieved it! I could make perfect zone system landscapes. Most of my landscape pictures at that time were technically excellent but lacked soul. I was able to take pictures like Ansel Adams, but so what? So I drifted away from the landscape toward still life, commercial, and other pursuits.

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The Pinhole and My Vision of the American West: Part One

Two Cameras Warm    My introduction to the pinhole camera profoundly changed my vision of the landscape in general and the American West in particular. Any reader of this blog or familiar with my photography will come to understand the important role that the pinhole has played in my life. In Part One of this post, I will explain how the pinhole works and the miracle of nature it represents. In Part Two I will introduce my personal story so as to provide the proper context for the photographs that I create.

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A Visual Soundtrack to Life

Mark at Eight

Some years ago I was at the Denver Auto Show and stopped at the Scion display area. Scion markets to a youthful demographic with really hip, flamboyant advertising.  They know their market and spare no expense.  It’s like Halloween as you cruise along the Scion counter with perfectly dressed attendants filling your auto show bag with glossy literature, felt cell phone pocket protectors, brushed metal key chains, head phones, CD’s, and DVD’s. The CD caught my eye because it was boldly labeled as the “Soundtrack For Your Ride.”  Scion is chic enough to know that a

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