Axial Tilt

Yes, it’s that same hill in South Dakota you’ve seen many times before…the one I visit at least twice each year, the place where I love to park to watch the sun and the moon. I bookended my 2017 western adventure here; above is a September sunset, below, one from October. Note the southward drift of the setting sun in that three-week period.


In addition to our usual pre-dawn arrival each day at the Buffalo Peaks Ranch this past October, we picked one afternoon to return for our first look at the ranch glowing under the light of the low western sun. The mood was quite different, and there was much excitement as we ran around and clicked away at all of the wonderful new presentations of light and shadow. We stayed until the sun fell behind the distant mountains.

Ilford SFX 200 film

Buffalo Peaks Ranch
South Park, Colorado

Isn’t That What Friends Are For?

We’re the insect life of paradise:
Crawl across leaf or among towering blades of grass
Glimpse only sometimes the amazing breadth of heaven

You’re as loved as you were
Before the strangeness swept through
Our bodies, our houses, our streets
When we could speak without codes
And light swirled around like
Wind-blown petals at our feet

I’ve been scraping little shavings off my ration of light
And I’ve formed it into a ball, and each time I pack a bit more onto it
And I make a bowl of my hands and I scoop it from its secret cache
Under a loose board in the floor
And I blow across it and I send it to you
Against those moments when
The darkness blows under your door

Isn’t that what friends are for?

Ilford SFX 200 film

Buffalo Peaks Ranch
South Park, Colorado

“Isn’t That What Friends Are For?”
by Bruce Cockburn

Glorious Failure

I love disasters like this. This is the roll that the lab told me was too faint to scan; I scanned it anyway. An old roll of high-speed Konica SR-G 3200 color print film, with a 1993 expiration date. These first two shots show Reinecker Ridge at sunrise, as seen from the Buffalo Peaks Ranch.

I have a large supply of old film, but it’s mostly black & white and I’ve never noticed any age-related issues when shooting that stuff. Color is a different story. And when it comes out like this, I really wish I had a lot more. Time to start scouring the internet and stocking up.

A shot of Sarah at the ranch. Looks as though she has found an interdimensional portal…

Later that week, a scene from Custer, South Dakota…

And, from my final evening in South Dakota this year, two shots of the sunset along my favorite gravel road…

The image above is the last frame on the roll. Not sure where the blocking effect came from, but I love it.