View Full Version : Petrified Forest National Park Art Collection

Kirk Gittings
19-Jan-2016, 10:59
So last fall I was in an exhibit in Winslow AZ of former Artists-in-Residence from the Petrified Forest National National Park. I couldn't get to the exhibit as last fall was unbelievably busy. I heard it was very good. Visitors to the show were asked to pick one artwork to add to the permanent collection of the park. I'm honored to report that they picked this image of mine, "Walking Rain" 2013. I set up and waited many afternoons at this site on Blue Mesa as these focused thunderstorms rolled through this extraordinary landscape waiting for something amazing to happen.

Also two large versions of this are on permanent exhibit in Santa Fe. One is at the Santa Fe Mini Cooper dealership boardroom and the other is part of the Santa Fe Public Art Collection.

120 Nikkor SW, Phillips 4x5, B&W Orange filter, Ilford FP4+ 4x5 film, Pyrocat HD developer.


Drew Wiley
19-Jan-2016, 11:47
Yes, it's classic Kirk, for sure. Lovely shot. I've only taken color there, but was reminiscing to some co-workers yesterday about getting cussed out by a Brooklyn
couple that locked their keys in the cars after seeing my Sinar propped up overlooking Blue Mesa, walking over, and being disappointed that there was no "deah" or "beah" in the scene.

Kirk Gittings
19-Jan-2016, 12:04
Thanks Drew. "deah" or "beah" what language is that? :)

bob carnie
19-Jan-2016, 12:11
That's quite a lovely image Kirk- mind blowing actually

I am not big on landscape but this one is exceptional it looks like a nuclear blast taking off.
good job


Drew Wiley
19-Jan-2016, 12:56
Deah and Beah is Brooklyn accent for deer and bear. Because it is a Natl Park, they apparently assumed that I was photographing either a deah or beah wandering
around the desert clay. They should have gone to Yellowstone instead.

Drew Wiley
19-Jan-2016, 13:03
Bob - Kirk, perhaps subconsciously, comes up with these corkscrew askew compositions which appeal quite a bit to me. In this case he got the added asset of
a downpour right in the vortex of that cumulative effect.

Kirk Gittings
19-Jan-2016, 13:54
Drew I try to consciously avoid "rules of composition" but compose around what "feels right" as a physical reaction rather than what fits some established rule. The rules are subconsciously embedded in us and come in anyway sometimes. Also I tend to photograph in rapidly changing skies and the edges of clouds etc. along the top edge are a best guess. Usually they work out-sometimes not exactly as I anticipated but better. I shoot a lot of film as the sky "arranges itself" around the foreground.

Yesterday I shot 16 Acros Readyloads of one shot as the heavens squirrelled around. An expensive shot but not unusual for me. I remember Picker saying something about first just getting the shot and then waiting to see if it gets better and shoot it again. I took that to heart a long time ago when I read it. In this case and the one yesterday, it kept getting better and I would shoot and then I'd think well let's wait a bit and see what happens and it would get better and I would shoot etc. etc. till the literally the sun went down two hours latter. I looked down and saw I had shot 16 sheets and wanted to kick myself (near the end of my Acros stash-from here on its all FP4+) but then I was pretty sure the last is the best. The shot yesterday is potentially iconic for a project I am working on so it will probably be worth it.

19-Jan-2016, 18:58

I can just imagine the beauty of this image wet printed 11x14 or bigger,



Jim Galli
19-Jan-2016, 19:57
A lovely image and a worthy honor. Congrats Kirk. (ps I love your signature)

Merg Ross
19-Jan-2016, 21:31
Bravo! Superb image, Kirk.

It serves as a reminder that such results come from passion, sacrifice, dedication, and a good eye.


19-Jan-2016, 22:46
I remember Picker saying something about first just getting the shot and then waiting to see if it gets better and shoot it again.

That reminds me of how I use to shoot while hiking in the Sierra back-country. Back then I shot E-6 (Velvia 50) exclusively with a 35mm Pentax K1000 and then a Pentax 67II. Whenever a vista that struck an internal chord appeared, I'd stop and shoot a frame. Since I always shot off a tripod with the 6x7 this meant dropping the pack, extracting the camera and tripod, taking the shot and then packing everything up to continue my journey where after a few steps the vista got grander and I'd drop the pack again and do it all over again, and again, and again. Nowadays I continue until I have seen the full extent of the possibilities and pull the camera out just once.


Doremus Scudder
20-Jan-2016, 01:35
Congrats Kirk! Lovely image!

Eric Biggerstaff
20-Jan-2016, 08:41
Love it! That was a great year of stormy skies.

Are you printing it wet or digital?

Either way is is lovely.

Struan Gray
20-Jan-2016, 09:08
Lovely image. Wedges everywhere.

Drew Wiley
20-Jan-2016, 09:56
I'm down to my last six sleeves of ACROS Quickloads, just enough for a weekend or three day mountain outing. I still have a few 8x10 sheets too, but it's obviously gotten quite a bit more expensive in sheets. FP4 is a worthy substitute, though it needs a light yellow-green filter to see light through the same eyes, when deliberate stronger filtration is not desired. I still prefer ACROS in roll film, and might find myself resorting to 6x9 backs during a long mountain trek this summer, which will no doubt keep me moving right along, if the mosquitoes are going to be as bad as I predict this summer. None of that problem there in the Petrified Forest! Picker's technique doesn't work too well if you're hands are tied up in a changing tent while blood is being sucked out of your back, or if you're standing around will a bulls-eye on you. And few things are as bad for view camera components as DEET all over your hands. Wonder how Homo hapless handled such issues?

John Kasaian
20-Jan-2016, 10:11
Beautiful! A wonderful photograph!

Sal Santamaura
20-Jan-2016, 10:37
...few things are as bad for view camera components as DEET all over your hands...Ditch the DEET, use picaridin instead:


Drew Wiley
20-Jan-2016, 10:39
I did try that once, with so-so results. Thanks. But I don't want to derail the thread, so won't elaborate.

20-Jan-2016, 11:14
Have to say the folks in Santa Fe are fortunate to have you around and smart enough to recognize great work when they see it.

David Karp
20-Jan-2016, 16:43
Congrats Kirk. Love that photo.

Randy Moe
20-Jan-2016, 19:03

David Lobato
20-Jan-2016, 20:03
Kirk, Congratulations. Excellent photo and an inspiring example of persistence and reward.

Chauncey Walden
21-Jan-2016, 17:29
Another well-seen winner, Kirk. When's our next gathering?

Jan Pietrzak
21-Jan-2016, 18:20
Kirk Gittings,
A friend, a mentor, a friend along with his wife Victoria as for good eating adventures and cooking times.....I am so glad to be just up the road from ABQ so we can have a good drink from time to time and a good dinner...jp

Mark Sampson
21-Jan-2016, 19:42
I'll call that a masterpiece. Well done Kirk!

22-Jan-2016, 07:20
Congratulations! I enjoy this one every time you post it.

Kirk Gittings
22-Jan-2016, 09:05
Thanks all!!

Jim Fitzgerald
22-Jan-2016, 09:15
Kirk, I'm late to the party. Stunning image. Congratulations. I love the dedication to the craft!

Ken Lee
22-Jan-2016, 11:16
I set up and waited many afternoons at this site on Blue Mesa as these focused thunderstorms rolled through this extraordinary landscape waiting for something amazing to happen.

Great things come to those who wait - especially those who know how to make them into yet greater things :)

22-Jan-2016, 14:54
That is a wonderful image, and shows the importance of planning, patience, skill in your craft, and vision.

Congratulations on its success.


Kirk Gittings
22-Jan-2016, 15:04
those kind words coming from you two guys means a lot. Thank you!