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Thread: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

  1. #1
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Wow, lived in NM almost all my life and finally hauled my fat ass and my 4x5 into the Bisti yesterday. I was in a group of students and faculty from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design led by some photographers with decades of work in there. What a place-unbelieveable! I can't believe it took me this long to go in there. The reason I have not been in there before is that I am not really a photographer of "natural landscape" but more of "cultural landscape" like the nearby Chaco Canyon that I have been to some 75 times. But in researching the Bisti I have found that there definitely is cultural component as it is a sacred area to the Navajos for example. I'm looking forward to doing some serious work in the Bisti over the next year as I am part of a group show on the Bisti in January of 2015 (my 99th!). Kind of a self enforced residency over the next year.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 70:
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  2. #2

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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Kirk,

    Please remember you are writing for an international audience. Will someone in Brasil or Viet Nam or Nigeria have any idea at all what you mean by the US postal designation "NM" or "Bisti". Hell, I've lived in the United States for over 68 years and don't know what the Bisti is.

    Best,
    Terry

  3. #3
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    The first time I went there was with my 4x5 and was amazed. Went a couple of more times and the fascination did not fade. One of the easiest places to aim a camera and get a keeper. It's very hot and disorienting in there so precautions regarding one's safety is a good idea. Just my thought, but I'd consider taking a GPS for any long hikes into there, and a lot of water and a map. When your mind is so consumed with finding good photos and not with keeping track of your whereabouts it's easy to get lost and dehydrated.

    All that said, be respectful of the Navajos' cultural sensibilities and of its sensitive nature. It's a gem of a place and I'd be regretful if it's overrun like many other scenic treasures in the 4-corners area.

  4. #4
    (Shrek)
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlantaTerry View Post
    Kirk,

    Please remember you are writing for an international audience. Will someone in Brasil or Viet Nam or Nigeria have any idea at all what you mean by the US postal designation "NM" or "Bisti". Hell, I've lived in the United States for over 68 years and don't know what the Bisti is.

    Best,
    Terry
    It took me all of 3 seconds with teh google to find this. I think I have to make at least one trip to the US southwest before I die.

  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    I love this description, 'The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is about 30 miles (as the raven flies)....'

  6. #6
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Have not been there yet, but I have a nice B&W photo of the place that I traded a gallery owner for (a redwood for a Bisti) a decade or two ago.

    It took me years to get to Goblin Valley, so it might be a while before I get to Bisti! Have fun there, Kirk!

  7. #7

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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Good luck Kirk. I've seen very little work from there but it looks like an a azing place. Jody, not everyone has google or knows how to use it

  8. #8
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Natural places have always been sacred to indigenous peoples, whether marked culturally or not. That subtlety has pretty much always informed the bulk of my work, or any true interpreter of landscape (one hopes), "cultural" or otherwise.

  9. #9
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    PS -- don't tell the Boy Scouts about Bisti!

  10. #10
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlantaTerry View Post
    Kirk,

    Please remember you are writing for an international audience. Will someone in Brasil or Viet Nam or Nigeria have any idea at all what you mean by the US postal designation "NM" or "Bisti". Hell, I've lived in the United States for over 68 years and don't know what the Bisti is.

    Best,
    Terry
    Hmmmmm. There have been numerous discussions on the Bisti on this forum over the years. Its no longer a well kept secret. That cat was let out of the bag about 20 years ago. As per this audience, I always assume if I am interacting with someone participating in an online forum that they will have the where-with-all to do a simple online search if their interest is aroused...................could someone really participate on this forum and not know how to do a simple internet search for the word Bisti or NM?
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 70:
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

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