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Thread: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Peterborough, NH
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Wow, indeed! A fantastic place and you're very lucky to devote a year to it. My wife and I have been twice and I'm longing for a third visit. The problems of water and keeping track of locations have already been mentioned (cell phone reception, surprisingly, is very good), but the problem of food and lodging are also daunting (if you are not camping). Farmington is a fair distance away, Thoreau is even farther and even less attractive. For those who don't know, the Photograph America issue on the Bisti (062) is a very good introduction and Eduardo Fuss's book of color photographs Wonderland: A Photographer's Journey into the Bisti will have you packing.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Austin TX
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Kirk, thanks for reminding me about the Bisti scene. I've been in the general area frequently but always seem to be drawn to Chaco for the structures along with Acoma again for the structures. Even though the Bisti lurks in the back of my mind I somehow have never visited. It is now forward in my mind for a visit on the next excursion, (though not in the heat of summer).

    By the way I should mention the even less known natural area of Tent Rocks between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Interesting area of chalky slot canyons and hoodoo chimneys and spires, almost dead white, (a photographic challenge). A place to visit at a cooler time of the year.

    Nate Potter, Austin TX., Steuben ME.

  3. #13
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Hmmm. Tent Rocks IME is very well known. Very accessible from SF or Albuquerque. Seems like every beginning photo class and landscape workshop has been going there since I was an undergraduate back in the Pleistocene .
    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"

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
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    5,362

    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    "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!)."

    What is the cultural component? Are there sacred sites that have indigenous ruins, or is it just that the area is sacred? I am certain that the Bisti is interesting from the perspective of landscape but am just wondering how you will show the "cultural" component in your photography?

    Sandy
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at groups.io
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  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    It's certainly an interesting area; but I've never had time to do anything there other than to stop and walk around a bit - always the wrong time of day or year it seemed, and I chickened out due to the heat ... and probably stunk to high heaven due to being in the desert backcountry somewhere for a week or so.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    near Seattle, WA
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    940

    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Only two more posts to go, Drew, and you'll be at 6000!! There's still plenty of time left today. Go for it!

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    You actually keep track of that nonsense? .... (one more to go?)

  8. #18
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
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    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    What is the cultural component? Are there sacred sites that have indigenous ruins, or is it just that the area is sacred? I am certain that the Bisti is interesting from the perspective of landscape but am just wondering how you will show the "cultural" component in your photography?

    Sandy
    I will show it as I always have as I've been working on projects in this vein since 72-through photographing sacred/ceremonial areas and structures with expressive images and accompanying captions/narratives etc. There are ceremonial/areas and related structures in the area-not a lot and not so much in the well known "picturesque" landform areas. I will be working with a Navajo guide who grew up in the area and whose family still lives on the periphery.
    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"

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    near Seattle, WA
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    940

    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    You actually keep track of that nonsense? .... (one more to go?)
    No. I don't track it. Just happened to notice your count when you posted #15. Now, back to the thread.

  10. #20
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Seattle, Wash.
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    2,648

    Re: My year for the Bisti Wilderness

    I hope the January 2015 show will clarify what "Bisti" really means:

    1) From Wikipedia (Jody's link):
    Translated from the Navajo word BistahÝ, Bisti means "among the adobe formations."

    2) From the BLM site:
    Translated from the Navajo language, Bisti means “a large area of shale hills.”

    3) From the book "The Place Names of New Mexico" by Robert Hixson Julyan:
    Approximates the Navajo word for "Badlands," but the name does little justice to this strange and natural area.

    -----
    I quit looking after these three, but it could be that Navajo words are rich in meaning – this particular one describing a place rich in weirdly eroded rock formations!

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