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A personal blog of photography and commentary by Andrew McAllister.

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This was a year of looking, learning and contemplating. If I had to choose just one image to represent 2013 it would be this image of a mountain goat on Willard Peak in Northern Utah. I took the photo on a drive to Inspiration Point with a photographer friend who shoots pictures of wildlife. Unlike earlier trips when I looked at animals through binoculars, this time we hiked to the mountain goats and saw them at close range. I look forward to doing more of this in 2014. Technical info: Willard Peak via National Forest Road (starts in Mantua) to Inspiration Point. Accessible in warm months by automobiles with high clearance. The last few turns are  at over 9000 feet elevation and exposed. Not for the faint of heart.

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Lone teenager at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. Any year when you get to visit Moab six times is a good year. The area offers so much to explore and so many photographic possibilities that it boggles the mind. Now that I can go there frequently, I have the luxury of not feeling rushed or compelled to fill the day with a million must-see things.

Hunter Power Plant from Ghost Rock

Ghost Rocks viewpoint looking toward the Hunter Power Plant. This photo was taken on a solo winter trip to photograph the area. It was nice to experience Southern Utah at a slower pace and find new locations like this. The quickest way from Moab to SLC is through Price, but a winter storm made travel over Soldier Summit questionable so I took I-70 across the San Rafael Swell and saw a new part of the state.

Top of the World TrailPhone Home on the Range. Last spring I had the opportunity to travel the Kokopelli Trail on a Cruise Moab pre-run. A friend was writing a review of an off-road trailer so I came along to document the run. This great trip gave me access to some amazing country that is not accessible with my stock 4-wd vehicle and I got to meet a group of off-road travel enthusiasts. The view from here to the East Tavaputs Plateau–the ridge line in the distance–is more than 40 miles.

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In 2012 I wrote about a grain elevator in Preston, Idaho that burned down and how it seemed to have changed the identity of the town. This year I explored this idea and created a series of images documenting grain silos in small towns within a few hours of Cache Valley, Utah. The image above is from Soda Springs, Idaho. More images from the series can be found on my website.

20130317_Ogden_Utah_094-EditThe series on grain elevators led me to industrial areas of towns and other sites like this at American Nutrition in Ogden, Utah. The dramatic light and shadow from the late afternoon sun bring out the structural beauty in this otherwise mundane industrial facility.

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My search for silos took me north to Pocatello, Idaho, where I came across Walts Scrap Metal. It may not speak to everyone, but it interests me because of the play of the flat surfaces depicting western scenes against the actual western landscape. Additionally, the compression of space and the illusions it creates is a kind of puzzle and you have to really look at the photo to pull the different elements apart and try to make sense of the image. Scenes like this make the hours of driving worth it to me.
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On a return trip to Utah from Denver I crossed the continental divide via Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road. I had just completed a Phase One Capture One training event and was delighted to come upon this dramatic scene.
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As I mentioned, 2013 involved a lot of learning and looking. When not photographing I spend a lot of time looking at the world via Google Earth. Last year I took advantage the opportunity to look down from an airplane window in Iceland: the location is somewhere between Reykjavik and Akureyri.131020_Moab_138 1Shelf road leading out of Spring Canyon. From my sixth and final Moab trip of 2013. I hope you enjoyed this short review of my 2013 photographs and if you have a similar post about your past year’s adventures please share a link in the comments section.

Happy travels and pleasant photography for the coming year!

Comments

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  1. January 5, 2014

    These are fantastic! What stunning scenery. The one with the goat is incredible.

    • Andrew McAllister #
      August 1, 2016

      It was intense being up there with the goats. Powerful creatures.

  2. January 5, 2014

    Great review Andrew. The mountain goat is great, although the teenager at Delicate Arch is my favorite, it’s such a powerful perspective shot. Happy New Year!

    • Andrew McAllister #
      August 1, 2016

      I agree. It was powerful to see and recognize the importance and symbolism going on there. Sometimes the picture you are looking for in next to or near the thing everyone else came to see.

  3. January 5, 2014

    Love this. I’ve been thinking you should come to China and document its West.

    • Andrew McAllister #
      August 1, 2016

      That would be super cool. Mongolia and the ‘stans are awesome too.

  4. January 5, 2014

    Love this. I have been thinking you should come photograph the West of China. Whatdayathink?

    • Andrew McAllister #
      January 7, 2014

      I think the american west will take a life time to explore and China’s western landscape, many lifetimes. Who knows maybe an asian adventure will be in my future.

  5. January 5, 2014

    I do have a similar post regarding favorite images of 2013. I had a difficult time sticking with just 10, so I opted for 15 favorite images: http://wp.me/1HB5W (hope this takes you there). If not, just go to http://rebeccalatsonphotography.me

  6. January 5, 2014

    Oh, and my favorite photos from this wonderful post are the 1st, 3rd, and 10th (which gives me just a little bit of vertigo – grin), I envy you your living area.

    • Andrew McAllister #
      January 10, 2014

      You get to some amazing locations too. Love you shot of Wall Street in the snow.

  7. January 5, 2014

    Love the photo of Preston, such a great country town, glad they have something to be proud of now other then Napoleon Dynamite. The grain elevator is impressive

  8. January 5, 2014

    Wonderful scenes!
    I must admit I really love the grain elevators and the scrap metal – even if they are not as spectacular as the nature shots. The Delicate Arch image made me think of Ed Burtynsky.

    • Andrew McAllister #
      January 10, 2014

      Burtinsky has an amazing ability to put humans in perspective with the landscape. I have admired his work for many years.

  9. January 5, 2014

    Great post — great shots! Looking forward to getting out there sometime for the first hand tour.

    • Andrew McAllister #
      January 10, 2014

      I’ll trade a tour of Utah for a tour of Mexico. 2014? Maybe…

  10. January 5, 2014

    Nice set! I like the pictures with small live objects!

  11. January 6, 2014

    Beautiful! Heading to Capitol Reef area with my family in April. Our once-a-year pilgrimage to Utah. Thanks for the images.

  12. January 6, 2014

    Grandiose !

  13. Andrew McAllister #
    January 7, 2014

    Thanks everyone for the comments! Happy 2014!

  14. January 15, 2014

    Beautiful !!!

  15. January 26, 2014

    The desert cleanses the soul. The harsh reality of where this photographer goes tests the body, clears the mind, and makes people better than they are usually.

    Thanks for hanging in there with this publication. Its a great place to come to.

  16. January 29, 2014

    Great post! I love the idea of summarizing your year in photos!

  17. March 26, 2014

    Great Blog! ;) Amazing pictures! Visit my Blog!

  18. A Wandering soul #
    January 3, 2017

    I found your image of Ghost rocks and the Power plant fantastic. I grew up about 3 miles from this power plant. It is actually Hunter plant in your photograph, not Huntington plant. Whenever my wandering feet find their way back to their roots, this is usually the first sign to me that i know i am getting close. Just thought you might want to know.

    • Andrew McAllister #
      January 3, 2017

      Thanks. I’ll make the correction.

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