Photography is such a vast and varied field. Gazing at a majestic mountain range, a dynamic sporting event, or a lone dancer in a field, each person will see and capture on film something different. It's a picture's structure, its balance, and how we as viewers feel, the emotions that surface the moment we understand what the artist is conveying that makes it memorable.

My late stepfather, William Bollier, had this talent for taking photographs that remain as indelible images in the minds of those close to him. I am now taking the opportunity, some 16 years after his death, to share a few of his "views".

The first image is of Crystal Lake, located in the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California. I remember it was a cool autumn day in 1964. The overcast skies above the city below brought a light wisp of cloud across the water, giving this little fishing spot an eerie, dreamlike quality. The rustic lodge perched on the rim of the lake, I recall, sold snacks, tackle, and souvenirs, like slightly bent postcards and shiny pennies in tiny blown glass bottles.

One of my stepfather's favorite places to take his Canon SLR was above the tree line to admire the gnarled giants known as the Bristlecone Pines, the oldest living thing in existence (yes, older than the majestic Sequoias.) The bitter climate and relentless winds over the millennia have twisted these silent sentries into what appears to be tangled clusters of deformed and dying branches. But they still live. And each one has its own story to tell.

If only we were so tenacious.

These characteristic weathered arches in red sandstone could be from none other than Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. Bill took this photo while on his honeymoon with my mother. The strong horizontal flow of layers and lines coupled with the arch in rebellion provides a symbolic lesson in the conquering of adversity or the power in being unique.

Not far from the Grand Canyon is an area known as the Painted Desert, known for its colorful rock and hill faces. On one of his infrequent trips outside of Southern California, Dad took this photo of this dark rust boulder looking rather out of place among the pale yellow and pink hills of the canyon. The sharp diagonal angles and pastel hues give the photograph a rich layered effect that adds interest to this shot.

 

Copyright 2001 Dennel · All Rights Relinquished
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