Sunday, 29 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Three Bridges Using Three Media
CREDIT: © John Crossley/AmericanSouthwest.net
WHERE: Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah, USA.
WHAT: natural rock bridges in photographs, paintings, and virtual reality movies
MAPS: Blanding & Natural Bridges National Monument.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
Over the last two  days we have looked at early monochrome pictures of Edwin Natural Bridge, and then a modern color picture of the now renamed Owachomo (we use the NPS spelling) Bridge. A good point to begin a virtual exploration of the Natural Bridges National Monument is the NPS (National Park Service) web site. There are sections for local area exploration, the Owachomo Bridge, the Sipapu Bridge, and the Kachina Bridge. The Horsecollar Ruin, abandoned by the Puebloans about 700 years ago, is interestingly documented.
Photographically we were faced with a difficult choice for today's feature. We wanted to illustrate all three bridges with pictures from the same photographer and web site. Yesterday's photographer Phil Armitage has two pictures, Owachomo and Sipapu, but alas does not have one of the Kachina.
Eventually, on balance, we decided that AmericanSouthwest.net had the best online gallery of all round pictures, with all seven shots giving clear views of the bridges, including the Owachomo from both above and below. The thumbnail strip shows our selections, but the site is worth visiting for the whole area.
Pictures from above or below is not just an arbitrary and inconsequential choice where the three Natural Bridges are involved. Many 'tourist pictures' (not intended as a pejorative phrase) seem to be shot from the scenic drive-by (maybe we should invent the phrase 'scenic drive-by shooting' as a photographic pejorative), whereas to get any real sense of the size and form of the bridges requires more proactive action.
Anyone of a photographic persuasion who is planning to visit may benefit from checking out the UtahTrails.com hiking notes. The DreamBreeze.com web site features Owachomo, Sipapu, and Kachina pictures that offer viewpoints very different from the usual angles.
Our headline promised three media. Following our review of the photographic media, we investigated the medium of painting. Jan Kirkpatrick, a Boulder, Colorado, based artist has three landscape sections: abstract, mountain, and desert. In the last section we found three water colors of the Owachomo, Sipapu, and Kachina bridges. When you visit Jan, we recommend a visit to her growing wild flower section.
For the third medium, we discovered two sites offering virtual reality panoramas. For the USA and Canada, the 360Geographics.com web site offers geographic services, and QTVR (QuickTime Virtual Reality) panoramas. If you have the resources necessary to run these files you may pick a location by map on the home page or text list. We were interested in the Natural Bridges section, where you may view the Owachomo, Sipapu, and Kachina bridges in 360° detail.
Another of our favorite web sites is Don Bain's VirtualGuidebooks.com where there is a section for the Natural Bridges National Monument with 360° QTVR panoramas of the Owachomo, and Sipapu from the canyon rim, and from the overlook on the trail, plus interesting associated features.
Finally, during the research or this feature we found an Owachomo picture that we thought was spectacular, part of the Em-Productions.com web site.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)