Cleared for Take Off, and Never Again...

Two weeks ago I had a very interesting collection of house guests. John Chua, Canon Photographer and owner of Ad Photo in the Philippines, and his lovely wife were in my living room reuniting with my father-in-law after 35 years of working together in Manila. Joe Cantrell, another talented photographer doing groundbreaking fractal artwork out of Portland Oregon, was driving through town on his way from Oklahoma to Portland. Joe was also part of the good ol' days in Manila. He was giving an impromptu macro workshop on my dining table floral centerpiece. The weekend was full of incredible, New York Times Best Seller quality stories of wartime, love, loss, and the future of digital photography and advocacy work. I bustled like a worker bee between the kitchen, the kids, and the camera trying to keep up with everyone.

Keeping up with everyone, and feeling the need to impress and spoil my guests, I arranged for a local pilot to fly John, his wife, and myself over Cochise County at sunset to capture some desert panoramas. It was an awesome idea in theory. I did not account for extreme air sickness. I did not account for succumbing to altitude sickness either. After 2 hours at 10,000ft elevation in a Cessna 182 with the window wide open I was freezing, vomiting severely, blindly sticking my camera out the window, and feeling a distinct urge to sleep. That would be from lack of oxygen. It's taken me over a week to recover, including a side trip to the hospital for fluids and treatment for the AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). It was an experience I will never forget, and an experience I shall never repeat.

I do hope to find time to write more about this amazing weekend with these incredibly down to earth individuals who so lovingly encouraged me to continue my work and take on some new challenges. Until then I leave you with these captures (the changing quality of light amazes me- for being up there only two hours before sunset, the light changed the lay of the land so dramatically)...


Shannon said... at November 5, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Stunning shots of Cochise. Sorry to hear about the AMS, but an unforgettable experience may have been worth it.