Learning to See
Happy Are the Painters
When a Christmas Eve fire left Tamia with little more than the clothes on her back, she mourned the loss of her camera and photos. But out of this loss came something of enduring value: She learned to see again. And so can you.
by Tamia Nelson | March 23, 2018
Originally published in very different form on June 6, 2000
Nearly forty years ago, Farwell and I made our first home together in what had once been the servants’ quarters of an imposing Victorian manse. Then, on Christmas Eve, the century-old structure burned to the ground. As luck would have it, we were away from home at the time, visiting family, but we didn’t escape unscathed. Except for an aging Volkswagen Beetle and the clothes on our backs, the flames consumed everything we owned.
This blow fell hard on us. We had no insurance, for one thing. Still, although we missed our tent, our sleeping bags, our climbing gear, and our books, the losses I felt most keenly were my treasured Nikon camera and my collection of photographic slides and prints, a collection which had filled dozens of steel boxes. From the … Read more »
On Keeping a Journal
Fixing Images on the Emulsion of Memory
Alexander Mackenzie did it. So did Henry David Thoreau, Mina Hubbard, Raymond Patterson, and Sigurd Olson. And you can, as well. In fact, if you canoe or kayak — or if you just take an active interest in what’s going on in the world outside your door — you’d be foolish not to. Curious? Then read on. Tamia will tell you all you need to know about keeping a journal.
by Tamia Nelson | March 16, 2018
Originally published in different form on May 21, 2002
When Colin Fletcher smashed his only camera, far down a trail in the depths of the Grand Canyon, he cursed his luck. After all, he was walking through country he’d probably never visit again. Before long, however, his spirits had soared. He discovered that he’d escaped from the “tyranny” of photography. “Instead of stopping briefly to photograph and forget,” he later wrote, “I stood and stared, fixing truer images on the emulsion of memory.”
The emulsion of memory… It’s a wonderful turn of phrase, isn’t it? But there’s a problem. Unlike the silver halide colloid once used to capture images in film photography, the emulsion … Read more »