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Steve & Karen Strom's Photography Newsletter
March 2012
in this issue
-- March Activities
-- Looking Ahead


We have just returned from a two week photographic exploration of the northern Atacama desert, one that was rewarding in every way. It is difficult to capture, in either words or images, the stark beauty of the Atacama, a desert so dry (on average!) that many parts see less than 5mm of rain per year. The landscape is young, testimony to the recent collision between the South American and Nazca plates. The Andes mountains are the most dramatic evidence of that collision, but still active volcanoes, vast fields of cinder cones, extensive thermal basins, and frequent seismic events provide constant reminders of a living earth.

Surprisingly, the landscape, though created in violence, was to our eyes sensuous, even gentle: smooth contours of cinder cones, broad strokes of mineral paint, tiny green plants hugging the hillsides. What distinguishes the Atacama from its northern hemisphere counterparts are: its scale, stretching over hundreds of kilometers, dwarfing all human constructs, and its altitude (most of this part of the Atacama lies above 7000 feet). We chose as our base San Pedro de Atacama (8000 feet) and explored landscapes as high as 17000 feet. Fortunately, not only did we experience no ill effects, but after the first couple of days we didn't even notice the altitude!

We encountered the Atacama just following rains from an unusually severe and wet "Bolivian winter": roads were washed out, many routes still impassable after two weeks of clear weather and late summer sun. Navigating parts of the desert were a bit of a challenge, but those challenges paled before the added patina of salt leached out by the rains, superposing new patterns on the already richly patterned landscape. We hope to assemble images that somehow capture our powerful emotional response to the Atacama, and share them with you in future newsletters.

March Activity

beach pattern Four of Steve's images were selected for Soho Photo Gallery's Small Works exhibit. The show will run from Feb. 8 through March 3.

One of Steve's images, Badlands near Terlingua, TX, has been awarded First Prize in the 25th Annual Members' Only Show of the Texas Photographic Society. The show runs from January 9 - March 9, 2012 at the Options Gallery in Odessa, TX.

Steve has one of his images from the Earth Forms series included in the Iconic Arizona exhibit at the Phoenix Museum of Art. This image, Cottonwoods, Canyon de Chelly, also appears in a rotating display on the museum's website page publicizing the exhibit.

Tumacacori Mission Steve's image, Death Valley Floor from Dante's View I, has been accepted into the Center for Photographic Arts 2012 Members Show in Carmel, CA. Karen has her image, Weston Beach, Pt. Lobos I, included in the web gallery for that show.

Both Karen and Steve have images accepted in the Arizona Centennial exhibit at the gallery at Tohono Chul Park. The exhibit runs from January 26 through April 22.

One of Karen's images, Home, has been accepted into the Home show at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, CO. Karen's image, Tumacacori Mission, and Steve's image, Nazlini mudhills, are in the show. The exhibit runs from January 26 through April 22.

One of Karen's images, Home, has been accepted into the Home show at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, CO. The show runs from March 2 - 31, 2012 with a reception at the gallery on March 2 from 6 - 9 pm.

Earth & Mars

Steve's one person show of his Earth and Mars portfolio at the Etherton Gallery space at the Temple of Music and Art,has traveled northwestward to the gallery at Biosphere 2. If you missed taking in the show during its tenure at the Etherton, we invite you to visit the Biosphere in Oracle. You can view an overview of the show on the Etherton Gallery website.

One of Steve's images will grace the October page in the 2012 calendar for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Spend a few minutes to look at their website and perhaps find a way to help SUWA to protect unique wilderness in Utah.

Looking Ahead
Fish Creek tile

Both Steve and Karen have work accepted into the Beyond the Lens show at the Tubac Center for the Arts. The show will open on March 12 with a reception on March 16.

Karen has been notified that she has work accepted into the Center for Fine Art Photography's Black & White exhibition which will open on April 6.

Steve has been accepted into PhotoEspana 2012. He is one of 4 US photographers selected to attend. We will be headed to Spain in June!

Steve will have a retrospective show at the Verve Gallery in Santa Fe in October 2012. The exhibit will include the Earth/Mars images as well as a wide variety of both his recent and earlier work.

The complete archive of our newsletters is now available on both of our websites.

To order Steve's books through Amazon, click on the book cover.

Earth Forms Book Cover   Observatories of the Southwest Tseyi: Deep in the Rock

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