I’ve recently returned from a trip to Bolivia and Peru that culminated with a visit to Machu Picchu. The “Lost City of the Incas” was never really lost. This is where Pachacuti and other Inca aristocracy came to relax back in the late 1400s CE. Surrounded on three sides by the Urubamba River, the view is truly spectacular with countless peaks receding into the sky. The site itself is dominated by Huayna Picchu, which rises a thousand feet and has ruins on top. The terraced agricultural district supplied food. The urban district provided accommodations for several hundred inhabitants, including a series of sixteen fountains, royal apartments and several religious areas (2) (3). The Inca even fashioned image rocks as a special tribute to certain sacred peaks.
While vacationing on the Mississippi River we noticed this small steam-powered riverboat called the Julia Belle Swain. That name seemed very familiar. Then I recalled a John Hartford song by the same name (from his 1976 album Mark Twang). Sure enough, this was the very boat he piloted and sang about!
Photography was my first creative outlet. I started in my father’s darkroom around age 15. I grew up admiring the work of Steichen, Adams, Bourke-White, Weston, and most of all Cartier-Bresson. His “The Decisive Moment” (2) was an early inspiration for me. In the introduction he wrote…
The decisive moment … is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression.