Travels ~ Unframed Photography

Well, I guess I've enjoyed traveling ever since I was a little kid. Family trips and vacations to such far away places as Cape Cod, Niagara Falls, Montreal, Lake Dunmore in Vermont, Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and Lake Sebago in Maine, all served to lay the bedrock for my passion to see and be places others just dream of. So my dreams reside right here in the continental United States (I know - kind of limited, but I feel there is so much here to see and do and experience; why bother crossing the big pond and being all cramped up in an uncomfortable airplane seat for 8 hours!?!) Any ways, combined with my deep appreciation for American history, I find the back roads and points of interest along each and every blue highway right here in this country, a marvel to behold, investigate and ultimately, to photograph!

For many years of my adult life (39 and on) although the dreams and desire to travel have been there, the opportunity to travel out west to the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountain areas have been non-existent (other than my cross-country sojourns by car when I first moved to California in 1980 and then returned home to Massachusetts in 1989 - but that's a whole other story!?!) I have been up and down the Atlantic seaboard in my never ending quest to see and feel the battlefields of both the American Revolution and the Civil War (remember that obsession of mine with American history!?!) Those journeys have taken me from Bennington, Vermont to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; from Gettysburg to Vicksburg; from the decks of the USS Constitution in Charlestown, Massachusetts to the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid on the shores of Manhattan. I've peered over the ramparts of Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York and walked the length of Battle Road between Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts. Combined, all of these places have left an indelible impression upon my mind and character, and given me a deep appreciation for this amazing country that we live in. I have learned and grown considerably as an individual because of my forays down each of the roads that's taken me to these places and I've long yearned to do no less the same in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain areas of our country. To stand where George Armstrong Custer saw his last light of day; Buffalo Bill Cody made his fame and fortune; Bill Hickock died and is now buried; Wyatt Erp once patrolled the beat; and the likes of Geronimo, Crazy Horse and Chief Joseph all called home and traveled along on roads of their own. To travel these same roads, explore this beautiful land and with some hope, see the world as they might have seen it; it is a dream I've always had and now had the opportunity to experience!

Opportunity landed squarely on my doorstep about a year ago (November 2006), when I was offered a job working for an engineering firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah. My job for them was/is as a site inspector and involved traveling to the states of Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota (so far). Of course, while traveling to these areas for work (to inspect commercial properties to analyze energy consumption and develop conservation measures), I would invariably have some free time to also take in some sights along the way and with camera in hand, capture the scenery I passed as I went about my business. "Travels" is the product of these ventures over the past year - a compilation of many hours spent behind the wheel and more rolls of film than I care to remember! Yes, my camera was right by my side and very often, in front of my eye as I peered over the red rock cliffs of Bryce Canyon, or up the staggeringly tall precipices of Zion National Park. From the sad and desolate rolling hills of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, to the incredible natural monolith that is Devil's Tower in northeast Wyoming; from the site of Custer's Last Stand along the Little Big Horn in Montana, to the shores of the Great Salt Lake. I've driven many a mile traversing the vast expanses of this western land, completely mesmerized by the sheer largeness of the region and the incredible distances in between. It is a dubious revelation to travel within one state for several hours or the better part of a day, and never cross a state line! Back in Massachusetts, the same time behind the wheel can take a person from Pittsfield (my home) to Boston, back again and then turn around and do it all over again! Did I mention the difference in topography?!? It is so strange and alien to me and from my old familiar New England that it almost seems as though it is a different planet or at least hemisphere! To look over those Great Plains and look off into the distance for what appears to be an eternity, or to travel through the Badlands of South Dakota - and to not believe you could be on the surface of the moon - it's almost absurd! It is hard not to be inspired by what one sees and I hope you will find these "Travels" photographs equally captivating!

I've been very fortunate to have been able to travel to these places, explore these lands that I've longed to see and photograph for such a very long time; the product of which is now presented to you on this webpage. I chose frames that I felt best captured the spirit of the old west and I think, enhances the photographs to their fullest. I trust you'll find these images inspiring and maybe a bit provocative (possibly even motivating you to take a trip out west), the frames complimentary and the stories I've provided for each image (in progress), interesting, informative and to your liking. Also, please feel free to forward any questions or comments you might have to me at the e-mail address provided below. You are also welcome to inquire about discounts for purchases of more than two pieces at a time. Thank you, I hope you enjoy what you see, read and here's my e-mail address: jgardner@artisansoftheberkshires.com. Have a great day and thanks for shopping on Artisans of the Berkshires! Jeff

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