Tuesday, July 5, 2022 – This will be my first attempt to revitalize the VPP website after a series of events I am finally getting beyond. Find a comfy chair and settle in – this will be a long post.
Shortly after my last post in April, 2019, Karen and I embarked on a 6-week photography excursion in our “Photo Mobile” with our faithful canine companion, Terra. We visited numerous spectacular destinations while making a giant loop starting in Canada, along the Michigan Upper Peninsula, across the plains states, south through Wyoming and Colorado and into Southern Utah. From there we swung south into Arizona and New Mexico, and eventually back to Keene. At some future time I expect to post a chronicle of this trip but, for now, I have more urgent matters at hand. It was a spectacular and very productive trip although you would not know that from this web site! Upon our return we dove immediately into running the Alpenhaus Gallery for its first full season. We had intended to implement major changes to the VPP web site during the 2019 summer but running the gallery led to more changes in our expectations so we decided to postpone updates until the late fall, after completing a full season with the gallery. That didn’t quite happen.
Just after closing the gallery in October, 2019 my mother passed away, which necessitated another divergence from plans to update this site while I attended to her affairs. A week after my mom passed away I lost a cousin to cancer. A few months later we found ourselves in the middle of the covid pandemic and shortly after that I lost a good friend to cancer, then we lost Terra, our amazing dog, in June. I also developed hip problems which curtailed my ability to hike very far. The gallery remained open on a limited basis during the summer of 2020 although visitation was impacted by the pandemic. After closing the gallery in October, we decided to postpone the web site update (which had become a complete re-design by this point) until winter 2020-2021 so we could embark on another long trip in the “Photo Mobile”.
In late October, 2020 we headed directly to Colorado, followed by Southern Utah at peak foliage. Traveling during the pandemic was actually quite easy in our self-contained “Photo Mobile”. We visited many of our favorite haunts as well as a lot of new ones. Later, we swung south through Arizona and New Mexico, visiting Bosque Del Apache and White Sands NP where we had perfect conditions for photography. This trip was probably our most successful one to date and I expect to chronicle it more thoroughly in the future. After almost two months we returned to Keene, expecting to finally update this web site!
As we drove back east, Karen began to have “tummy troubles” which became increasingly severe. In mid-January she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and, on April 1st, my lovely wife passed away. As an active and healthy woman, this was completely unexpected. We did pretty much everything together for 42 years so her loss was a huge and devastating change for me; a true paradigm shift. Losing your life partner is traumatic but losing your business partner on top of that adds immeasurably to the trauma.
I did open the gallery from June through October 2021 but I was, at best, only partly present. I had my hip replaced in August and I relied on friends and family who helped immensely with my recovery. Living alone complicates matters more than I expected. My final stroke of bad luck happened in late September when I hit a deer and totaled the “Photo Mobile”. I had hoped to make a trip in it after recovering from my hip surgery but I was instead entirely without a vehicle and replacing it in the midst of skyrocketing prices was a challenge. I decided to order a new vehicle and waited 5 months for delivery! Fortunately, neighbors allowed me to use their truck during my long wait. And I used my forced sequestration to focus on how I might re-imagine the rest of my life!
As I re-read the preceding paragraphs it feels almost surreal to have lived that story. That said, sometimes “walking through fire” can be the route forward. It was for me. I don’t ever expect to get entirely beyond all the losses I have recently experienced but there is definitely a silver lining inside that dark cloud. Lots of hard work coming to terms with loss, along with unswerving support from friends and family allowed to emerge from the darkness. Once in the light I was able to reach out and, against all odds, I met an amazing woman with whom I share much in common. That’s a story for another time but, suffice to say, it has all been part of my journey out of the most difficult period of my life.
So, after that very long-winded preface, here is what’s happening at Vertical Perspectives Photography currently. First, other than this post, the VPP web site remains in dire need of updating and a lot of the information is very outdated. I now have yet another re-design planned and it will not happen before the fall so I ask for your patience while I attend to the Alpenhaus Gallery over this 2022 season. The gallery is open and I am enthusiastic about future plans. I have a private photography trip coming up with a long-time client in a couple of weeks and I have several photographs in the upcoming “Giphantie, The Magic Mirror” exhibit, along with nine other photographers, at the Keene Arts gallery. I am printing new images as well as replenishing stock of old favorites. I expect to report on a couple of commissions completed since my last post, along with other news that “slipped between the cracks”. OK, more like “fell into a bottomless pit”!
One urgent update is the change of telephone numbers for VPP. (518) 576-9881, a number that we used since 1985 is GONE! It has been replaced by (518) 569-9881 (minor but important change). You can also reach me directly at (518) 569-9563. This will be changed on the rest of the VPP site as soon as possible.