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New Work on Exhibit in Kansas City

March 30th, 2015 18 comments

Dazzled on Exhibit in Kansas City, Kansas

One of Rick’s landscape photographs from Zion National Park titled Dazzled will be featured in a juried art exhibit in Kansas City, Kansas. The fine art exhibition, which runs April 3-June 14, 2015 will be held in Art at the Center located at 1902 Lowell Avenue in Overland Park, Kansas.

This annual juried art exhibition began in 1979. Art at the Center is a unique midwest gallery space showcasing the work of artists from across the U.S. This exhibition includes photography, paintings, mixed media, pastels, sculpture and ceramics.

The opening reception on April 3 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. is open to the public and light refreshments will be served. For the remainder of the show, all works will be on display Monday through Friday 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturdays 7 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m.-8 p.m. If you are in the Kansas City area, I hope you will find time during the exhibit to stop by, view Dazzled and enjoy the artworks of many talented artists from around the country.

Welcome to Our New Home!

March 24th, 2015 8 comments


A New Day Dawns


With nearly 300,000 visitors to date, five years of operation, 300 blog articles and over 1,000 photographs, this blog outgrew the capability of our web hosting company. Some of you know this already because, like me, you have often experienced very slow access to the blog and its content over the past few months.

After weeks of preparation, you are now viewing the blog which is run by a different web hosting company. After we complete the testing, the entire blog will be back in operation on April 1st. Until then, please enjoy our new home and be patient if you run into a page that displays incorrectly or a missing image. We are working to correcting any problems.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Rick Braveheart

Death Valley National Park: Part 5

March 7th, 2015 20 comments

death valley artists palette

A few weeks ago I completed my work at Death Valley National Park in California and am now back in my Ohio studio. I returned home with fond memories, a broken camera lens, and several dozen black and white photos that will need to be developed and printed in the darkroom.

          Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
               ~ Confucius. (Chinese teacher & philosopher, 551-479 BC)

In preparing for my trip to Death Valley I spent weeks researching and reading over two dozen
books and maps about the park, its history and its geology. And now, after my experience there, here is a list of the resources that I found most helpful and which I can highly recommend in case you plan to visit.


The Explorer’s Guide to Death Valley National Park
by T. Scott Bryan

Best Overall Book: I discovered this book just before leaving for the park and wish I had known about it even sooner. Of the many travel books that I read about Death Valley, this was the most helpful and informative of them all. It covers an extensive variety of topics about the park, its Native American history and history of prospectors and miners, information on its plants and wildlife and detailed descriptions on most sections of the park including maps showing point to point distances.

best_hikes_death_valleyBest Easy Day Hikes
by Bill Cunningham & Polly Cunningham.

Best Hiking Book: If you enjoy walking or hiking to experience the land and nature close-up, this is a great book to carry with you. The 112 page easy to read guide contains clear descriptions and well illustrated maps on twenty different easy/moderate hiking trails within the park. “Best Easy Day Hikes” is a great starting place for anyone interested in exploring more of the park than from what you can view from a car or designated park overlook.

Death Valley National Park Adventure Set
by National Geo. Maps & Waterford Press

This newly published packaged set contains two books in one. The first is the excellent National Geographic Trails Map of the park (described below and which I highly recommend). Also included is a “Pocket Naturalist Guide” with indepth information about the plants found within this region of California.

delorme_caCalifornia Atlas & Gazetteer
Published by DeLorme

If you’ll be hiking, driving or exploring areas of California other than within the park this DeLorme Gazetteer is THE map resource to have. Printed on 11×15.5″ paper, it is an excellent resource for trip planning or for spur of the moment exploration. This atlas contains a whopping 160 pages of highly detailed maps with each map covering an area of roughly 30 by 45 miles (48-72 km). These maps identify major highways, roadways, rivers and streams as well as topographic features to help you navigate the terrain. I rely on these great atlases from DeLorme for all my photo assignments and can highly recommend them.

dv_historyDeath Valley National Park: A History
by Hal Rothmans and Char Miller

Best History Book on the Park: Before arriving at any national park or forest I learn as much as possible about the history of the area, its people and about how/why the park was established. Knowing these things are important because they help me to understand features of the past geology, people, cultures and social/political conditions that aid me in looking more deeply at a park and inform my photography.

death_val_mapTrails Illustrated: Death Valley National Park Map (#221)
Published by National Geographic

Best Map: From many years spent hiking and photographing America’s national parks and its backcountry, I’ve always found the Trails Illustrated series from National Geographic to be the most detailed, helpful and informative maps available. Published on a tear-proof and resistant paper that can be folded and unfolded repeatedly, this full color 4×9″ (folded size) map unfolds to a very useful and easy to read 28×32″ size. In addition to roads and trails, the map identifies campsites and additional points of interest in and around the park.

Other Suggested Reading

Photograph America Newsletter is the best photo-location resource guide around. Bob Hitchman has written this 12-page newsletter four times a year since 1989. Each issue includes great suggestions on photo locations, driving/hiking tips and beautiful photographs of the area. I’ve relied on Bob’s newsletters for years to help plan a trip before I arrive and highly recommend it to photographers and tourists alike. Click here to visit the Photograph America website and Bob’s issue on this park.