Wallpaper Wednesday: Canyonlands, Utah

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wallpaper_canyonlands_660Just last week, under desert snowclouds, photographer Ace Kvale, filmmaker Sinuhe Xavier, and writer Craig Childs took a little excursion into the Greater Canyonlands area. They are amongst my dearest friends, and words can’t begin to describe the respect I have for their work or the way they live their lives. While they were sleeping in caves that have hosted humans since the earliest days of humans in the Southwest, I was sucking in the toxic air of Salt Lake City at the Outdoor Retailer trade show; to say that I wanted to be with them is an understatement. This wallpaper graces my desktop as inspiration for next time, and now it can yours, too.

Photo by Sinuhe Xavier

To those of you who’ve commented about the fire, you make excellent points, except…this crew used a twig cook stove with small fire pan and followed Leave No Trace principles.

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{ 8 comments…read them below or write one }

  • LNT Police

    If only they respected the natural environment and Leave No Trace principles as much as you respect their work…

  • Sinuhe Xavier

    Nick and LNT Police-

    1) It is not a “campfire”. What you see is the result of a 45 second exposure of twigs being burned in a bush buddy stove without the cover on. Nick you being a photographer must know how small that fire must be to balance light with the stars. I can’t speak for Ace or Craig, though I think they would agree that a “campfire” within the alcove would be poor form.

    2) I can guarantee that the site was left better than when we found it. The only trace would be our footprints left in the snow.

  • Nick

    Thank you for clarifying, Sinuhe. I’ve used a lightweight candle lantern to get a similar effect in the past, but the amount of flame in this looked like so much more than something that would leave no trace like that.

    I still would be reluctant to release an image like this so publicly. The one photo I’ve taken with a similar effect, I made sure to explicitly state that the light source was a candle lantern and I still feel like I probably shouldn’t have posted it. Too many stupid people out there that want to replicate the scene.

  • LNT Police

    In light of your explanation, we have decided not to write you a citation or detain you further. If you were actually participating in what your image appears to depict, it would be a crime, and celebrating that image in pop media enforces notions that the depicted behavior is responsible and encourages others to follow suit. You are cleared to continue about your business of doing awesome stuff but please be more mindful of your audience’s perceptions. You are free to go.

  • breck crystal

    Beautiful photo and wish I was there, living, cooking, and smelling of our ancestors! Regarding the fire- Way cool! This leave no trace ethic that people are espousing is far from a thought out ethic. To actually see the impact you are making on the environment and taking responsibility for your action and generations to come is what it should be about. Not strip mining Juan;s backyard for your multi-fuel campstove just so you don’t have to look at the destruction it has created. Live your passion! Breck

  • Mat

    Fantastic photo! Gives me a nice warm feeling in my core.
    Although, I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Even if they had actually built a wood fire… what’s the big issue? As long as you clean up your scene after things should be okay. Is it illegal to start camp fires in the area where the photo was taken?

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