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Straddling the borders of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico lies a magnificent wilderness known as the Colorado Plateau. Encompassing over 130,000 square miles, it is a high, eroded tableland of rock, canyon, and desert, and within its boundaries are the greatest concentration of National Parks, National Monuments, State Parks, Wilderness areas, BLM holdings, and Native American tribal lands in America. There are thirteen geographical areas included in the book: Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Grand Gulch, Petrified Forest National Park, Hopi Tribal Lands, Grand Canyon National Park, Navajo Tribal Lands.
Jon Ortner captures it all in this encompassing volume of full-color photographs. Packaged with a limited edition print signed by the photographer, this impressive collection features over 200 photographs accompanied by quotes from authors, travelers, and nature enthusiats who have fallen under the spell of this incredible region. Featuring the most extraordinary collection of multicolored landforms found anywhere on Earth, this remarkable assemblage of geological diversity and spectacular beauty attracts growing millions of U.S. and foreign tourists every year. These time-worn canyons, mesas, and vast wind-swept deserts form the greatest expanse of exposed rock in North America. Without cover of dense vegetation or topsoil, the jagged skeleton of the earth is revealed, providing a continuous geological record spanning over 300 million years. Nowhere else is the ancient history of the planet laid bare in such a clear and dramatic way. Mesas, buttes, towers, spires, hoodoos, arches, windows, fins, domes, bridges, and badlands, all are infused with incomparable colors, creating a surreal world of chromatic rocks, tinted soils,
and shimmering sand dunes. It is a luminous painting with hues that change with each hour of the day. These locations have long attracted photographers, but few have photographed with the unique 6x17cm Panorama Camera and modern fine-grain transparency films. The ruggedness of the land, the great distances to be traveled, and extreme weather conditions magnify the logistic difficulties of photographing in the deserts and narrow slot canyons of the Plateau. Transporting heavy photo equipment and film by backpack over long and difficult trails, presents both mental and physical challenges. And the desert is unforgiving of even the smallest errors, treating the unprepared harshly. But, for the few with passion, for those who are willing to begin their trek at the end of the road, the secret world of the high Southwest reveals its treasures.
These photographs reflect the power and stunning beauty of these incomparable monuments to time and the inexorable forces of nature. It is a portrait of a wonderland of colored stone that is the eternal soul of Mother Earth, the foundation of the planet, and a reminder of the ultimate insignificance of man and his creations.
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Jon Ortner was born in Great Neck, Long Island in 1951. He started painting and drawing at an early age, which laid the foundation for his photography. In college, Jon continued to pursue art, natural history and ecology. In 1978 he moved to New York City with his wife, Martha, where they opened a photo studio and continue to collaborate. Jon's books, Where Every Breath is a Prayer, Angkor, and Buddha are the culmination of numerous journeys to the far corners of the Himalaya and Southeast Asia. A compilation of NYC images was published as Manhattan Dawn &Dusk. His awardwinning images and stories have appeared in numerous magazines such as GEO, Communications Arts, Travel & Leisure and Architectural Digest. Jon has turned his focus and passion to the canyons and deserts of the Southwest. From the greatest canyons on earth, to the brilliant swirling colors of the Grand Staircase and Vermillion Cliffs, he has shown us a wilderness of rock at once familiar yet astounding. By creating panoramic portraits of this vast, monumental landscape, he hopes to share his unique vision of the beauty and incomparable majesty of America's greatest natural treasures.Review:
2008 Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year, Gold Medal - Regional category.
"This version of the Western landscape is a wilderness experience, and Ortner's aim simply to honor these places in their pristine beauty. A large format helps to convey the scope of the vistas...It is also a format big enough to experience the images viscerally: the textures stone and brush and water running through them are almost palpable."
"Throughout the book, Jon Ortner captures the natural beauty of the Southwest in his stunning photographs...Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest is truly a visual delight."
--Southwest Art Magazine
"Jon Ortner's oversized, full-page color photos of the Southwest embellishes an album perfect for both photography collections and those documenting the landscapes of the American Southwest. It's a deluxe, numbered, signed and limited edition of an outstanding collection of over 200 images -- including 100 panoramas shot in over 650 locations across a 130,000 square-mile area. The geology and landmarks of this region are outstanding: towers, spires, arches, domes, bridges, and more...It's simply unparalleled in its scope, presentation, and coverage."
--Midwest Book Review
"Magnificent...Ortner's photographs encompass nothing less than a history of Southwestern geology told in incredibly dramatic terms...he has invested inert matter and archetypal forms with a sense of mysterious silence and timelessness."
"Exquisite...a visual feast."
"Uncannily evocative images."
--Town and Country
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