Lightgathering 2018 | St George

Years ago, a photography mentor of mine connected me with a small group of photographers that have been meeting informally once a year since 1973, to photograph, and continue their lifelong friendships.

They call themselves Lightgathering, and they’re an old school bunch, with a few having assisted Ansel Adams during his summer workshops. I’ve only been to a couple, with the last being around 2002, but I love going to these, because there’s a tremendous amount of photographic knowledge I get to soak up. And this year, I was committed to getting back.

It was held in St George, Utah this year. I’ve driven through St George a couple times, many years ago. It’s small town nestled in the red sandstone cliffs and bluffs, and tucked right under Signal Peak, which looms ominously above. The town is in the very Southwest corner of Utah. If you’ve ever driven the 15 to Salt Lake City, or Bryce or Zion, you’ve driven through it.

It was certainly an interesting trip. It rained from San Diego all the way to St George. After I found a nice camping spot on BLM land, I discovered that my tent wouldn’t stay dry, and my air mattress wouldn’t hold air.
I resorted to sleeping in my truck, and then locked myself out of the truck in the 20 degree night at around 4am. I had on only thermal underwear!
Rock… meet passenger window.

I would have more issues on the camping side of things. But getting together with friends, old and new was great.

Thursday night everyone arrived into town, and we got together for a warm meal at a cool little place called Georges Corner Restaurant. We all caught up, and admired the historic photos of St George on the walls. 
Our first group shoot on Friday was at a place called Snow Canyon, where we photographed slot canyons, and lava fields.
On Saturday, we met for a Print/Photo sharing session in the local library. The level of talent and experience was apparent from the photos shown. 
After the photo sharing, a handful of us got together to shoot out at the Red Cliffs Recreational Area just North of town. That was followed by a big group meal at a local Mexican restaurant, and some ice cream, hugs and goodbyes at a Coldstone.
Sunday most everyone made their way home.

However, this was just the first leg of my trip. Tomorrow, I’ll post about my wanderings through Nevada, and back up to Salt Lake City.

Gathering some light in Snow Canyon.
In the slot canyon called Jenny’s Canyon.
Photographers are SO fucking annoying!
Looking out over the lava fields to the escarpment.
Looking into Snow Canyon as rain squalls danced across the sky.
Neil sneaking up on a tree.
This tree has some stories to tell.
Fellow San Diegan Alan Pitcairn looking to conquer lands, and plant flags.
Neil Miller looking sexy.
Unlike most photographers, Dennis was happy to get in front of the camera.
This is Kim Brun. He grew up surfing in San Diego. Kim is awesome. Be like Kim.
Same tree, more stories.
Pine Valley Mountains from Diamond Valley, Utah. The mound to the left is an extinct cinder cone (volcano).

Originally published at William Bay.