Seven Magic Mountains by Sarah Robertson

Seven Magic Mountains is a little unexpected. I was flipping through Instagram one evening when I came across a picture of some unique Hoodoo like structures that were painted crazy colors. I then proceeded to forget about it. When I found out I was going to Vegas, I thought that I should see what this was all about and experience the art for myself. The Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone created Seven Magic Mountains.  On the website the work is described as “A creative expression of human presence in the desert.” While I was there I was really struck by the idea of human beings and our interaction with the land. I think this type of land art really forces us to look at our own personal relationship with the land we encounter and what kind of impact we are having on it. [Shot on Portra 160 taken with a Holga]

Amsterdam by Sarah Robertson

We had two layovers in Amsterdam. Our first stop (on our way to Spain) we had enough time for breakfast and a bit of wandering. On the way back, our allotted time allowed us to grab dinner and crash for the night. Although neither trips were a substantial amount of time, we still got a bit of a feel for the city. Most of these shots were taken on our first stop in Amsterdam. We rode the train in from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to the Centraal Station. I knew that the Centraal Station was in the heart of the city but walking into it was just so lovely. The morning light was beautiful. We arrived fairly early in the morning so it was nice to have a quiet experience with the city before the normal hustle and bustle really began.  [Shot on Portra 400 taken with a Mamiya 645]

Ibex by Sarah Robertson

Ibex is easily described as desolate. I should have known this much after reading that it was located in Utah's West Desert but after visiting I can attest that this place is pretty "off the beaten path". The location feels untouched due to its remoteness. The place itself is a series of rock formations and boulders that line an old dry lake bed. The sun always seems to be beating down and the wind is constantly blowing. Yet, it makes for some great outdoor climbing. This trip was a personal triumph for me because I successfully completed my first 5.7 and 5.9 outdoor climbs. Photographing with a bunch of climbers is always fun. There is always this collective sense of exploration and easy going-ness that soothes my soul. This trip to Ibex was only a day gig but I hope I'll be able to spend more time out there in the future.  [Shot on Tmax 400 (pulled two stops) taken with a Mamiya 645]

The Great Salt Lake by Sarah Robertson

It was a late afternoon last June when I went exploring to the Great Salt Lake Marina. Having lived in Utah for four years I thought it was time I visited the lake that gave SLC its name.  I was there just an hour or two before sunset and the light turned this landscape into something magnificent. While visiting I learned that the lake itself has quite the interesting history. It, like the Salt Flats, are remnants from the Ancient Lake Bonneville. Lake Bonneville, at one point covered a decent portion of Utah. The lake in its current condition is not very deep, only about 35 feet. Due to run off and different weather systems the size of the lake varies from year to year. It really is a unique place to see. [Shot on Portra 160 taken with a Mamiya 645]

Yosemite by Sarah Robertson

The guardian of the Yosemite, Galen Clark, once said, “I have seen persons of emotional temperament stand with tearful eyes, spellbound and dumb with awe, as they got their first view of the Valley … overwhelmed in the sudden presence of the unspeakable, stupendous grandeur.”

My words will never come close to capturing what Galen Clark wrote about the beauty that is in this park, but I can speak personally about the power of Yosemite. There is magic there. There is a distinct sense of greatness in the landscape but it is more than that. Yosemite has the ability to inspire people. Whether you are a photographer, rock climber, or hiker, Yosemite inspires awe and inspiration.

I am more than willing to accept that I am not the first artist to be inspired by its majesty, and I doubt I will be the last. These images are my experience with Yosemite. There was an attempt to capture the “stupendous grandeur” but ultimately I hope you can take these images and feel inspired to connect with nature. [Shot on Portra 400 taken with a Mamiya 645]

Climbing in the San Rafael Swell by Sarah Robertson

The San Rafael Swell is a giant geological wonder full of climbing, canyons, pictographs and petroglyphs, and countless other wonders. This trip was primarily focused on climbing and a little camping. I wasn’t much of a climber back then (we took this trip in 2015). I decided to take the backseat to most of the actual climbing, just spent a nice relaxing afternoon photographing some fun climbers. Some of my favorite subject matter consists of rock climbers and their gear. Nearly every climber I have come in contact with is a good soul. Genuine people who just truly love spending time out in nature. I like being around people like that; it always inspires me to spend more time out experiencing the outdoors. [Shot on Portra 400 taken with a Mamiya 645]


The Salt Flats by Sarah Robertson

The Salt Flats are one of many unique landscapes in Utah. They essentially consist of 30,000 acres of nothing but salt. This distinctive area comes from the ancient Lake Bonneville. When the lake dried up it left all this salt. This area is naturally high contrast so I felt photographing it in black and white was just a given. I love how barren this place is. The landscape is so empty that I really had to work to make these images. This set of photographs was taken at “Tree of Utah” sculpture and at the Salt Flats rest stop which is right off I-80W. [Shot on BW400CN taken with a Canon AE-1]

Taiwan by Sarah Robertson

Taiwan was nothing like I expected it to be. It is amazing the stereotypes we come up with about the people and places we have never encountered. I was so nervous about the food and how we would communicate with people. Turns out the people were so graciously kind that I really didn’t have anything to worry about.

We were fortunate enough to stay with my husband’s Aunt and Uncle who have a wealth of knowledge about Taiwan. Aunt Gloria and Uncle Bob lived in Taiwan in the 70’s as missionaries and currently live there while Bob finishes up his last assignment for the U.S. State Department. They were great tour guides and really showed us the best of Taiwan.

We spent most of our time in Kaohsiung, which is in the southern part of Taiwan. The city has a heavy past in manufacturing and they have sort of reimagined parts of the city so there are some great old parts of town that have been revitalized. The humidity is insane and the food is divine. Can you say dumplings? We spent our days trying to see everything we possibly could. I spent nearly the entire trip lollygagging behind the group photographing almost anything and everything I saw.

Taiwan was so stimulating. Everywhere we went there was something to learn or see. All the Taiwanese people we encountered were warm and gracious. I walked away from that country really feeling enriched from the bright and inclusive culture that is uniquely Taiwan. [Shot on Portra 400 taken with a Canon EOS-3]