Limited Edition book and print
by Andrew and Brent Phelps, 1984-2011
self published, 2011
edition of 200
30×36 cm C-print.
In the summer of 1984 my father drove his Ford F250 alone into Point Sublime, a remote overlook at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. His only objective was to photograph a sunset. A long, dangerous trip by any standard, these were the days before cell-phones and GPS and even he now admits it was fool-hardy. These photographs became stock-imagery for the river-rafting slide shows we produced over 30 years in the Grand Canyon. On a visit to Arizona last summer I began sorting through thousands of slides, deciding what to scan, what to archive and what to throw out. When I came upon a sheet titled “Sublime”, it wasn’t the sunsets that interested me, but the photographs he never showed me; his truck stuck in the mud, the lonely road, a spooked deer in the woods. I know he will say different, but if you have met my father, you will agree that below his rough outer-surface is a romantic renaissance man. An otherwise practical man, he was inspired to narrate his journey to watch the sun go down. I smile to think of him out there, cursing to no end, trudging away from his truck to compose that picture of his truck in the mud, capturing the spirit of the whole mess. The sunset simply being the excuse to go.