How not to photograph Delicate Arch

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by stewart_ethier|1, Oct 22, 2000.

  1. Michael Fatali is one of the nation's premier large format landscape
    photographers, but he appears to have gone too far in attempting to
    create interesting lighting effects at Delicate Arch. The following
    is an article from Salt Lake City's KSL-TV. Any comments?

    <p>


    Fires At Delicate Arch

    <p>

    It's become the symbol of Utah. Delicate Arch, one of the state's most
    photographed and scenic wonders.

    <p>

    But now a prominent landscape photographer faces criminal charges for
    starting four fires at Delicate Arch, and marring the landscape.

    <p>

    Authorities have released little information about the investigation.
    But, Environment Specialist John Hollenhorst has learned exclusive
    details.

    <p>

    We've been told the fires were set during a photo workshop or a class
    at Delicate Arch. We haven't been able to get there to see the damage,
    and we haven't been able to reach photographer Mike Fatali to hear his
    story.

    <p>

    But he's accused of doing damage severe enough to be noticable in
    photos of Utah's most famous arch.

    <p>

    Four years ago we went on a photography expedition with Mike Fatali.
    He specializes in scrambling through Utah's rugged and spectacular
    canyon country to take pictures.

    <p>

    He runs a photograophy school near Zion National Park. His photos sell
    for high prices in his canyon-country photo shops.

    <p>

    On our expedtion four years ago, Fatali expressed strong love for the
    landscape.

    <p>

    MIKE FATALI/LANSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER/SEPT. 19, 1996: "I DO PHOTOGRAPHY AS
    A WAY TO COMMUNICATE THE PLACES THAT I LOVE. IT'S REALLY NOT ABOUT THE
    PHOTOGRAPHS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO ME. IT'S THE EXPERIENCES OF
    EXPLORING AND BEING IN THIS ENVIRONMENT."

    <p>

    A month ago at Delicate Arch, Mike Fatali was allegedly leading a
    photo workshop or class. On the slickrock and sand below the arch,
    four fires were allegedly set.

    <p>

    It's not clear why, but one version of the story is that the fires
    were intended to create a special lighting effect.

    <p>

    A tourist reported one fire still smouldering the next day.

    <p>

    Flammable fuel apparently seeped deep into the slickrock and left
    three dark stains, which the Park Service has been unable to remove.
    The largest, we're told, is roughly 3 feet by 6, and shows up in
    photos of the arch.

    <p>

    We've been unable to reach Fatali for his side of the story. He's on a
    photo expedition... presumably somewhere in the landscape he's built
    his career on.

    <p>

    MIKE FATALI/LANSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER/SEPT. 19, 1996: "THIS IS GOD'S
    COUNTRY. IT DOESN'T GET BETTER THAN THIS."

    <p>

    In the next couple of weeks, a rock-restoration expert will hike to
    the arch and assess the damages. After that, the U.S. Attorney intends
    to file criminal charges.

    <p>

    A spokeswoman says the government has a responsibility to protect
    resources and Delicate Arch is very near the top of the list of
    resources that ought to be p
     
  2. As I understand the situation, Mr Fatali has been suspended for one
    year by Arizona HIways magazine and his photos removed from their
    catalog and store due to this unfortunate situation. He was leading a
    Friends of Arizona Hiways workshop at the time.
     
  3. One point on which we can all agree: The arsonist (let's assume the
    fire was intentional) should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of
    applicable state and federal law. He/she has marred and perhaps
    ruined one of a few special sites. If he/she is a photographer,
    amateur or professional, then he/she has given all of us who travel
    and make images a black eye.
    Bob
     
  4. In a follow-up story on KSL last night, it was revealed that Fatali
    has apologized for causing the damage. Here is the story:

    <p>

    DEFACED ARCH

    <p>

    Black marks now mar one of the state's most photographed scenic
    wonders. Now, for the first time, the photographer who faces criminal
    charges for setting four fires beneath Delicate Arch tells his side of
    the story.

    <p>

    It happened a month ago, and enraged the Park Rangers who overseee
    Utah's most famous natural landmark. Environment Specialist John
    Hollenhorst broke the story last week, and now has details.

    <p>

    As we suggested last week, the photographer says the fires were set to
    illuminate Delicate Arch during a photography workshop. The
    photographer is now apologizing for any damage that was done.

    <p>

    Delicate Arch is not only spectacularly beautiful and world-famous,
    it's become the best-known symbol of the State of Utah. That's why
    many people are shocked that veteran canyon-country photographer Mike
    Fatali would have set fires just below the arch.

    <p>

    We still haven't been able to speak with him because he's in an
    isolated location on a photo expedition. But he conveyed a message to
    an associate, who sent it to us.

    <p>

    "There was never any attempt to cause damage," Fatali wrote. He went
    to Delicate Arch to conduct an Arizona Highways photo workshop and he
    says he had Park Service permission to shoot the arch at night.

    <p>

    "Small fires were lit to provide additional light," Fatali wrote. "As
    a precaution, artificial logs were used and placed on aluminum pans."

    <p>

    The park service later told us a tourist discovered one fire still
    smouldering the next day. Fuel from the fires seeped into slickrock,
    leaving three dark stains below Delicate Arch that have resisted
    cleanup efforts. The largest is three feet by six.

    <p>

    When he learned of the damage, Fatali says he contacted the Park
    Service to share his concerns and apologies and offered to assist in
    any way. Fatali wrote, "I have spent 20 years photographing the
    Southwest, attempting to capture the glory of this land, to protect
    it, never to destroy it."

    <p>

    Fatali and Park Rangers agree most tourists would likely not notice
    the stains. But they do show up in photos. The Park Service and the
    U.S. Attorney's Office are taking the case seriously and expect to
    file criminal c
     
  5. HE SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!! How can anyone, who supposedly
    appreciates nature so much, could even consider doing such a thing??
    I will now boycott his galleries and spread the same to anyone I can!!
     
  6. I actually heard about this a while ago, as I was on a raft trip with
    Tom Till when it happened. Tom briefly returned to town during the
    trip, and heard about it through friends in the park service. Tom
    lives in Moab, Utah, across the river from Arches.

    <p>

    What is not quoted in the paper, and something which *may or may not
    be true*, but which Tom heard, is that one of the workshop
    participants was quoted saying something to the effect of

    <p>

    "what's the big deal? We did this in all the other national parks
    too!".
     
  7. I am the wife of the previous Bruce Arnold and am completely sickened
    by this story. We frequently travel down to this area and relish in
    the beauty of the rocks. We have visited Fatali's Gallery on every
    visit and have looked in awe at the skill he has demonstrated. I
    feel duped and repulsed by ALL of his pictures. It is bad enough
    that ANYONE would do such a thing, but a proclaimed lover of nature,
    respectful of what has happened over centuries...makes me just plain
    sick. How could he do such a thoughtless act? Does he not care that
    perhaps I would like my grandchildren's grandchildren enjoy the
    beauty of that area? And to mar with fire is just too much to take.
    My husband is a hobby photographer and we have seen hundreds of awe
    inspiring areas. Anyone who is anything CLOSE to a nature lover just
    could not do such a thing. It saddens me greatly that someone could
    do this. I really cannot even put into words the feeling in my gut.
    Banning his photographs from all public display is not nearly enough
    punishment. I'm not a violent person, but could go ditto on kill the
    SOB!!!!!!
     
  8. Gee, Cindy. I'm glad you found a fellow psycho like Bruce to travel
    down life's highway with. It sounds like you deserve each other. I
    just love it when you extremists come out of the woodwork and show
    your true mentality. I think the best place for the two of you would
    be up a tree somewhere. At least you couldn't harm anybody there.
    Go back and get in your hole. Personally, I think they ought to put
    a drill rig in that location [after they knock down that awful rock
    outcrop] so I can have cheaper gas for my SUV!!!!!!!
     
  9. With all due respect folks, I do not think that capital
    punishment, official or unofficial, fits the crime. Lets keep things
    in perspective shall we. He did not knock over the arch, spray paint
    it black or some other such obvious heinous defacement. I fully agree
    that was is alleged to have been done, is qualitatively just as bad as
    far as most of us are concerned (myself included thank you), and that
    a complete investigation and disciplinary action (if justified) is
    certainly in order.

    <p>

    I just really hate to see such needless emotional outbursts that do
    nothing but make this fine message forum a little bit more like usenet
    from which I thought to have found sanctuary. If we are to discuss
    this further, perhaps the subject of artifically manipulated vs pure
    representational landscape photography would be a better route to go!
    My surprise was as equally based in the bizarre idea Fatali was
    working on, which does not seem to be in accord with his work that I
    know.
     
  10. I agree that it has become "emotional". But I guess I see it tied
    together....if you have a passion for Nature Photography, you have to
    have passion for what you are taking pictures of! And without a
    passion for right and wrong, issues like these go by without
    mention. And we send the message that it is ok...and it isn't.
     
  11. Never was a "flame war" more aptly named.
     
  12. Good reply Alec!!!
    May the photography debate carry on....
     
  13. No, Michael Fatali should not be put to death. But if you would like
    you can lobby the Governor to bring back the death penalty by firing
    squad as it was just phased out..(this is a joke, though the firing
    squad death was legal here until just recently).

    <p>

    The negative press and the suspicion we will all be under now when
    walking by with view cameras will follow us for a long time to come.

    <p>

    Stupid or not Michael was trying to get "the shot", and we all know
    how that goes at times. Apparently he didn't think any fire scars
    would result & seems to have tried to keep things under control by
    using aluminum pans to contain his fires. (per the news accounts so
    far) If he had used strobes gelled to match firelight no one would
    have said a thing.

    <p>

    But... he didn't.

    <p>

    He set fires in a National Park and allegedly violated a host of
    Federal laws in the process. He allegedly did this while leading an
    Arizona Highways photo tour. What a publicity stunt?!?

    <p>

    All for "the shot".

    <p>

    Hope it was worth it personally & to his career. Now we will have to
    walk even more carefully when carrying our view cameras as the anti-
    access crowd will parade this one out more than the anti-pornography
    crowd does Mapplethorpe. ONE incident and a black eye forever.

    <p>

    Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
     
  14. Since Fatali has been quoted in several accounts as admitting to
    having set these fires using Duralogs and aluminum roaster pans. All
    for the very dubious reason of photographing Delicate Arch at night
    perhaps we should dispense with the debate about whether he did or
    did not do something this stupid and distructive for his personal
    gain or perhaps because as he has claimed " his love of the land".

    <p>

    The important thing it seems to me is to band together as
    photographers who love this land and work to head off any forth
    coming restrictive regulations that may come from the National Park
    Service or BLM because of Mr. Fatalis total disregard for the rules
    already in place or more importantly his total disregard for the
    fragile land he has made a very nice living photographing.

    <p>

    Perhaps we should also urge the National Park Service to seek full
    and complete sanctions against Fatali as required by law and make our
    feelings known to the publisher of Arizona Hiways magazine as well.
    After all they too have some responsibility being his employers at
    the time of this incident as he was leading their photo workshop at
    the time.

    <p>

    Comments?
     
  15. Come on - this is a bizarre discussion. For all I know, the fire
    stain was accidental. Fatali didn't intend to harm the arch! How
    about the climbers who drill holes into the face of El Capitan -
    shouldn't they be prosecuted instead?
     
  16. Acidental or not the result is the same. Afterall he did intend to
    set these fires in an area where fire if not totally forbidden
    requires a special permit. This is the same defence the captian of
    the Exxon Valdez should have used after creating the most disasterous
    oil spill in history. As for the climbers on El Capitan what they are
    doing is legal and they file the appropiate permits etc prior to
    making their climb.

    <p>

    Finally, accident or not we are all responsible for our actions.When
    you acidentially drive over the posted speed limit (speed) and the
    officer gives you a ticket you also must pay your fine. The judge
    doesn't care if you intended to speed or not, only, that you did and
    guess what the result is the same with your insurance carrier they
    don't say ah we won't raise your rates since it was really an
    accident and you didn't realize how fast you were going.

    <p>

    The unintended result from Fatalis little accident may well be
    onerous new restrictions on everyones ability to freely access and
    photograph this beautiful wilderness of ours. No matter what his
    ultimate penalty is we as photographers will also pay a price for his
    actions.
     
  17. I'm not condoning Fatali's stupid and over-zealous attempt to get just
    the right light. However, this act pales in comparison to the rest of
    the crap going on in Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Bryce and other
    national parks and scenic sites in the area.

    <p>

    Every single time I've been to Arches NP to photograph any of the more
    well known spots the place has been literally crawling with
    fat-butted tourists in their motorhomes and minivans. The steady
    stream of huffing and puffing, gasping walkers on the trail to
    Delicate Arch is enough of a downer; half way there you feel like
    packing it in and turning back. And the crowds of people sitting
    around the base of the arch around sunset, teenagers crawling all over
    the rocks, parents screaming at their children, spoiling all the sight
    lines.....well, it's enough to make you sick.

    <p>

    And it seems that every stretch of river in that area, with even the
    slightest hint of "fast water", has been completely taken over by
    these opportunistic rafting businesses, with their lumbering
    school buses clogging the roads, their ugly yellow or orange
    inflatable boats, teeming with howling, drunken idiots. I used to
    fish these waters years ago; now it's a foregone conclusion that any
    cast is likely to snag one of these rafts.

    <p>

    And how about the crazed Jeep crowd that gets together every Easter in
    Moab, racing their 4WDs up and down the main drag, with beer-guzzling
    assholes hanging off the damned things. Can the town of Moab possibly
    get any tackier? Just go into any part of Canyonlands NP and these
    nimrods are everywhere, too busy trying to figure out some new way of
    rolling these things over to worry much about the scenery, stained by
    Fatali's fires or not. And let's not forget the mountain bike folks,
    either.

    <p>

    Why don't we just kill all of them? It seems to me that the place
    was ruined long ago. Maybe we photographers are to blame...we took
    too many beautiful photographs and attracted all these idiots.
     
  18. One point that has been missed so far in this discussion is that
    as deplorable as Fatali's actions were, the worse part is that he was
    "teaching" a group of photographers the same lack of respect for
    nature that he probably has been practicing most of his life.

    <p>

    I can't imagine being part of his workshop and witnessing this event.
    The fact that no one in the group took any action to stop Fatali says
    something about the breed of "new" photographers that are going to go
    after the "perfect" photograph with no regard to their impact on the
    landscape.

    <p>

    I believe that the entire group should be punished to the maximum
    extent allowed by law. Notice I backed-off my death penalty stance
    from yesterday. Now that I have "cooled off", I can think rationally!
    However, I still can't comprehend Fatali's actions!!

    <p>

    I encourage everyone to e-mail Arizona Highways, The National Park
    Service, and Fatali Galleries at the following e-mail addresses to
    voice your concerns with Fatali's actions. Thanks!

    <p>

    Fatali Gallery: fatali@fatali.com

    <p>

    Arizona Highways: photodirector@arizonahighways.com

    <p>

    National Park Service: archinfo@nps.gov
     
  19. I have never heard of Arizona Highway photography workshops. Are these
    serious photography workshops or the kind intended to bilk a few
    hundred bucks from novices to give them the honor of being taught to
    operate their new Nikons by some professional? My guess is the latter
    which would explain some of this. I don't want to jump to any
    conclusions of course ;-)
     
  20. Two years ago, I took a photo class at a local community college so I
    could get some outside feedback about my images. During one critique
    session, I was floored when the instructor praised an image then went
    on to explain how it would have been greatly improved if I simplified
    the composition by pulling out a few of the flowers that were messing
    up the background.

    <p>

    I explained that so far as I am concerned, Nature is what it is and I
    take pictures of what I see, not what I'd like to see. While I don't
    have any problem with picking up garbage or removing leaves that will
    blow away in few minutes anyway, I wouldn't dream of cutting branches
    off a tree, moving rocks or pulling flowers out of the ground.

    <p>

    Needless to say, he disagreed with me and proceeded to show the class
    all of the "gardening" tools he carries in his camera bag so he won't
    ever find himself stuck photographing Nature looking anything but its
    groomed and manicured best.

    <p>

    To my surprise, with only one exception, everyone in the class agreed
    with him! I was stunned, at least until I realized that at 39, I was
    at least a decade older than everybody else in the room. Clearly, my
    formative years as a nature photographer occurred in a different time
    and frame of mind than theirs and it showed ... for them, photography
    appears to be a competitive endeavor whereas for me, it's an artistic
    one.

    <p>

    If Nature shuts me out today, then I'll just try again tomorrow ... I
    have no need or desire to improve my results by altering my subjects,
    as Michael Fatali and other professional photographers sometimes feel
    pressured to do. And on those rare occasions when I do manage to get
    a truly spectacular image on film (about every other year or two!), I
    will enjoy it, humble and unpublished though it may be, all that much
    more as a result.
     
  21. First of all, fires are not even allowed in Arches NP, so the act was
    wrong...period.<br><br>

    Climbers do not (and have not been allowed for quite some time to)
    drill holes in the face of El Capitan. All climbing in national
    parks is limited to permanent routes (i.e. using existing protection)
    or with temporary (or no) aid where designated. This method of
    managing routes and monitoring climbing makes the activity safer and
    promotes responsible ways to enjoy parks.<br><br>

    Mr. Fatali's actions did neither.
     
  22. Drilling is actually legal in Yosemite, provided it is done
    by hand. Frivolous bolting has always been frowned upon in the
    climbing community.
    Bolts are essential for climber's safety and being impossible
    to spot from a distance, are a neglectible distraction.
     
  23. I don't see what all the hubbub is about. Some turpentine and gray
    paint will have the rock looking like new in no time. Did you know
    that Algore was the first to photograph Delicate Arch.

    <p>

    Willie
     
  24. Well, I'm really glad I took photographs while I was at Delicate Arch!

    <p>

    Yes, there will be more restrictions, because this incident shows
    that the more people who have access to wilderness, the more likely
    it is that someone will cause harm, if only through a momentary lapse
    of common sense or judgement as seems to be the case with Mr. Fatali.

    <p>

    Let a million photographers in over 10 centuries, all with the best
    of intentions not to harm the land they love, and there WILL be
    permanent damage done. Its a statistical near certainty.

    <p>

    Of course, by then the several billion regular tourists would have
    reduced these spots to fine dust !

    <p>

    Wilderness is forever only if you keep yourself off of it forever.

    <p>

    The only sensible idea I've heard for long term preservation was a
    lottery system for access.
     
  25. I think some of you are missing the point!! Allow me to disect the
    last posting.

    <p>

    1. There may or may not be more restrictions at Arches National Park.
    Only time will tell. If there are more restrictions, it will not be
    because more people have access to wilderness. Arches National Park
    is NOT wilderness!! It is only a 5 mile roundtrip hike to Delicate
    Arch; not wilderness by any stretch of the imagination! If there are
    more restrictions, it will be a result of Fatali's actions and other
    people like him that have NO respect for the land!

    <p>

    2. Can YOU actually categorize Fatali's actions as a momentary lapse
    of common sense or judgement?? Are you one of the "new" breed of
    photographers that witnessed the event during the workshop?? I hope
    you realize that setting 4 fires would take some time and effort!!

    <p>

    3. The terrain in Arches National Park can be preserved if people
    treat it with respect; i.e. stay on trails or on bare rock. Yes, a
    little bit of erosion will occur with all the little feet tramping on
    the rock, but it will pale in comparison to nature's erosional forces
    that are acting on the same rock every day! Treating the landscape
    with respect prohibits scaring the rocks by fire!!!!
     
  26. Below is the news release sent out by Arizona Highways magazine due
    to the arson of Michael Fatali at Rainbow Arch.


    <p>



    <p>


    MEDIA ALERT * * * MEDIA ALERT * * * MEDIA ALERT * * * MEDIA ALERT

    <p>

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    <p>


    For further information contact:
    Arizona Highways Publisher, Win Holden

    Office: 602-712-2023


    <p>


    PHOENIX, ARIZ. (OCTOBER 23, 2000) - -

    <p>

    Michael Fatali, who is under investigation for setting fires that
    scarred an arch in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks near Moab,
    Utah, on September 18, has been suspended for one year from
    conducting photo workshops for the Friends of Arizona Highways, a
    nonprofit support group of the magazine.

    <p>

    In addition, said Arizona Highways Publisher Win Holden, FataliBs
    posters of slot canyons have been removed from the magazineBs gift
    shop. "We are exceedingly disappointed in FataliBs completely
    careless action. Arizona Highways always has been a powerful voice
    for protection of the environment and preservation of our natural
    landscapes."

    <p>

    Fatali set the fires in small aluminum pans to light Delicate Arch
    during an unauthorized nighttime photo session while conducting a
    workshop sponsored by the Friends of Arizona Highways. The magazine
    itself was not involved in the workshops.

    <p>

    "This was a totally unsanctioned activity by Fatali," said Barbara
    Hornor, executive director of the Friends. "We obtained permits to go
    into the park to photograph as part of a 11-day photo workshop
    through northern Arizona and southern Utah national parks and other
    scenic locations. We did not know he planned on setting fires. The
    permits specifically prohibit the use of fires."

    <p>

    The Friends have conducted photo workshop in Arizona and surrounding
    areas for 16 years, Hornor said, and nothing like this has ever
    occurred. "We have always worked to promote appreciation of the
    environment, and this incident is offensive to us."

    <p>


    -30-
     
  27. This is from Fatali's site (fatali.com/artist/light.html):
    "No computer imaging, artificial lighting, or
    unatural filtration were used as tools in the
    creation of my photographs. I work exclusively
    with the natural light of nature. To me there is
    no other way to express the beauty of
    natural phenomena."
     
  28. Bruce:
    In response to your dissection (ouch!) I should say

    <p>

    1. I don't know Michael Fatali from Adam, aside from what little I've
    read. I gave him the benefit of the doubt because he seems to have
    been a responsible Western landscapes photographer prior to this
    incident. At this point no one knows whether he lost his good sense
    for a day, was pressured into doing it by commercial need, was greedy
    and a bad guy etc. etc.

    <p>

    2. Arches NP is not wilderness, as some else pointed out. As I
    responded, it sure is from the viewpoint of someone like me, who
    lives in Tokyo :)

    <p>

    But the point is that it would be wilderness, but for our Government
    happily making it a "park". To me, what's the point of wilderness
    preservation, if, in any given period in history, you carve out the
    bits you happen to like and designate it as "non-wilderness". Tastes
    change over the centuries, and before another 1000 years of human
    history, there will be access roads to everything.

    <p>

    I completely disagree about human impact being less than nature's
    erosion. Its simply not correct. Natural erosion, though very great
    over millenia, is no match for the steady grind of feet. I observe,
    unscientifically, that the stone steps in the temples in Southern
    India have been worn six or eight inches over the space of a few
    centuries.

    <p>

    As for staying on the trails, you've got to figure that human nature
    will cause (lets say) 1 in a 1000 to stray. Over the centuries,
    that's enough to do significant damage.

    <p>

    Equal access for all who wish to go is simply not the answer to long-
    time preservation.
     
  29. Mani,

    <p>

    You make some worthwhile points. But, think about how much planning
    had to occur to be able to bring all the accessories required to
    start 4 "chemical" fires. I propose that Fatali graduated to such a
    heinous act by doing smaller destructive acts to the landscape over
    the span of many years. You just don't wake-up one morning and
    decide that you are going to Delicate Arch to start a few fires!

    <p>

    Also, people can stray off trails and keep the damage minimal if they
    don't follow in each other's footsteps. In my opinion, you never
    find true wilderness unless you leave the trail. Leaving the trail
    requires greater dedication to the preservation of the landscape. It
    should only be done legally with all no-trace precautions practiced.

    <p>

    Today I learned from Arches National Park that the fires at Delicate
    Arch were chemical in nature, i.e. a chemical residue was detected in
    the stone. Also, they are bringing in experts to determine how to
    remove the stains from the rock. They may end up actually "sanding"
    it off!
     
  30. Sure sounds awful, Bruce, and not particularly innocent...

    <p>

    As for access, I stand by my point. Even if you have a policy of no-
    trace, given enough time, there will be some proportion of Michael
    Fatalis and worse people than him who will get in, even if the good
    guys greatly outnumber the bad ones, and the effects of bad
    behaviour would accumulate.
     
  31. I believe that most people in search of a true wilderness experience
    are the same type of people that will show respect to the land.
    People like Fatali are lazy. After all, it took a fair amount of
    muscle just to carry the fire-starting accessories the few miles to
    Delicate Arch.

    <p>

    Think about it, how could anyone be so jaded as a photographer to
    think that you would have to resort to starting fires to get the kind
    of light you want! I have seen nature put on some fantastic light
    shows; much better than anything man could produce. Granted, Delicate
    Arch is probably one of the most over-photographed icons in the United
    States, but isn't it just enough to stand in it's majesty and just
    view it?; let alone photograph it?! And, I still have yet to see it
    photographed with a rainbow over it. Wouldn't that be nice?! I am
    sure Fatali is dreaming up some scheme to produce one!!!!
     
  32. Wow,

    <p>

    I've been away from the internet for the last three weeks, and this
    thread hit me like a ton of bricks when I read it!

    <p>

    I am amazed that Fatali was able to go so far down a destructive path
    without stopping to think, or without a small voice in his head
    telling him that this might not be good. Clearly this was very well
    planned, since the typical photographer does not bring duralogs, etc.
    with them on photographic expeditions. Therefore, I won't accept any
    rationalization that starts with 'momentary loss of reason' or
    'spontaneous lack of judgement'...

    <p>

    What's worse, if he wanted to teach participants about artifical light
    techniques, he should have been thinking about a jelled flash unit!
    They are much smaller and lighter than a bunch of duralogs, and they
    have no permanent negative impacts on the subject.

    <p>

    Ultimately, Fatali did so many things wrong in this incident that I
    don't believe that he will have an easy time gaining back the trust of
    the publishers and other people in environmental circles.

    <p>

    I, for one had considered going to an extended workshop with him
    because he is an ultra large format shooter that works in general
    subjects that I am intrested in (the southwest, canyon country, but
    please, not Antelope Canyon!). But no more, because I cannot think
    about supporting a photographer who is capable of such destructive and
    contradictory behavior.

    <p>

    His actions seem to be as reckless as those of Art Wolfe, but clearly
    in a more destruction manner. Where Wolfe lied to the viewer and
    betrayed their trust, Fataly has 'violated' the subject, and has
    shown that he cannot be trusted as a voice of reasonable
    environmentalism among the photographic industry. All for the sake of
    the shot, what a shame.
     
  33. I'm with Sergio - let's off all those people messing up our sight
    lines.
     
  34. BRAVO Michael!!
     
  35. Just a quick reminder to people that what Fatali did, though
    unconscionable, is a violation of our aesthetic values, which rather
    pales in comparison with what is not only occurring but actually
    condoned on millions and millions of acres of public landscape every
    day. For example, livestock grazing on public lands does an
    astonishing amount of damage, much of it permanent (for example the
    extinction of native fish species due to stream trampling and the
    destruction of streamside vegetation), and all of it funded by the
    American taxpayer. There are other examples: logging and mining come
    to mind.

    <p>

    Those of us who are all sanctimonious about Fatali ought to engage in
    protection of all public landscapes, not just the pretty ones. (I'm
    not making any accusations here -- just being a bother.)
     
  36. Well you succeeded in being a bother. No logical comparision between
    what Fatali has done and what the farmers, ranchers, miners lawfully
    do with land they either own or lease for the operation of their
    lawful business pursuits supporting their families and providing
    jobs. You cannot make a comparision between what is now lawful and a
    premeditated act of distruction like Fatalis. You could however work
    to change the current laws and put all these others out of business.
    Of course that would cause mass starvation and an economic collapse.
    Other than that a perfect solution for our perfect world.
     
  37. Hi everyone,
    Just my 2 cents worth. I am an amateur large format photographer and
    have enjoyed several visits to the beautiful spots in our west. I
    have my techique down pretty well as well as my own vision. I
    photograph because I love to do so. If I don't always get a
    masterpiece or a keeper and that's OK.
    I think the episode in question is in keeping with the attitude I
    frequently come across back here in the East. "I can do anything I
    want as long as I don't get caught and besides I'm the only one on
    the road, in the park, on the planet etc." This is by no means
    restricted to photographers.
    Somewhere along the line many people seem never to have learned to
    respect the people or places around them. They don't get it- we are
    guests on this planet for limited period of time. We don't own the
    place. Let's all act like mature & responsible guests whose host
    would be delighted to welcome us for another visit.
    Eric Lohse
     
  38. I wrote to _Frends of Arizona Highways_ to ask for information on the
    incident. This is what they sent to me. I have recieved permission
    from _Frends..._ to post the press release in the forum.

    <p>

    ______________________________________________________________________

    <p>

    Jason:
    Barbara Kramer Hornor, Director for the Friends of Arizona Highways
    forwarded me your e-mail.
    I have attached the Press Release that Arizona Highways has
    released to
    the media hoping that this will address your questions and concerns.
    If you cannot open the attachment, please let me know and I can
    fax or
    mail you a hardcopy. However, if you have specific questions
    regarding the
    incident please address them to Win Holden, the publisher of Arizona
    Highways.
    Sincerely,
    Catherine Coughlin
    Arizona Highways (www.arizonahighways.com)
    Public Information Officer
    2039 West Lewis Ave.
    Phoenix, AZ 85009
    ccoughlin@dot.state.az.us
    602-712-2020
    ______________________________________________________________________

    <p>

    ATTACHMENT:

    <p>

    MEDIA ALERT * * * MEDIA ALERT * * * MEDIA ALERT * * * MEDIA ALERT

    <p>

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    <p>


    For further information contact:
    Arizona Highways Publisher, Win Holden

    Office:
    602-712-2023


    <p>


    PHOENIX, ARIZ. (OCTOBER 23, 2000) - -

    <p>

    Michael Fatali, who is under investigation for setting fires that
    scarred
    an arch in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks near Moab, Utah, on
    September 18, has been suspended for one year from conducting photo
    workshops for the Friends of Arizona Highways, a nonprofit support
    group of
    the magazine.

    <p>

    In addition, said Arizona Highways Publisher Win Holden, Fatali's
    posters of
    slot canyons have been removed from the magazine's gift shop. "We are
    exceedingly disappointed in Fatali's completely careless action.
    Arizona
    Highways always has been a powerful voice for protection of the
    environment
    and preservation of our natural landscapes."

    <p>

    Fatali set the fires in small aluminum pans to light Delicate Arch
    during an
    unauthorized nighttime photo session while conducting a workshop
    sponsored
    by the Friends of Arizona Highways. The magazine itself was not
    involved in
    the workshops.

    <p>

    "This was a totally unsanctioned activity by Fatali," said Barbara
    Hornor,
    executive director of the Friends. "We obtained permits to go into
    the park
    to photograph as part of an 11-day photo workshop through northern
    Arizona
    and southern Utah national parks and other scenic locations. We did
    not know
    he planned on setting fires. The permits specifically prohibit the
    use of
    fires."

    <p>

    The Friends have conducted photo workshops in Arizona and surrounding
    areas
    for 16 years, Hornor said, and nothing like this has ever
    occurred. "We have
    always worked to promote appreciation of the environment, and this
    incident
    is offensive to us."

    <p>


    -30-
     
  39. I have been very sad reading what happened to Michael and also seing how little sympathy he got from the
    photographic community through this test. From the little I knew about him, I could not think he had done this
    arm willfully. There is now a page of explanations on his website from which I picked a few words and I invite
    each one to read the full story from his point de vue. Thanks. Paul

    <p>


    My view on the mishap at Delicate Arch by
    firelight

    <p>


    Dear Friends,

    <p>

    I know that many people have been disappointed and upset over what
    they have heard about the fires set near Delicate Arch during the
    Friends
    of Arizona Highways photo-workshop on the evening of September 18,
    2000. The state landmark of Delicate Arch is loved by many and I
    understand the natural instinct for protecting this wonder.

    <p>

    I am extremely remorseful about the incident ever taking place. If I could
    turn back time I would have never conducted that evening photo session.
    In taking responsibility for my part of this mishap, I plan to make
    proposals
    of various solutions that will benefit the future of all public lands and thus
    bring resolution to all parties involved. This whole incident quickly
    spiraled
    into a chaotic interpretation of the facts. However, it's time to share
    what
    has happened and put the spreading rumors to rest.

    <p>


    Please go to http://www.fatali.com/mishap.html

    <p>

    for the entire text.
     
  40. Paul,

    <p>

    that url leads nowhere. And whatever Mike has to say on the subject
    pales in comparison to how he tried (in his explanation in another
    part of photo.net) to lay the cross on the Friends of Arizona
    Highways rep who held the permit for the class. Mike claimed that he
    did not see the permit, perhaps implying that he had Carte Blanche(!)
    in our national parks.

    <p>

    On another point, the incident has led admirers of his photography to
    wonder where else he has manipulated the light with fire, etc. They
    have specifically questioned the light source in photographs which
    include Ring of Fire [http://www.fatali.com/gallery/folio2/cv6.html ]
    and Flaming Arch [http://www.fatali.com/gallery/folio5/sc3.html ] I
    have gone to both places and know that Velvia is totally capable of
    giving the light found in those photographs without any augmentation
    whatsoever. You will find photos of the former at
    http://www.angelfire.com/nv/wongnumber/pict923.html which I took and
    of the latter at http://www.tonysgallery.com (taken by Tony Kuyper).
    Unfortunately for Fatali, few will anymore believe his claim of "only
    natural light" and "no filters" due to his lack of judgment at
    Delicate Arch. I don't think Mike did much artificial lighting
    before then, but he did have a rather clever darkroom magician for
    many images. Springdale gallery may still have a Fujix print on
    display, so there goes the "no digital" claim, too.

    <p>

    If Mike had used his photographic brain he would have remembered that
    the intensity of light from star trails would not have registered on
    a light meter. Now, comparing that to the light from a Duraflame log-
    -well, you get the picture. Star trails and Delicate Arch calls for
    several weak battery operated camp lanterns/gelled electr flash and
    some polaroids! Add that to his flagrant disregard for the "no fires
    outside of campground firepit" regulation and the OOPS gets bigger.
    Beyond what the Feds will charge him with, he has brought upon
    himself the disrespect of a great number of nature photographers as
    well as buyers of his art.

    <p>

    On the lighter side, perhaps Mike would accept as penance the task of
    altering every Utah license plate to match the damage done,
    irrespective of the speed of the vehicles bearing the plate?
     
  41. The best thing about Delicate Arch is that you can actually walk right
    up to it, sit & stand under it, marvel at it upclose, & photograph it
    without any fence-like barriers around it. My fear is that Fatali's
    goofy action will be the catalyst for removing unfettered access to
    the arch, like what happened with Landscape Arch & other natural
    landmarks. Walking to a barrier-free Delicate Arch is always the
    highlight of any trip to Moab & I'll be really pissed if Fatali's
    folly ruins that experience for me & my family.
     
  42. Well I see Mr. Fatali has made it to the cover of View Camera
    3/4/01. No mention of this incident in the article....
     
  43. Wow! It's a wonder he didn't burn the whole thing down! Let's get a
    rope and throw it over the arch...
     

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