My only memory of the Great Salt Lake is when my mother bought me a big chunk of rock salt that I licked all the way back to Los Angeles on a summer road trip (a treat that would not be sanctioned these days). So I was happy to revisit the lake through Utah photographer, Michael Slade’s, interpretive images. These rich black and white prints are part of an extensive photographic survey of not only the Great Salt Lake, but the life and lifestyles that surround it.
“Utah’s Great Salt Lake is a magical place. By-and-large it is an under-appreciated resource of the residents of the state. I have been visiting it’s shores, islands and hidden places for nearly twenty years. I do not know exactly what it is that draws me there. I do know however that as my understanding of this complex resource grows, that I fall deeper under it’s trance. This photographic survey is teaching me just how intricate the lake and it’s surrounds really are. Commercial, recreational, artistic and ancient and modern human use have all left their mark. Each are a unique part of the lake’s history, and should be respected for their contributions to making the lake’s story uniquely rich. All who use the lake are in a delicate balance between exploitation and honorable stewardship.
It is the complexity of the lake’s system that I am attempting to capture. It is those stories that are hopefully conveyed in the images.”
Michael received his MFA from Utah State University, Logan, and is currently teaching photography at the high school and university level. He has had a career in commercial photography, was a co-founder of the Fogstock Stock Photography Agency, and has had numerous exhibitions around the country.