Warm Creek Ranch House

I demanded an immediate “stop here” as we almost drove by this cafe. Dixie Evans owns Warm Creek Ranch House in Fayette, Utah. She says “My mother and father were second cousins. I am terribly against polygamy. Viciously against. I have had to live with the aftermath for all my years”.

Dixie holds up a family portrait as her sons Justin and Derek hang back. Dixie and her family are Mormons yet support Obama rather than Romney perhaps because they totally support the large Mexican immigrant population who help run their ranch. “We could not run our business without them”.

27 Responses to “Warm Creek Ranch House”


  • I just wish you’d not have to rush… looks like a great place for pictures with nice people!

  • O.K. I’m lost. Is there a thread to post general comments and links anymore? Too many specific threads, nothing general.

    Completely off topic, if anyone is interested, but there is a good essay over at VII. Not my usual style, but the photographer pulled it off well.

    http://www.viistories.com/the-videos/the-veil.aspx

  • Wow, Jim’s link, that’s some incredible work from Laura. Saturated colors, much of it out of focus, impressionistic, and Jim likes it. Powerful stuff.

  • And Harvey’s shot with the mirror in the background illustrates the most useful rule of physics for shooting pool and keeping yourself out of reflective surfaces: The Angle of Incidence Equals the Angle of Reflection! Useful for bounce flash, too. ;)

  • mw, I think her essay is great because her technique absolutely fit her intention. I “got it” immediately.

  • Regarding the mirror, the way I studied it was called the “family of angles.”

    http://www.digitalphotopro.com/gear/lighting/master-the-family-of-angles.html

    I wonder if David learned it that way, the hard way, or if it’s just intuitive.

  • Also, regarding Laura’s essay at VII and recent ones here, it looks like Vimeo is becoming the preferred method of presenting photo essays. Not my favorite way to view them, but I get how it cuts down on much of the hassle of presenting them across a wide variety of devices.

  • Jim:

    Thanks for posting the link. Viewing the essay was a little uncomfortable for me, as it seemed too many of the images were cropped, and too many of the cropped images were cropped too much. It is as if Laura had to force-fit her images with her point of departure for the essay idea. I don’t want to debate the personal choice of the photographer when it comes to cropping; I’m quite comfortable with their own needs and desires for stylized statements. But by selecting so tightly, the editorial content goes beyond objective intimacy, towards subjective bias, and leaves me wanting. I become suspicious of the integrity of the intentions.

    It sure would be great to understand Scott Thode’s editing approach here. As managing director for VII, I wonder if this was a wise thing for him to have done?

  • I think the problem is they were cropped to fit the HD format of the video. I would have added a Ken Burns effect to them, to start out or end up with the 16:9 crop. I agree with you.

  • DAVID,

    Now I know why you never saw Hiway 50 yesterday… you turned off I-15 onto US 28 before you got there… I guess it’s a good thing you did, otherwise you’d never have found Warm Creek Ranch. I’m also glad to see this cafe still in operation. So many of these family-run roadside cafes in the rural inland West have disappeared in the last two decades… back in the 70s they were everywhere, and were the backbone of local community and culture. Stopping in them along the way and sharing in the banter was part of what made travel in the region so special.

    Otherwise, this thread has been completely hijacked by talk about Laura El Tanatawy’s Veil essay which is certainly stunning and worthy of attention. I thank Jim for the link, but when he suggests using the ‘Ken Burns effect’ on these pictures, I know we live on two different planets. The ‘Ken Burns effect’ is total anathema to me… nothing reduces my enjoyment of photos or my respect for the photographer faster than the ‘Ken Burns effect.’ I can’t even say the words without grimacing.

  • Interesting. Fayette, Utah, current population 200, was named by LDS church apostle Orson Hyde in the 19th century. Hyde (no relation as far as I know) had seven wives. I’ve never understood polygamy. I mean, my god, isn’t one wife more than enough?

    But I’ll let Akaky discuss that further.

  • Geographically, Fayette is nearly dead center within the state of Utah.

  • EVA

    well, the nature of trip is not the same as hanging out to do a story on a ranch in Utah which would of course be potentially a great story in and of itself….i took good notes and we have good interview and good video..you are only seeing a part…in my experience sometimes you get certain things really fast that never happen again…not always does hanging around longer do any good….sometimes yes, sometimes no…

  • Ah, David.. yeah.. not what I mean.. just going slower, not staying in one place longer than you must, but stopping whenever you feel like without having to watch the clock/calendar.. seems to me since you were trying to get out of Cali you are pressed by time..

    Looking forward to see what you got.. whenever you got it :)

  • I do need to clarify something here. I am not the Managing Director of VII. I am the Editor of the magazine and do it on a freelance basis.

  • I fear I have nothing to say on the practice of polygamy, other than to point out that sadomasochism takes many forms and I assume that this is one of them. I am probably the wrong person to consult on this matter anyway; an unmarried man whose idea of sensual excess is a large chocolate chip cookie with organic walnuts (I spit the walnuts out, as I do not like walnuts whether they’re organic or not)is not the right person to ask about being wifed, or in this case, being wived.

  • David, are these Leica photos? Just wondering, noting low saturation and a blue bias to the white balance. Is that deliberate?

    Damn, I just adore the portrait the woman is holding.

  • EVA

    not pressed for time at all, EXCEPT to get to my mother’s 93rd birthday…that was today, and i got there…besides that, no deadlines or expectations of any kind….

  • JIM POWERS

    hmmmm..scratching my bald head…..Laura El Tantawy has been published on Burn several times and was an EPF finalist two years ago…with this same style…i am really surprised , but pleased, you like her this time…you never liked her style here before …no matter, you are quite right, she definitely pulled this off…i always thought Laura had a special flair…

  • Thanks for the clarification Scott, and my apologies for the mix-up.

    Eva, thanks for the link to Laura’s stills. On sober second thought, it now appears to me that she was using a telephoto for those images I felt were cropped. The use of long lenses is an uncommon practise among the essayists I see here, so I can see how I may have been too quick to assume the unfamiliar depth-of-field was a result of cropping.

    Using a longer lens to compress an image actually works very well for this subject. When the shutter speed is slowed down, the combination of compression and the flattening of the image plane gives me a feel for the different view of life as it is seen and filtered through a veil. All in all the technique adds mystery and an emotional charge to the story.

    Sorry Jim, I have no idea what the “Ken Burns” effect is! :)

  • Jeff… here’s a video of her shooting, you can see she uses a zoom lens, not that long, but on a non full frame camera (don’t know what camera she uses tho) it becomes longer:

  • David, I really have no agenda and look at each essay as a different work. Her approach was right on for the subject she was depicting in the VII essay.

  • It appears to me she’s evolved her style to a different level with those photos.

  • mw… not sure it is a question of style, but more a question of project and what works within this specific one.. “The Veil” is not a new, I’d say pretty close to the time the video was made..from what I know Laura has been working on this for quite some time, for sure prior to some of the work published on Burn, online and in print..

  • Style is ultimately a lot more than capture. I’m guessing most of us have revisited older work with new insights into the developing process and achieved different and better results. Not saying she has done that here or that you’re not correct that this does not represent a an evolution of her style since the photos from Tahrir Square that I’m familiar with, as you have no doubt followed her work much more closely than I. Just made me wonder.

    And regardless, I think it’s excellent work and I like it very much.

  • GORDON

    these are right out of the camera GX1 photos…

    JIM

    i believe you

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