Although this shot was taken in the same location as the “Calm Before the Storm” a shot that is horizontal, this one has a very different feel to it.
One of my artist friends, Brian Kershisnik, teaches that in your art you don’t try to force symbols; you let them emerge from what you have done. There is so much that emerges from this shot for me.
This photograph was taken at the half-way-point between Nauvoo and Carthage. This is the Martyrdom Trail. Joseph and Hyrum rode on this very dirt path.
The skies were so spectacular on this morning and the rich colors of the weeds and the soil seemed to bring heaven and earth together. I set the aperture on this shot to F22 and set the focus to bring the foreground and most of the extended photograph to be in sharp focus. But the infinity become just a little soft with that setting—not able to be seen perfectly clear.****
Joseph and Hyrum were on their way to what their enemies said was the only safe place in Hancock County: The Carthage Jail. The days to follow would be filled with correspondence and preparation for the coming trial on Saturday, June 29, 1844. They would never make it to that trial. They both would be shot and killed by a ruthless mob at 5:16 PM on Thursday, June 27.
As John Taylor wrote of Joseph and his brother Hyrum: '[Joseph] lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!'
These moments on the trail together, even this very spot, were some of the last these brothers would see outside the jail together.