About the Book
A stunning book of retro, mind-bending photography that unlocks a hidden world of natural wonder, personal reflection and outdoor adventure.
More than 40 years ago, British Columbia photographer Art Twomey stumbled across a narrow crack in the desert floor in northern Arizona. It was a slot canyon, a stone crevasse – narrow, carved by water, its interior lost in shadow when seen by a curious person peering in from the rim.
Twomey’s photos from that day were unlike anything he had ever put on emulsion. They pictured a dream world, an intricate underground fantasy where lines bent, topsy met turvy, upside was down, inside was out. The images made as much sense backwards as forwards, which is to say they made no sense at all.
For over a decade, Twomey, Morrow and Schmidt spent spring and fall seasons hauling their cameras through the wildest, most intricately carved slot canyons they could find. At the time, slots were virtually unknown, their exquisite beauties not yet appreciated. There were no guidebooks, no guided tours, no high-resolution satellite images to work from. A big part of the pleasure was a sense of discovery, of finding places no one knew.
“In…a stunning new book, adventurers reflect on four decades of discovery – and friendship – in the American desert southwest.”
– Mountain Life Annual
“Searching for Tao Canyon chronicles in razor-sharp Kodachrome film and text a decade’s worth of exploration in the subterranean world of the American desert, long before it was Instagrammed to death.”
– Gripped Magazine
“Impossible to put this page-turner of a book down. Each lavish image is a portal into the mysterious and overlooked secrets of rocks, rivers, weather, and wildness.”
– Ormsby Review
“This book is, in a word, stunning. It’s also thought provoking, inspiring and downright groovy.”
– ACC Gazette
“The book is, in part, a dedication to those canyons lost to man-made interference, to Art Twomey who clearly loved them so dearly, to the local Navajo people and to the true beauty of the slot canyons that can only be captured with patience, respect and years of visitation – what you might call the search for Tao.” – Explorers Web
“[Searching for Tao Canyon] is far from a guide book; rather, it is an inspiring tale of three men driven by the thrill of finding places no-one knew.” – Outdoor Photography UK
“…a thought-provoking, inspiring, touching and downright spectacular tribute. ”
– Rocky Mountain Outlook
“Engaging with a historic kinship between photography and wilderness conservation, Tao Canyon’s narrative points to the fine balance between raising environmental awareness and attracting greater numbers of tourists to remote destinations.” – BC Studies
“Searching for Tao Canyon imparts a poignant message that may be applied well beyond the scope of slot canyons. Morrow, Schmidt, and Twomey’s text and remarkable photographs question the ethics of visualizing fragile landscapes, and give us pause to consider terrain threatened by climate change, increased population density, the extractive industry, and our desire to get off the beaten track.” – BC Studies