Final Chapter

In the Fall of 2011, we started this little blog with the goal of sharing what photography has meant to me as I battle chronic pain associated with a failed back and psoriatic arthritis that has camped out in as many as 43 of my joints.PhotoremedyBlogBkgrndPhoto

I wanted to share that the creative pleasure, and frequent thrill, associated with photography and photo-based digital arts has been a near inconceivable tool for helping me to move my mind and focus away from the pain. My overriding goal has been for to help those in comparable circumstances. Who doesn’t want to help others climbing similar mountains?

Hero Duck 3fapj (1 of 1)Along my blogging way, I have found that I also enjoy sharing my art with others.

Unfortunately, 2015 was a rough year for my pain levels and the medical procedures and testing have temporarily wore me down a bit. Compounding this, I’ve found that typing and editing posts like this are particularly brutal for my cervical and lumbar areas. As a result, I’m changing things up. I’m going to keep taking and developing (what I hope are) interesting photos, but this will be –for now– the final official chapter for As this effort winds down, I’m happy to report that a new pursuit begins.Home Page Photoj

My Grandpa Dude will be an electronic gallery of sorts for both my new and classic photography-based art efforts. I’m not planning on doing any of the writing that has caused me –and probably more than a few readers– excessive pain. It’s simply designed to be a creative outlet, while serving as an example of where the pursuit of photoremedy might lead others. Where does the name come from? Check out my full explanation at Here’s a short bit of it:About photo

While My Grandpa Dude will consume more of my time, I plan on working with WordPress to hopefully change the current site from one that begins with the “Blog Background and Initial Post” and follows with posts in the order they were created. I hope to make it read more like a book, while continuing to make it a resource for people looking for new ways to win their own battles with health challenges. And, hopefully, it will help communicate (in a small way) that people can gain new abilities as previous attributes fade away. has been incredibly enjoyable for me. Thank you to all of my awesome family Greg1jmembers who have helped bring life to this blog and thank you to all who have encouraged me in my blogging and even suggested I had something valuable to share. God bless you; I hope to see you regularly on!

– Greg (a.k.a. Grandpa Dude)

Happy New Year – And The Winner Is…

Special thanks to all who participated in our 2015 Photoremedy Image of the Year Poll. As always, we had a lot of fun with it and we recorded the second highest number of votes in the five year history of the contest. As the contest rolled on, two images jumped out to an early lead and frequently jockeyed for the lead.

In the end, the Fall City fall foliage image pulled away from Houmas House plantation and recorded the win. In a Facebook comment, one of my Arizona friends may have best explained why Fall City eventually recorded over 35-percent of the vote. Matt said, “These are both outstanding! The bottom one (Fall City) is prettier to me but the top one (Houmas) is more mysterious.”

Fall City, WA - 2015 Image of the Year

Fall City, WA – 2015 Image of the Year

I’d like to give the incredibly humble photographer all of the credit for this image, but the truth of the matter is I happened to be in Fall City on the perfect fall day. I guess this proves, once again, how important timing and the recognition of beauty are in stimulating the process of taking (and making) great images.

Here’s to making 2016 the best year of our lives. May all of us recognize what is beautiful in our lives and may we make the most of what our good and gracious Lord provides. Cheers!

Photoremedy is primarily based on the role that photography has played in helping me combat ongoing chronic pain issues that stem from my degenerative cervical and lumbar spine challenges and severe psoriatic arthritis. It is designed to encourage others fighting chronic pain (and other illnesses) to consider pursuing the benefits associated with moving their minds from the pain in their lives to the beauty that surrounds them. It’s important to note that many of the photos I take and develop frequently blur the lines between traditional art and contemporary photography, much as art therapy often blurs the lines between traditional and alternative forms of medicine.

2015 Image of the Year Poll – Vote Now!

Images and article by Greg W. Gilstrap.  With the New Year just around the corner, it’s once again time for our (fifth) annual Photoremedy Image of the Year contest. We call it an ‘image’ contest because each of the finalists are either 1) a photograph, or 2) a photography-based digital art image. The list if heavily influenced by a few of the areas where I’ve been fortunate enough to visit this year- Louisiana, Arizona’s Verde Valley, and the Seattle area.

2014 Image of the Year Finalists

2014 Image of the Year Finalists

As always, we are offering what we like to refer to–tongue in cheek–as a Chicago-style approach to voting.  This means you can vote early and often. If you love a finalist, follow the poll’s progress and don’t be afraid to share it with your friends. Better yet, don’t hesitate to come back to register extra votes for good measure. Because multiple votes are allowed by individuals, this is more of a passion poll than a scientific sample. Last year’s contest drew more than 3,000 votes – essentially tripling the previous record of around 1,000.

The 2016 poll is featured at the bottom of this post. Click on an individual image below to view images, captions, and locations in slide show mode.

As mentioned above, the 2015 images include traditional photographs and some that feature significant digital art enhancements. Like many, I enjoy both forms of artistic expression. All of these pieces were captured and developed while pursuing photoremedy–or photography-based healing art–as a means of coping with my ongoing chronic pain struggles and failed back issues. For more information about photoremedy, please click on the ‘Background and Initial Post’ tab (near the top of this page) for our working ‘photoremedy’ definition. Our poll follows – please select the image that you feel is worthy of being crowned Photoremedy Image of the Year. The contest closes at midnight MST, New Year’s Eve.


Farewell Seattle?

Lake Union - Seattle, Washington

Lake Union – Seattle, Washington

Over the past couple of years, Mary and I fell in love with the Seattle area. Our youngest son, Will, was there to complete his studies at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE). We were fortunate enough to visit him several times, and always took advantage of the opportunity while in the Seattle area to squeeze in ample amounts of photoremedy.

Will has now graduated and is back in Arizona and scheduled to open the doors to his new career in January.GarageDoors1jFeatured below are some of the Seattle area–photography and digital art–I’ve played around with this year.

Lake Union Area

Volunteer Park

Seattle Flowers (most are from the spectacular Volunteer Park Conservatory)

St. James Cathedral

Seattle Dining (photos from one of our favorites – Pasta Freska)

Fall City, Washington

Rural Washington

We don’t have any Seattle or Washington trips planned for the near future. I have a feeling, however, that it won’t be long before the seductive landscape, cerulean waters, unique dining, and magical fall forests call us back. And–yes–I’ll bring my camera!

Seattle Neighborhood

Seattle Neighborhood

Quail Ridge

The last RV park featured in our summer Verde Valley (area) series is, ironically, the first place Mary and I stayed with an RV. Quail Ridge–located near Dewey, AZ–promotes itself as ‘A beautiful, friendly and clean park – always 10-20 degrees cooler than Phoenix.’

It is good to note we concluded Quail Ridge believes in truth in marketing. Not only was it beautiful and clean, the park operators recognized we were ‘newbies’ and spent considerable time helping us to set everything up correctly. From Quail Ridge, we could visit all of the other destinations and attractions featured in this series. It is more closely located to Prescott than the others; we made a rainy day trip there to visit the highly regarded Thumb Butte Distillery.

Visiting area farms and farmers markets is another awesome Verde Valley day trip option for those staying at Quail Ridge and other nearby RV parks. Mary and I were particularly fond of the sweet corn.

Verde Valley, Arizona

Verde Valley, Arizona

One of our most pleasant surprises was Montezuma’s Well – featuring the well, historic ruins, springs, and beautiful walking trails. The well is often overshadowed by Montezuma’s Castle, but it is an equally breathtaking destination attraction.

We have lived in Arizona since 1993, yet we somehow managed to miss visiting many of the attractions and colorful locations featured in this series. I guess that proves there’s just as many reasons to going exploring (and pursuing photoremedy) near where you live as there are when on a vacation that takes you miles away from home.