There are times in your life which you look back on as having become seminal points in your personal history. Not that you’re immediately aware of the fact. … but sometimes you are… A trip to the state of Wyoming 2+ years ago was one such point for me. Because I knew going in that it had the potential to be a bit of a turning point. I went with expectation of finding dark skies and attempting to photograph stars. So far, so good… mission tenuously accomplished. What I also found was a previously unknown fearlessness, concerning landscape photography. Up until that point, I lacked the courage to shoot landscapes, having been under the spell of, and intimidated by, the great photographers of our collective past. Great, iconic images of the American West had been a large part of what set me down this path in the first place. And then very fine images by people I had the privilege to know, and whose work I admired. But upon landing in Wyoming, the fear …
… to see what – if anything – I may have picked up from all the tutorial videos out there… Yeah… If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say “… not as much as I’d hoped…”
In one respect, it’s just about the absolutely perfectly wrong time of the year to celebrate Ansel Adams. We’re about as equally removed from the anniversary of his birth, as from his death. In all other respects, it’s never the wrong time to celebrate such a pivotal visual artist and conservationist in the history of our nation. It’s no secret around this blog that I venerate Adams, and his work.
For years, I’ve been wandering out at night, looking up at the sky – weather permitting. Sometimes I’ll even venture out with camera gear packed; ready to do battle with that evil monster known as the Light Pollution Dragon, native to these eastern U.S. shores… Alas, equipped as I am, I am untutored in the finer points of battle with such a pervasive beast. All too frequently I return, having once again failed in my quest for the elusive picture that one can stare at for days – gazing back at a universe that’s been all too free to gaze at us first.