Years ago, during high school, I had a teacher who continues to influence my life today. During English class he would often suggest that the only question needing to be answered in our work, or our lives, was “why”. In photography the process of creating an image means first answering the questions of why as well. Why that place. Why that moment. Why that setting. Why that time. Why that lens. Why any discomfort. Why that post-production. My own photography, and what I try to share with others while teaching, is all about the why.
I had never been to the Grand Tetons but, I had certainly seen many inspiring images of the landscape. Beautiful photographs, both current and past, made me daydream about creating my own iconic image of the fabled west. I envisioned dramatic skies above the distinctive mountainous terrain rendered in black and white. It was meant to be my Ansel Adams moment. A dream is nothing if you do not work to make it come true.
It was painful to get out of my warm bed at 3am after only a few hours of sleep. It was frustrating to load the truck with gear, quietly, through half open eyes. It was annoying to drive over an hour in the dark to ensure being the first group on location for the prime spots. It was uncomfortable to stand in the cold mountain air while impatiently waiting another hour for a sunrise that would, hopefully, make the morning memorable. Everyone was muttering and questioning why are we here, why were we up so early, why this and why that. I was tired enough to mutter as well. Then, the sky began to fill with light and every why was answered.
Photograph What You Feel
Fujinon 18-55 f4 lens
EXP: 1/1000 second
Shot in color and processed in LR6 and Silver Efex Pro 2