...when solitude, season, and sky, all come together in the right place and time, when I am in the right frame of mind. This instance was certainly not of my choosing. I was witness to a solitary moment of allure and loveliness and mindful enough to appreciate it.
(One could argue that the only real variable in all this is when I am observant enough to see the beautiful unity of a scene. There is an infinite number of remarkable scenes that I do not appreciated, even when I am in the right frame of mind to see it.)
I could never have planned this time as I did not even know it existed before this particular evening. That's the problem with nature. You just don't know until you show up.
There are times when location and light combine to become a sacred moment of experience and inspiration. It becomes a juncture when inspiration combines with my photographic experience to begin the first steps in creating what I see before me into a tangible fine art print. That is the ultimate goal of my work.
This evening's photo shoot was at a place called Muley Point. I was on a workshop with Alain and Natalie Briot.
Muley Point is a high overlook with views stretching miles towards distant, well-known vistas. Facing south, one could see the edge of Cedar Mesa in Utah, the jagged spires of Monument Valley, and the majestic Navajo Mountain. To the far left stretched the long line of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.
It was spring. Spring in the Southwest is painfully short-lived. Desert plants were blooming with vibrant, intense colors not often seen in this type of landscape. It was a magnificent opportunity to compose images with the those vividly-hued plants in the foreground and Monument Valley in the background. Monument Valley would be the same next week, but the plants would not
I was here at the right time of the day and during the right season. Slow moving clouds allowed the sun to shed intermittent bands of light across the wide-open expanse. There was always one sliver of land brightly lit while land surrounding was cast in shadow.
It is sometimes hard to know what to do with experiences like this. Something in me just wanted to sit on the edge of the great cliff in front of me and savor the moment as the day progressed towards night. Another part wanted to bring back these moments of beauty in a tangible form. Since I had all my camera gear, and it was on a workshop, the latter part won out.
It is rare for me to have more than one good image from a photo shoot. This time I had multiple ones that make up part of a marvelous collection. I chose the artistic concept of near-far compositions for these images. In artistic language I chose to say, “what is at my feet is as important as what is in the background.”
The experience of capturing blossoming desert plants right in front of me, which contrasted with the far-off vistas from Muley Point, remains a much-cherished experience in my artistic pursuits.