Looking for Photographs

January 25, 2014
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I want to spend my life looking for photographs. I go running for them. I enjoy running and I want to stay in shape, but I really do it for the photographs. I find them, and then I wait for the weather.
When I was in Las Vegas, I went into a Peter Lik gallery. One of my favorites showed beams of light falling into a narrow gorge covered in moss. It was called “Allure.” A woman who worked there, although I couldn’t say exactly what she did, told me that Lik had returned to that same spot several times until he got a shot that felt right, one with the right lighting and such. Photography is all about lighting, and outside, in nature, lighting depends on weather.
So I wait. I try to look at the sky at least a few times per day. One never knows when something special is going to happen. I look at the clouds, the position of the sun, the colors. I check the weather to see when it might rain or snow or be foggy. Each condition can make the same place look completely different. An ordinary spread of trees can change to extraordinary in just a few minutes with the setting sun or a patch of fog. My window of opportunity is often slim. School and other necessary engagements are often nuisances.
Finally, when it seems like the weather is where it needs to be, I go and get my photograph. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, I never cease to be amazed. I never skew photographs out of proportion or reality, because it would feel like cheating, but I do make the slightest corrections to make the result look as close to how I saw it in real life as possible: cameras aren’t perfect. In the end, what I see is a beautiful, unpolluted slice of the world as it once was.
In the suburbs of Atlanta.
Back to Las Vegas: I didn’t go there to gamble. The only reason I was there at all results from the fact that it has an international airport. I went there to look for photographs. Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion. Epitomes of the American Southwest and the awe-inspiring powers of Mother Nature. And it was beautiful. But yet, I only ended up with pedestrian photographic proof: I was on a schedule, and I couldn’t wait for the weather to cooperate.
However, what I felt made up for it. The whole time, my very being was in touch with my surroundings; we were marching to the beat of the same drum. The passion I felt for the landscape around me was more intense than ever before.
That was when I realized something. If I could find photographs in an area cluttered with roads and residences, then I surely could do even better in a place famous for its beauty that had already become a part of me. Looking for photographs there was easy. I just needed time to wait on the weather.
So now I am waiting for the opportunity to enlarge my range of looking. I spend as much time as possible in little river valleys on foggy mornings and watching sunsets in abandoned open fields. But it is not enough. There are so many more places I need to look, and it is all calling me. It is a part of me.
It is a part of me, and where it goes, I need to go. If it dies, I will die, and the human race is currently in the process of killing it. But until its dying breath, I will fight for it, and until it is gone, I will always want to be a part of it, just running, waiting on the weather, and looking for photographs.
Running, waiting on the weather, and looking for photographs.
Waiting. . .

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