Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Use discipline, even if Elvis happens to walk by

I spent my early years of photography studying the work of Ansel Adams, as most serious Black and White photographers did.  There wasn't the internet at the time to research his images or the locations he photographed in. I would spend countless hours at the public library reading and learning all I could about his magical images and the foreign looking lands he made them in. I would sit and dream about such places and how one day I too would seek these places out for my own, and stand in the empty wilderness I had seen in his pictures. Death Valley Ca. is a place we have camped numerous times in recent years. We had always camped near Stovepipe Wells the far western area of the park to be near the sand dunes, but on our last trip we decide to stay near Furnace Creek to be more centrally located.  This image was made at Zabriskie Point, an area that I hadn't photographed at sunrise in our previous trips. I took off before dawn one morning with Ansel's image in my head. Thinking about being in the empty wilderness at first light just like I dreamt of doing so many years ago. I reached my destination and found I was not alone. There were photographers standing elbow to elbow across the horizon firing away with their motor drive cameras at the first signs of a sunrise in an empty sky. I stood in shock at the sight. I thought maybe I am missing something really big, like Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and Big Foot all walking together. I turned away and saw this image in the opposite direction. I put on a long zoom lens and made the image before this unique cloud formation vanished. I looked back over my shoulder as I was leaving and I could still hear the motor drive cameras burning away. I made one image that morning and it turned out to be the one had I dreamt about all those years before.

Ansel Adams   -
Death Valley    -
Zabriskie Point -

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