Wednesday, January 16, 2013

This Photo

As the new year begins, I was on the road to wrap up my Winter album and thinking about my last year.  A year amongst years, photographically euphoric and full of adventure and personal growth. 
I'd summed it up with feeling incredibly grateful, full of anticipation for this new year ahead 

As a photographer, what one photo could I choose as one that stood out and why. 
Which photo was I the most proud of. I had hundreds of photos I'd rejected for this or that but which photo could I really say, I loved.

On a back road in Southern Utah,  I glanced out the passenger window of my SUV on my way to Bryce Canyon and turned around. Trying to find a place to pull over yet not get stuck in deep snow. As it turned out, I had to walk a fair distance and down a snowy embankment to get to this farm. From the road, I could see the wonderful layers of textures and colors the background provided. The field was almost perfect in it's whiteness and I loved that.  And the cows were just being cows.  A quaint scene. 

I gingerly maneuvered under a barbed-wire fence and waded knee deep in fresh snow and set up my camera and gear. It was 8F out, yet incredibly beautiful and poetically silent.  I stood and watched the scene, isolating 3 cows that I felt made good composition in one shot. Looking around for other shots, I thought I'd seen a river ahead. 

When all of the sudden, the cows formed a single line and walked across my scene.  It was strange and yet so beautiful and moving to me. It was the sheer realization that life was happening right in front of me. This beautiful scene, this magnificent landscape, this moving animated work of art was in reality,
 just life

There I was, a humbled witness. 
It had to it a sense of synchronicity and perfectness almost as though it had been choreographed. It was strangely devoid of noise. Eventually they moved out of my shot and I packed up and left.

Days later and back in Arizona. I was working on my computer,
 starting the enormous  task of editing five days and two National Parks worth of images. 
When I pulled up this shot again in my editing software and saw it on my screen
it immediately took me back to that snowy field...
and I was so moved by it, I had tears sitting at my computer. 
I'd never had one of my own photos 
touch me so deeply. 

This photo.
Brings a life around in full circle. 
Precarious beginnings then working through it all.
Days that just added days to years that just added to more years. 
The process of self discovery.
Then one day, finding yourself in the middle of snowy farm on a little back road 
in Southern Utah 
with a brilliant landscape background, silent and white. 
Standing in the snow with a bunch of cows and being so 
completely in love with all of it.

This photo, I love.