I come out of the forest trail and arrive at my destination, Mitchell Lake. It’s still pretty dark, but I probably don’t need my head lamp anymore. Mitchell Lake is at about 10700’ in altitude. Another 800’ is tree line and the landscape looks it. Most of the trees are pretty small and there are a lot of rocky areas.
The clouds in the sky begin to show a little color and I flip into action. I’m thinking about compositions and how to capture the bright sky, the dark trees and the reflections in this little creek in one exposure.
Most of the thoughts are about solving technical matters. I leave the art matters up to something else. There is a tremendous amount of awe in me as the sky picks up color. The little creek coming out of Mitchell Lake reflects those reds and golds beautifully. The little shrubbery around it is starting to turn autumn colors with patches of red everywhere.
I’m just one big WOW and I’m trying to make a photograph that expresses my awe, wonder and appreciation be here at this moment. Whether I’m successful will be determined later when I’m going through the images on my computer. I’m just doing my best just to capture it now.
Will I get images that will capture what I want? Will they just look like other sunrise mountain images? Will my exposures work to get the focus and detail I want without a lot of noise?
These questions will be answered later. I can only just be quiet, take it all in and make exposures.
I never know if I’ll be happy with what I’ve gotten till after I review them, but many times it will be days or weeks before I know if I’ve really gotten anything.
I just hope I learn from my mistakes and do better next time.
When I was young I remember asking my mother why this political candidate from the West wasn’t interested in preserving the beauty of their environment, while we, living in New York City wanted to preserve it. My mother answered that maybe because they live there, they take it for granted, while we who can only rarely visit it or see photographs of it appreciate it more.
When I’m up in the mountains, I’m still that visitor. I’m still a Brooklyn boy in the Rockies. I hope that never changes.