We began our hike up to Hidden Falls on the third day of the trip. We took our time, since the forecast showed cloudy skies and light rain all day. We suited up in rain gear and headed out. The boys all had proper rain attire, while I was walking around with a bright yellow poncho with my Blackhawks hat holding the hood on my head. I owned it.
The hike up was pleasant. The rain wasn’t bad, and it only got lighter as we continued our hike. We made a small pit stop at a bend looking on to a waterfall, and to this day I wish I got a photograph of it. I did get one on my iPhone, but that doesn’t really count.
The rest of the hike was filled with Alex telling us that it was just around the corner. Now, Alex is a wonderful human being, but he has no sense of distance. That became a running joke through the rest of the trip.
We made a pit stop on what was apparently not part of the trail. How would we have known, since other people were hiking on it in front of us, but also there being compressed snow making a trail?
We used that moment to call our parents. One of the few locations in the park outside of Jackson that had cell reception. I Facetimed my parents, who were relaxing on that Sunday morning, and I showed them where I was standing. Hundreds of feet above the lake we were camping at. We couldn’t see the peaks above us, but the sight was still unbelievable.
We finally reached what we think was Inspiration point (there are so many Inspiration Points in American national parks, it’s ridiculous). I shot a few photographs, including a panorama that will be the next One That Didn’t Make It. This particular image of pines was one that was close but no cigar.
The orange pines set against the surrounding green pines caught my eye. My tripod was already prepared, I only had to rotate my camera ninety degrees to set up this composition. I loved the contrast between the orange and green. A classic woodland idea.
Then why did this photograph not make it?
There’s so much background distraction. The snow on the mountainside behind the trees takes the eye away from the focus, being the orange pine. There really isn’t much I could have done about that. No matter where I stood, the white in the background was cutting through too much.
This was a perfect example of a photograph that shouldn’t have been taken. While I was in the field, I didn’t consider the visual distraction of the background, even though the composition was well thought-out.
The lesson I learned from this image was one that I had previously learned from other images.
Not every scene needs to be photographed. If you look around and try different views of your subject and it just doesn’t work, then maybe that image isn’t meant to be.