It’s been a year since the road trip…
I just graduated.
I’m a real person now.
And it’s no surprise I’m late to post again
Again, please, for the love of God, help me remember what springs I was at.
Continuing my search for intimate and intriguing subjects within the surreal landscape of Yellowstone, I had more almost-successes than anything. I was looking for classic landscape compositional tropes on the ground, within the pools, in the surrounding forest. I did succeed in some, which are published, but many fell short.
The day really was beautiful. One year ago, the guys and I were in the Tetons on one of the most beautiful days I have ever seen — fair clouds, no hotter than 70 degrees (F), and Shea and Alex almost dying on a potentially less-than-legal hike. I made a couple images that day, some of which didn’t make the final cut, and some of which did make the cut.
It’s always safe to assume that as a young and brooding landscape photographer that I’ll have more failures than successes — but it’s knowing and looking for what’s best so you don’t publish work that’s only “ok.” There’s a good reason why you post your best work on your portfolio — it’s easier to follow, you start to see consistency (what is it about these photos that works more than the others?), you start to see more of the why you make those photos.
And I think that’s where this photograph falls short, much like many of the photos from this day. It was strictly looking for composition, not story, not emotion. Even a year later, I still enjoy this image, but I don’t think it represents what look for, other than compositionally.
When a photograph is boiled down to just being a composition, it simply becomes a study. This is very far from a bad thing. Doing landscape studies can only be done in the field — you can read and write and watch youtube videos about it all you want, but you won’t really improve if you sit around all day. I did more studies in landscape a year ago than before the trip. The studies I did during those 9 days helped me refine my book, Arbor, Neighbor, to be even better, too continue shooting for it until late December.
Studies are always important — and they keep you working.