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Painted Peaks

I took this image at the end of a long day spent in Yellowstone National Park. Just earlier in the day, I went on a hike that started right across the street from this spot and during my hike, I could see these peaks at different angles and with different light. Coming back from the hike I had this same view in sight except it didn’t look like this but I snapped a couple of random shots anyway. I got in my car and drove around the park stopping at random places trying to create something. I was frustrated because I was running out of light and I had yet to get a shot that I was satisfied with. Nothing. At one point, I got so frustrated that I said “screw it” and started to drive back to my hotel in Cody. It was close to sunset when I made the turn around the corner and my eyes immediately fell on this spectacular display of light and color. It took me all of about 5 seconds to drive off the road and into the dirt and about another 5 seconds to grab my Canon and jump out of the car. After taking the shot, I just stood there for a few minutes to enjoy it and as I turned around, the very trail head that I started my hike on earlier in the day was right across the street. This was the same sight I saw earlier except the cloud scatter wasn’t there. The light hitting the mountain peaks and illuminating the snow wasn’t there. The green color of the wild grass looked more like a dull wet yellowish color. And the outgoing sun wasn’t illuminating the trees creating those shadows on the hill. So much of a photograph is about its surroundings. About the way a certain a view makes you feel or about the things that you don’t see in the actual picture. These are the things that lead a photographer to actually create an image that is being painted in their head. I can’t speak for every photographer but I bet if I were to ask any serious photographer they would say that they remember every shot they’ve taken and why. For a photographer, there’s a story behind every picture and when we click that button that story gets engraved into our minds for the rest of our lives. This is probably one of my better shots and I keep coming back to it. Not because of the end result or that it’s a nice picture. But because of what led up to the creation of this shot and how I was feeling when I first turned that corner and saw this view. Sometimes, imagination takes a while!

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