Gathering and photographing with friends has its challenges as well. Few want to photograph the same scene (or at least not while someone else is standing there!) and for the most part, nature photography is a personal journey. So what do you do with a group of photographers? Well, the same thing you do on your own. You wander about, absorbing the wonder of nature and seek out that “wall hanger,” while at the same time, remembering why you enjoy being out there in the first place. Most of the time even though you may start out as a group, you eventually end up on your own….And so it was up on the Sonora Pass this past July. A small group of newly found friends, up to the mountains to refresh their souls, capture some natural beauty on film and enjoy the company of friends around a campfire.The images captured from these times are simply icing on the cake. I felt fortunate to have come home with some pleasing scenes; ones that will remind me of those moments.The first image showing the patch of Corn Lilies was an image I was not originally searching for. Honestly, I was looking for a more intimate portrait. You know the graphic, evocative image of the graceful curves of just a few broad leaves. I struggled in finding that scene. But with that struggle emerged new ways to see things. I stepped back and discovered the beauty in the slightly wider view. I’ll still be searching for the other perspective, but my vision was expanded on this day.
The Tiger Lily turned out to be more about technique and logistics than it did about vision. The challenge began with capturing a close-up image with a large format camera. The next challenge was the lighting. Luckily this nice specimen was found close to camp but the harsh sun had already flooded the scene. Improvising, I borrowed a bed sheet that one of the guys had brought along to use as a seat cover and blanket for his traveling canine pal Maggie. I draped the sheet over a large willow to diffuse the light. Simple, straight forward image, but I like it. Honestly though, I think I was more proud of the effort.The Lupines along Deadman’s Creek on the Sonora Pass were prolific the last two summers. Many flower species could be found, but the Lupine thrives on the moisture found alongside the mountain streams and they put on a grand show. I returned to this little scene multiple times before I finally decided the light and wind were about as good as they were going to be. I wanted to showcase the flowers, but still put them in a place where the creek was visible, yet sufficiently out of focus to keep the attention on the flowers.
I had spotted this scene on last year’s trip, but for whatever reason, I passed on it. The small stand of lodgepole pine stood on an exposed bluff near the top and most narrow portion of Sonora Pass; somwhere about 8,000ft. The trees were a good 100 yards from the road and even at that distance I could see the reflected glow between the two trunks. This time around, something told me it was the right time to capture this.