Solitude

It’s been a few weeks since my camping trip to Capitol Reef National Park with my partner. I moved on within days to photographing the Colorado Rockies once more. My wanderlust didn’t immediately rear its head upon arrival in Denver like in the past. This is new. 

Normally, I start thinking and planning my next desert trip as soon as I’m back from the current one. That didn’t happen this time. I know why, too. I’ve re-fallen in love with the Rockies in the past six months! I’ve spent more time in them. I’ve looked through photographs from last summer and Fall. I’ve reflected on why I feel so at home in the desert and what I can take from that.


Solitude


It’s harder to feel solitude in the Front Range than in the deserts of Utah. Or so I thought! Since I started taking my photography more seriously, I’ve been getting out earlier and staying out longer. I see less people. I feel more alone. That’s actually just how I like my photography. I don’t want to be thinking about what the photographer over there might be trying. I don’t want to be nervous about being in the way of that family’s vacation photo. I don’t want to rush to get out of the way of the hiker behind me as I search for compositions.


Solitude


Landscape photography is, at its core, a solitary and introspective pursuit. Sitting for 30 minutes in 40mph winds on top of a mountain (when you’re not even sure about the image) isn’t what most would say is fun. In fact, I wouldn’t say it’s fun either. 

It’s worthwhile.

It’s challenging.

It’s proving to myself that I’m willing to go the extra mile (sometime literally) for the thing that I love.

It forces me to think about all the things I care about other than photography.


Solitude


So my love for the desert and the solitude so easy to find there hasn’t wavered. My love for the mountains has come on leaps and bounds though. I’ve rediscovered spots which, bustling during summer, couldn’t be more lonely on a cool spring morning. I’ve gotten above the trees and experienced that feeling of smallness that I normally associate with the distant horizons seen from atop desert plateaus. I’ve pondered how I can see the area I grew up in so differently just by putting my eye through the viewfinder. I’ve sat waiting for sunrise thinking about my relationship. I’ve hiked back down to the car excited by all the things I still have time to do that day. I’ve driven home just listening, really listening, to the latest album. I may be out for the pictures, for the scenery, for the adventure, but photography affords me so much else. The biggest thing? 


Solitude

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