Prior to shooting large format film, I was easily burnt out on my own photos. The more I saw them, the less I wanted to see them. I saw errors in judgment, and other issues with the overall image quality. It’s not that I’m a perfectionist, but I got tired of seeing the same shot over and over — Until now.
Since my switch back to film, I have captured several images that I never tire of. My office has wall space for just 2 40×50 prints. I have selected “Southwestern Zen,” and “Portrait of Music” for display. Southwestern Zen sits over my left shoulder, and Portrait of Music looms behind me. While working, I frequently sneak a glance over my shoulder at Southwestern Zen.
Simply stated, this image brings me inner peace. The soothing effect is followed by a wave of inspiration and anticipation of my next visit to the Southwest. As I type this, the print is bathed in a warm spotlight. It is a beacon of what I strive for with my photography — not only capturing a simple, graphical photo of nature, but one that brings me inner peace.
This print has a special place in my heart. It was the print that converted me back to film. I still remember sitting on the floor with the print propped up against the wall. I stared at it for many minutes, captivated by the detail, color, and richness. I’m not tooting my own horn here. I was very lucky that this photo even turned out. It was my first trip shooting large format, and the camera was still quite foreign to me.
It is an inspirational photo because I made all the correct decisions when I tripped the shutter. If I could relive the moment and reshoot the photo, I would do nothing different. It is difficult to properly display this image on the internet. When viewed in person, every tiny detail of the bush is resolved, bringing it to life.
I remember the first time I visited the Wave with my girlfriend Lyuba. It was an amazing experience. I returned to this location 18 months later with a particular shot in mind. I selected a vertical composition, and bought the necessary lens to take this shot. I wanted a sweeping line from the lower left corner. This would suck the viewer’s eye into the scene, direct it toward the right, then angle back toward the upper middle. Upon reaching the apex, the eye rains down over the image. It’s a roller coaster for the eye.
Although this location has been photographed many times over, I have never seen this particular composition. It is a simplified, dynamic view of this particular rock formation. I chose all of the settings perfectly, and would not do a thing differently given the chance to reshoot. I find this to be a very fun image to view. It does not give the same soothing feel of Southwestern Zen, but I enjoy viewing this print for inspiration.