Last week, I headed to the high country of southern Utah to escape a heat wave in Phoenix (where temperatures soared to a scorching 118 degrees F). Camping at nearly 11,000 feet next to an alpine lake with mid-day temperatures in the 60’s felt almost heavenly…even with the swarms of mosquitoes (a small price to pay for such a welcomed respite from summer’s wrath in the desert…).
Sometimes when I’m exploring and photographing a gorgeous scene–one that speaks to me deeply–I’ll get so excited about it, I’ll spontaneously bust out into song or even start to dance (or both) while I’m shooting. As William Purkey once suggested, “You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching.” What’s life (and photography) if not a little fun, right? Right!
While shooting sunset at our small watering hole, I decided to pause for a minute to celebrate the beautiful moment with an impromptu retire (pronounced “reh-tur-a”, also sometimes referred to as a passe as well) ballet pose while I stood on a submerged rock. My friend caught me in the act and snapped this picture of me:
I know many of you have heard me say, “Keep Shooting!!” once or twice before, but sometimes you just gotta stop shooting to do a little dance of joy…as outdoor photographers, we are so fortunate to witness some of Mother Nature’s greatest moments. Oftentimes, though, we forget to take a minute to soak everything in and truly appreciate the scene unfolding in front of us. Instead, we have our nose stuck to the back of the LCD and an eyeball peering through the viewfinder while panicking about things like “What aperture I should use?” “Is my depth of field broad enough?” “Is my frame even in focus??!” We see the sunrise or sunset or the decisive moment through a lens, but not with our own eyes…
I’m excited I brought home an image from that evening (above), but it’s merely an artifact of the magical experience I had watching the day come to a beautiful, serene end in a beautiful, serene (and cool!) place.
So like the Lee Ann Womack song goes, “I hope YOU dance” too even for just a second or two when you connect with the landscape in a personal way and enjoy what the Great Outdoors has to offer.
Go ahead, no one’s watching…