Clear. Clean. Crisp. These three words describe the air, the light, and the composition.
We awoke before dawn and armed with only coffee and friendship, my friend Chuck, and I drove to the hills from his home in Independence. I was visiting from Utah and have not been to the area for 30 years. So I didn't know if I'd be able to photograph.
We'd made a foray to Death Valley and spent time at Manzanar National Historic Site, where Chuck's wife is Superintendent. I'd collected a few photos, but nothing really "rocked me" (pun intended!) until we visited the Alabama Hills. I like their soft and sensual forms.
We'd photographed the day before with some clouds and were returning one more time before I left for home. While Chuck walked one way, I went another and found my bliss among this group and another adjacent one. I had primarily worked for black and white but knew this image had to be in color as I stood before it in the stillness before dawn. The cool of the sky and the mountain snow complemented the warmth of the desert granite. After refining the composition, I made a few exposures and said, "Finished!" I prefer not to work a landscape to death. Photography can become an extractive pastime or profession, and I want neither for myself.
Whether for days, weeks, or years on end, I tend to visit places, get to know them a bit and then work casually. I allow images to find me as much as I look for them. The best images come together when we find each other! That happened here, and rather than wear out my welcome (as I'd like to return), I said adios to my most hospitable friend and drove home.Upload YOUR Picture • WIN $200 Cash
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor