Photography is not just about randomly snapping away without thought. Slowing down and thinking about composition, light, and elements are essential to achieving workable images that may eventually be processed into art photography. I was reminded of this fact while shooting at the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest with an apparent case of the hangover (really it was altitude sickness).
There were two distinct reminders of the thought involved in creating photography. On the way to the Patriarch Grove over the 12 miles of graded dirt, Juls had an area of powerlines that seem to come from nowhere and disappear over the hill. 3 sets of parallel powerlines that instantly triggered ideas of shots in my head. But we were on a mission to reach Patriarch Grove so the plan was to shot these lines on the way back.
While hiking around for what ended up being 2+ hours among the Bristlecones, the high altitude gave the both of us slight altitude sickness. I ended up exploring and hiking alone for the last hour, intent on shooting the isolated Bristlecones up the hill. What should have been a boon of quality photos, ended with 2-3 workable images. The hour of battling low oxygen, high winds, and a low grade headache somehow took me off my game. It became more about just getting to an interesting tree and hastily making a couple of shots and moving on.
The same gusty winds and headache affected these powerline shots on the way back. Only 1 workable image out of maybe 5 taken.
If you don’t take the time behind the camera thinking and being creative, there is only some much you can reasonably do in post to complete that original photographic vision.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 100mm, f/9, 1/250 sec
White Mountains (CA), Silver Canyon Road, Power Lines, Monochrome. near Bishop, CA. November 28, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.