Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"It's a whole new animal!"

That is what I yelled to Joe as I hung my head out the window, gripped my camera tightly and snapped away. My hair whipping wildly around, barely able to catch my breath - this is the only phrase I could think of to convey the thrill I was feeling at the moment.

He just laughed and continued driving, warning me to watch out for oncoming cars and to please stay in my seatbelt.

"It's a whole new animal."

I was referring, of course, to landscape photography.

I usually consider myself a people photographer. I thrive on interaction and am continually intrigued by the human face. Capturing the landscape has never appealed to me. Landscape photography is early mornings, lonely trails, heavy equipment, and patience, patience, patience. Landscape photography is mastered by the likes of Ansel Adams and John Telford. Old guys. (Don't tell John I said that).

But that was before I discovered the "new animal." Joe and I were soaking up Autumn, driving around Deer Creek Reservoir and I had brought along my digital camera. The fading light, the pinkish clouds - it was all too tempting. I took a couple snaps.

I was hooked! My camera didn't leave my face for the rest of the ride. I'm sure I seemed crazed, but the experience was extremely invigorating. The scenery changed rapidly and I was faced with endless possibilities. I shot until the light was gone and I was too cold to keep the window down any longer. The moving landscape had captivated me - I would never see it the same way again.

This one (above) is my personal favorite. Which is yours?

At this point I would like to make a public apology. One summer I took a Nature Photography course at BYU. I was one of only two photography majors in the class and as such I felt a mild sense of superiority. (embarrassing to admit, but true nonetheless) I studied this stuff full time, afterall. I thought I knew so much.

There was an older gentleman who always presented photos he had taken from his car, while he was driving. Our patient teacher tried to convince him to take the time to pull over the next time something caught his eye. "Yeah," I thought, "any self respecting photographer knows that good work takes time and effort. You can't just shoot this stuff on the fly. At least have the decency to stop the car!" In my mind I criticized this man for his amateur approach.

Dear Sir, please forgive me. I was narrow-minded. I had not yet experienced the thrill of photographing the world at 60+ mph. You were right - it really is beautiful.


Katie said...

Yes! I knew this day would come! You couldn't go on ignoring landscape photography forever. So glad you jumped in.

P.S. Second to last is my fav.

Holly said...

Landscape_03! I think I may have just found my CD case art photo.

Kelli Nicole said...

Haha, I loved that class!! I remember John may have been patient with the non-photo majors, but not with me! Lol. Remember when I mauled you in the tent in my sleep? Sorry about that.

Your fav is also my fav.

Deb said...

How fun! I love the one you chose as well as the one with the trees at the bottom. I miss those mountains and I could almost feel the crisp breeze rushing past my face!

Weston Colton Photo said...

Paul gave me that look (of slight disgust) when I was shooting out the van window on the San Francisco trip two years ago.
I want to do a show and put together a book of mine. I even have my artist statement in the works.

Whitney Hardie said...

Thanks everyone!

Weston, I love your landscapes in motion and would totally buy a book of your work.

Kelli - I wish we could go camping together again, it was so much fun!

Old Joe said...

I liked the one with the rails leading around the curve. Are they leading to safety or danger? Beautiful as usual. Tell my nephew his is a lucky man!

Andrew and Ariel said...

Those are great! I love the second one.

Alissa said...

Whitney your photos are gorgeous as always. :) I have not yet found anything that compares to the exhilaration of driving on the freeway and getting that perfect picture while my eyes are kept firmly on the road! I'm glad you discovered the excitement.