Black Rock Desert and Relearning the Lesson

At the Landscape workshop I attended there was of course a lot of technical talk of composition, light, exposure and post processing tricks and tips. The single most important take away for me was not any of that, but rather the importance of seizing opportunities. I know that seems simple and basic common sense but I needed to hear it. The photographer who taught the class talked of spending weeks in exotic far flung locations to get that one shot that was worth keeping. As he talked about the work and time that went into each beautiful photo he showed us I felt the enlightenment creeping in. Looking at beautiful landscape photography I would always think why can’t I take photos like that? Why do my photos turn out dull and ordinary? Now I knew.

Being honest with myself was the first step. Not getting out of bed to get there for the best light; done that a million times. Not staying late enough for the best light because I did not want to drive or walk out of a place in the dark, done that too many times to count. Hearing the rain in the middle of the night means I should get up and get ready to go at 3:00 AM or seeing the weather report predicting a storm should signal that I need to prepare to be out in it or soon after. That is when the light and clouds will help produce a great photograph. It is too tempting to snuggle into the covers or sit with a hot cup of tea and look out at the weather and think I will go later. Later is too late. You have to go when it isn’t pleasant to go to be where you need to be for those great shots.

Simple right? All of you great landscape photographers already knew this. I guess I knew it but now I will live by it. Yesterday was a perfect example. We got a rainstorm in the night and I thought no, it will be too overcast. Sun came up and the clouds broke beautifully for what would have been great light and drama if I had got myself out in it. Didn’t. I did take advantage of the afternoon evening to take these pictures of the Black Rock Desert with pretty good light and cloud drama but I had to motivate myself to get out there. Obviously it is a lesson I will have to keep learning.

P.S. My luck with wild horses held and got to see two very colorful wild paint horses in the desert.

27 thoughts on “Black Rock Desert and Relearning the Lesson

      1. It’s a style that was heavily used by artists during the French renaissance and like most things adopted by photographers, however not so easy for a photographer to capture especially if they are trying to get the effect on a specific subject.

  1. Well, I suppose you are right about making time and taking the time to be there when the light is. However, I read your words out loud to my wife. Then said, “hell I like this photographer’s work. She is really good and shouldn’t sell herself short.” I’ll just add that I do like the four images you posted.

  2. There are some beautiful landscapes in your neck of the woods. On that fourth photo, I had to do a double take to review the markings on those two horses. Their spots are incredibly similar in size and placement, don’t you think?

    1. Yes I do. I thought they both looked fake if you want to know that honest truth. Just so similar and spectacularly colored. They have to be related. Thanks for visiting and commenting by the way. I enjoy your blog. πŸ™‚

      1. Thank you. I am enjoying your blog as well. I take it these are wild horses you’re photographing? One day, I’d love to head out West and ride on some of your terrain. It really is breathtaking. πŸ™‚

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