Steamboat Springs, CO
One of the big lessons I learned when I was a little younger was about working with the seasons, that a harmonious composition is not enough when you're not in harmony with your time and place. In the depths of Colorado's mud season, I kept trying to look for scenes that would look stunning, but only under different circumstances. I would inevitably be disappointed by my results, the landscape I was seeking hidden under spring's muddy mask. After several days of trial and error, I started to understand what made mud season uniquely beautiful—the swelling rivers and ponds, the fantastically green grasses and foliage, the overall sense of reawakening. This image, for example, was taken at dawn at a runoff pond near town. At other times of year, the spot is nothing more than pasture, making the reflection a spring-only treat. I fooled with my ND filter for a while until I found a sort of strange juxtaposition between abstract and reality, the grass as a last hint of the concrete world before the glowing nebula of sunrise unwinds the fabric of reality itself. It's a good thing.