Steamboat Springs, Colorado // An approaching storm transforms a field of spring-green grass into an ocean of swaying emerald waves.
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.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
We were scheduled to have friends over for dinner within the hour, but the evening was too grand. Storms to the north made for awesome tone contrasts in the sky and the willows had already been touched by the midas of spring. Not to mention the fantasy green of the grass, so eager to grow after the snow receded. I had to get outside. After moving around a while, I found a point of complementary color in the rusty roof of an old barn, as well as a nice leading line into the northern storms. It took a little while for the cars to leave the scene, but when they did I was giddy for having found the composition. Needless to say, I was late for dinner.
And I was glad for it. "The only way out is through." It's a simple saying, but powerful too. The first time I heard it was my from father. My first year of college was frustrating and lonely, and I relatively often had the urge to up and quit, move home and never think of it again. But on long phone conversations and occasional visits he encouraged me to persevere: "The only way out is through." So when I began to feel especially discouraged, I would just think: "The only way out is through." And I still do with each seeming stroll through hell. Strangely, little lumps of words and syntax can go a long way. And that attitude has gotten me to places like in the picture above, which leaves me rather thankful.