I was driving south on Montana state route 89. I was flanked on both sides of the road by incredibly beautiful, snow-capped mountains. To my left, the Yellowstone River flowed around the bend and back, framing thousands of acres of pastureland inhabited by cattle and sheep.
As I headed south to Gardiner where I’m hosting the Aperture Nature Photography Workshop, it dawned on me that I should make a photo. But I kept driving. I was simply having too much fun just realizing I was in this beautiful place where not much mattered other than just being happy.
I’ve “forgotten” to take photos before. In those pure moments I simply, literally, got so wrapped up in what I was seeing that the camera didn’t call for me. I just enjoyed what I saw. In this case, I didn’t forget. I just decided that I didn’t need to interrupt my moment.
So yesterday, I let it go. I decided being happy was its own reward. I decided that my pursuit of photography didn’t always have to lead to a photograph. Sometimes it could just lead to being happy.
But then I realized I wanted to write this post to remind everyone that it’s okay if you don’t get every shot. If you got off the couch, out from behind the big screen television or away from your laptop and took time to enjoy BEING somewhere, not just reading about it, texting about it, Twittering about it, just BEING there, it’s okay. And I realized you’d all probably be disappointed if I didn’t show you what I was talking about.
So I went back today to make this photo knowing you’d want to see what I passed on yesterday 🙂
It’s a panorama I stitched together in Photoshop. It’s not the most awe-inspiring image I ever made. But it does act as a personal reminder to me of what I enjoyed yesterday. I will probably print this up and put it in my bedroom. For those moments when I’m stressed, I’ll remember that my job takes me to some pretty cool places and I’ll go back to this one, at least in my mind, until the next time I get the excuse to go out and shoot.