“We should go to Vegas.”
“I’d be up for it. I’ve never been to Vegas!”
“We can turn it into a landscape photo trip!”
“Yeaaaaa. Blindin’! [insert other British slang I don’t understand]”
“When do you want to go?”
“How about in a couple of days?”
Within 72 hours, Jason and Bob had selected their National park of choice, booked their flights, booked me a flight, made Erin envious (therefore booking her a flight as well!), booked a rental SUV, found an adorable cabin on the eastern side of the Zion National park, and made a pinterest board of trails and spots that we wanted to hit up.
I overnighted gear from trusty B&H that Jason and Bob, seasoned landscape photographers, had recommended to me – which included LEE filters, adapter rings and something about soft and hard transitions. Within a few days, we had gear, planned a whole trip, and were off! I had never even considered photographing landscapes (mainly due to the requirement of waking up hours before sunrise to catch the first light), and frankly, was pretty nervous. I was nervous that I would have no idea what I was doing (because I’m way more comfortable photographing things that talk back to me), and honestly… that I would be insanely impatient and bored out of my mind. Little did I know, this trip would be the most hilarious 5 days that I’ve ever experienced.
Little did I know, it’d be the trip of a lifetime – and one that taught me so much – about patience, calm thoughts, and really anticipating light. To the best teacher in the world, Bob, thanks for being so unwaveringly patient, fun, and understanding of my sloppyness. 🙂 You’re the best.
It was comical, really. The weight would feel unevely distributed on my shoulders and I’d trip “hiking” upwards. I’d be so concentrated on the ice, that I wouldn’t notice that my filter system clicked off and rolled halfway down the path. I’d lose everything – my remote trigger, the case for the filters, everyyyything – because my stinkin’ jacket has a zillion and a half pockets. I’d feel like I framed my shot well – tripod ready, finger on the remote release… and then my camera would faceplant straight into the ground. I’m still working to get all of the red clay-like soil out of my 16-35mm. Luckily, it’s the lens I shoot least with! To top it all off, I’d look up, and see Bob dragging dead trees to create interesting foregrounds, and then within a minute, he and Erin would scurry to their next pre-determined spot. These pros had it DOWN.
Even Jason was smooth and suave. He’d carry his viewfinder in his pocket, always seeking for panoramics – vertical and horizontals. He froze his fingers off as he changed his film (only three panoramic shots per roll of film – 120). He’d meter for his exposure carefully, work off his mini checklist off of the back of his camera, say a quiet prayer and then shoot. For every shot that he took, I took at least 500 horrendous ones.
I’m really proud that I know these uber-talented guys. I’m glad that I was able to provide comedic relief and some pretty fun behind-the-scenes images for them (because that’s really ALL I got… HAH…) 🙂