waiting for the light

There’s a gravel road off Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park that leads to a creek and a beaver dam. The pond the industrious beavers have created conveniently reflects the Grand Tetons in the distance and it makes for a quiet and scenic spot for photographers to capture the beauty of the mountains. The thing is, you can take hundreds of pictures of views like this but when you look at them later they never quite measure up to the real thing. There were times on the trip when I had to force myself to put my camera down and just be in the moment, to take in my surroundings without trying to “capture” something in my viewfinder for future screenings. Looking back on our vacation I know we didn’t do enough of that. We ran from one end of the park to another looking for animals and views to photograph, we hiked up a mountain, our goal was to make it all the way up and we did. At the top of the mountain we took a few pictures, drank the remains of our water, and then headed quickly back down. We wanted to experience as much of the park as we could knowing we may never get back there…plus we needed lots of pictures for the photo album I was planning to put together once I got home!

We are a busy, goal orientated society. It’s the American way to keep your eyes on the prize, to see and take and always be on the lookout for the next challenge, the next conquest. The older we get the faster the years seem to fly by and I can’t help but wonder if that’s because we are always seeking, always counting on tomorrow to bring us the better job, the baby, the love, the good health, the closure, the peace of mind, that dream vacation and whatever other dreams our little heart’s desire. We say it’s the journey that really matters yet we spend much of our lives chasing the results. I like how the photographer in my photo has stepped away from his camera. Perhaps he is waiting for the light to be perfect before he takes the next photograph, but I hope not. I hope he was enjoying the moment, not looking forward or backward, but simply looking out.

14 thoughts on “waiting for the light

  1. Beautiful photo and thoughtful, thought-provoking post.

    I did the same thing in Colorado — rushing around to try to see it all at once. Perhaps it is time to slow down.

  2. Beautiful shot, Lilli… Vacations seem to take on that ‘hurry up’ feeling.. We try to see TOO much all at once I think, wondering if we’ll ever get back there… That’s one reason George and I love to re-visit some of our waterfalls—just to enjoy them!!!!


  3. I understand your feelings about putting the camera down…I make myself do that and it makes me happy. But I photograph, too and the one thing I believe is to never try and make anything look as good as nature. You cannot. This photo is all the better because it doesn’t attempt to outshine nature but gives you a certain feeling of knowing…

  4. i am with you all the way; that struggle, to photograph or even save it later and write it out–or to just be.

    your photo is stunning! The clouds mirrored in the water, the man’s hat. I think he has a viewfinder field camera so he might be squeezing a bulb to get his shot, or i am blowing his camera up in my imagination.

    i have never seen such changes in light on the water as i do in my new house, and i can’t can’t capture it and i tell myself, one day i won’t try… but it makes me want to paint. But not.

    sometimes you just drop your jaw and go ahhh! God! Thank you!

  5. “There were times on the trip when I had to force myself to put my camera down and just be in the moment, to take in my surroundings without trying to “capture” something in my viewfinder for future screenings”

    Oh I so know what you mean. I am always consciously aware of living in the moment because I spent far too many years of my life looking forward, or backward ~ and forgetting that life was passing me by during the process.

  6. The photo is wonderful – I love it. The posting was equally wonderful. I have recently been enjoying the series running on PBS about the National Parks and the great lodges – Your photos are perfectly timed!

  7. This post couldn’t have been better timed. I’ve been doing exactly the opposite of enjoying the moment lately and I really needed to hear this. Staring off into that beautiful scenery helped a lot too!

  8. Lovely in all respects ;–)
    Thanks so much for sharing and for dropping by HRG too. The post about your mom ‘resonates’ even though my folks have been gone for decades now.
    Hugs and blessings,

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