Monday, May 26, 2008

Sometimes Things Don't Work Out

Sometimes things do not work out as planned in photography.

I had seen these rock fins on the western side of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. They are volcanic dikes that look like walls. I have often wanted to get a good image with them but have never had the right conditions. I saw an area that looked like it might be promising and there were just a few clouds but I hoped for a nice image.

I parked the vehicle and started walking toward one through the brush. Normally cross country is pretty easy in deserty country as the plants have decent spacing between them. However after a few hundred yards I got to a small wash that was thick on either side with thorny brush. It was only a few feet thick but it was one tangled wall and being the desert-everything had thorns. I tried walking length wise hoping for a gap but no dice. I went back to the vehicle and drove farther down the road finding a better angle to get to a rock fin. I saw another gully to cross and dropped into the dry streambed with hopes to get close.

I was closer but this gully was about five feet deep with thick brush and looked like it was also difficult to get to. Luckily I found a small series of ledges off a side stream I could climb out of and get to the rock fin.

The slope up to it was very steep and loose with gravel. The fin was angled off what I wanted. I could not get a good down the length of the fin image.

Two hours of stumbling through brush and I could not get the image I wanted. You can see the image I got in the above photo. The clouds had moved out of the image and the leading lines just were not there.

I made exactly one image and then packed up and headed back to the vehicle. Drove on thinking the evening was a bust. As the sun was setting in the distance I saw a backlit Ocotillo. It was too far out for the 4x5 and my wide angle views, but I did manage to get a few nice snaps of it with a long lens on the DSLR.

The image I had been wanting just did not work, but a fluke chance brought me an image I could only happen upon. I got a pretty decent image. I guess things worked out after all.

No comments: