I’d traveled across Nevada before, but didn’t remember much about it, other than the family caravan pulling into a casino parking lot in Reno while Mom and Dad argued over the map and who was going to lead the way. (Dad’s much-vaunted sense of direction was askew that day.) Decades later, I was in awe of the landscape, and wished there were a few more days in the travel schedule (and a few hundred extra bucks in the budget) to allow exploration.
This photo was taken on the fly. My traveling buddy was driving, and I was capturing the landscape before the sun set. Having only one lens, contending with changing light and a dirty windshield and high driving speed, I was less than happy with many of the photos, but I can’t blame my lack of photographic success on the road trip. I need to practice more. Need to learn more. After all, I can be standing still and yet take less-than-stellar photos.
And there’s the insurmountable fact that the camera never sees the way my eye sees. The camera washes out the brilliant colors or darkens the vibrant image. I can fiddle and adjust the settings, retake the shot, edit it later, and maybe arrive at a better result — that’s the practice and the learning part — but the striving? That’ll never end.
Life has rare glimpses of perfection, when the image is clear, unmarred. Yet, unlike the captured moments in photography, life is always in motion. It doesn’t sit still. The snatches of perfect time give way to troubles or the mundane, the places where life is lived.
As a writer, I’m always in search of the place to be creative. There is no such place. If I stay there too long, even beautiful, wide-open expanses that send the mind soaring will eventually be unseen, become the everyday. Yet something in me leans toward them. Yearns to be there.