I recently came across the above quote from Sam Abell (quote might not display in some feed readers) that triggered a flashback for me. Thinking back, this moment can be considered the start of my photography interests. I was probably about 12 or 14 years old. My parents and I were driving from Wisconsin, where we lived, to Colarodo to visit my sister. My dad loved to “take the side roads” when possible. Rather than driving on the interstate, he enjoyed the more scenic routes that give you something interesting to look at while driving–what is that saying…the older you get the more you become your parents.
This wanderlust was not start of my photographic interests, but it sure fed into it. What was the start is an image that I saw as we drove down some anonymous two lane road in Nebraska, South Dakota, or Wyoming (at this point, I’m not even sure which state it was). It was after sunset, the eastern sky was that gorgeous deep purple on the horizon and fading into the lighter shades of purple and lavender as your eye moved up the sky. We were driving along some farms and there was a field for grazing cattle on the eastern side of the road. Standing in the middle of that field was a dead tree, containing a substantial set of main branches and bleached white from years of sitting in the sun.
The vision of the sky at that time of day with the tree that just seemed to glow has stuck in my head ever since that day. Luckily, later that summer my brother-in-law gave me an old 35mm SLR camera of his. The camera became my tool. I have hunted constantly for a similar setting to actually capture that image and get it out of my head. I’m still hunting.
Now I wonder, do other photographers have similar images burned into their mind’s eye? What is the story behind the image? Have you been able to capture a similar image? How long have you been chasing that image?