This month’s wallpaper, in my opinion is not the best photo I took this month. Instead, it is representative, reflective if you will, of the fantastic journey to get it.
The day started at 2 am with a two and a half hour drive. I was meeting up with a group of adventurous photographers I met through Google Plus. They had planned a photo walk to shoot wildflowers at sunrise at the Paradise meadow on Mount Rainier. (The amusing thing is that not only is “Paradise” a location on Mt. Rainier, so is “Sunrise.” We were not meeting at Sunrise at sunrise, but at Paradise at sunrise.) Pulling into the still-dark parking lot just before 5 am, I circled, and eventually parked near the most “adventurous photographers inside” looking cars I could find. Luckily, I was right.
Introductions made, we made our way from the parking lot up to Narada Falls where the Paradise Meadow spread beneath the summit. The pre-dawn light was wonderfully diffused, lighting up the heavy dew with just the right amount of sparkle.
After the sun came up, everyone wandered down to the aptly-named Reflection Lakes where this image was taken. Next stop was some waterfalls and then I decided to head back to Paradise Meadow. I wanted to get some more shots of the wildflowers carpeting the valley. But seeing it in the full sun, it just wasn’t the same as earlier – the magic had gone.
In the end, everyone in the group came away with images that were in some ways, similar, but each with their own individual flavor. Many of us shot Narada Falls. We all shot dew on the pasque flower seedheads. We all shot Rainier from Reflection Lakes. But for me, the images I came home with don’t compare to the experience of having been there. I guess that’s the take away here. Don’t let the camera get in the way of seeing things.
So go. Get out of bed ridiculously early. Drive for hours to arrive before the dawn. Have an adventure. The pictures are secondary.
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