I have just returned from an excursion that was fruitless financially but certainly had its aesthetic and spiritual rewards. Unfortunately, they don't pay the mortgage. Ultimately I drove about twelve hundred miles back and forth to Reno, Nevada. I think a short backstory is in order.
A very nice client sold me a couple pieces of navajo jewelry a year and a half ago. She told me at that time that she believed that her cousin owned a valuable piece of Mexican artwork by the most prominent Mexican muralist of his day.
She asked me at that time if I would be willing to travel to Carson City, Nevada to look at the artwork. I said "Sure, why not?" About a month ago she asked me if I was still game. I try to keep my word and said that I would, it would give me a chance to visit the Eastern Sierras and Mono Lake again.
She sent me a picture of the artwork, very similar to a series of pieces the artist produced between 1935 and 1941. It looked promising but it was a very bad photograph.
Sky was cloudy, a few patches of snow still remained on the peaks from last winter.
I enjoyed watching a pair of ospreys flying to their nest that sat on a far off tufa.
I went home and went to bed, forgoing dinner as Leslie had packed me a really nice bag of food for the trip and preferred to just snack on an apple. I was pretty exhausted.
It doesn't really bother me to miss a shot some place if I have snapped great pictures there in the past. I have some lovely shots of Mono Lake taken when the light was right.
The good old intermittent reward. It means that failure is a constant part of the game. Somebody on Next Door asked me how I got so many great shots the other day. My pat answer, long periods of waiting and getting absolutely nothing. It is the truth. You take what the universe doles out and sometimes the pickings are quite slim.
Got up at 4:45 in the morning and made my way back to the lake for the 6:45 sunrise. Thought it would be packed with photographers, I was actually alone for two hours. The obsessive one.
Still not great light but did what I could.
I was happy to be there. I didn't have to take a shot. The air, the beauty, the calm, it was just what I needed. In fact the two greatest shots of my trip I was happy to just see and take in, never even bothered to grab the camera. One was a big buck standing there looking magnificent.
No tricks, no color or saturation added, just nature. Which is enough.
Sun finally did choose to come up. It does so every day with regularity but sometimes I'm not so sure...
Unfortunately, there were no clouds and a bit of the Bay Area smoke had filtered down to the area, making it less than optimal for photography.