Photography Has Helped Me See

Ya know what I love most about photography?
It’s made my drive from Grants Pass, OR
to Salt Lake City, UT tolerable.

The shortest route to SLC from Grants Pass
is through Lakeview to Denio,
through Winnemucca to Wendover
and on to Salt Lake. It’s a 800 mile journey
and that’s way too long, let me tell ya.
Especially when you do it on an average of
2 times a year for over 30 years.

Why do I go there?
Not because I love it there
or because I can’t find anything to do closer to home.
No, it’s because I have lots of family there
and I love them much more than I hate that horrible drive.

It used to take us 12-14 hours to get to Salt Lake
depending on how many times we stopped
to stretch or pee or eat or get gas.
When I married Steve (my husband for almost 10 years now)
we started traveling there his way
which was to leave before the sun set
and drive all night.
He drove…I tried to sleep.

But since I started using my camera
for more than taking snap-shots
it has completely changed my attitude about driving there
…or anywhere for that matter.

Now, I get excited about long trips.
Because the camera has opened my eyes to the world around me.
I see details I never saw before.
I see colors, and light, and expressions.
I am constantly looking for something new
and because I am looking, I find it.

I see the painterly way
the sagebrush blends into the mountains.
I see the way the road curves
back and forth in front of me
or leads me up a hill and into the horizon.

I see the way the sky is ever changing,
sometimes pale blue,
sometimes deep blue
and sometimes as red as fire
and so many colors inbetween.

I see things….
old abandoned homesteads
barely standing anymore.
Old water towers, and windmills
leaning precariously from constant blowing winds.
I see the many colors of rust
on old cars and forgotten farming equipment.
I see railroad tracks seeming to lead to nowhere.

Now I insist that we drive during the day so I can see!
And, even though we have doubled the time it takes
to get to SLC (because there are so many cool things
to take pictures of)
we have realized that the adventure
starts the minute we get in the car
rather than once we’ve arrived at our destination.

That’s what I love best about being a photographer.