As a professional, and as an artist, I have set very high standards for my fine art landscape photography. Given the medium I have chosen, large format film, I put myself out there in the elements where special light is possible, but only expose film when the conditions are worthy of my vision. Simply, I only expose a sheet of film when I feel I have "THE Shot".
Above is an iphone image from this morning's excursion. It doesn't look too bad. However, I'm not striving toward "not too bad" or "pretty good" or even "nice". I venture outside with my big camera when I believe something truly special might present itself. Something worthy of sharing with the world. It didn't happen this morning.
I ventured out in the dark via the light of my headlamp. I hiked through a combination of ice and deep heavy snow. The wind really picked up as I set up my camera. As is my practice, I leveled and squared the camera, composed, focussed and waited for the light to happen. I spent about 40 minutes waiting for the light, and hanging on to my camera so it didn't blow down the mountain. I got as far as inserting the 8x10 film holder into the camera and metering the scene. The light was nice, but it just wasn't worthy.
The atmosphere warmed, but the sun didn't break through and light up enough of the sky. The foreground was a reflection of this sub-par light. Further, the wind was fluctuating between strong and very strong. There were no moments of calm to wait for. The surface of the water was rough enough to eliminate a colorful glow or reflection. The trees were in constant motion. A sharp, clear, brilliant image simply wasn't possible. No film was exposed.
While it is always a little disappointing to not have an excursion produce a beautiful image, it is rarely a failure. This morning enabled me to build upon the pride I have in my art. I new it would be cold, icy, dark, possibly windy, difficult, and uncomfortable. I still headed out because I believe my art is worth it. I went through the entire process, save exposing a sheet of film. It is good practice. Early in my career I would have taken a shot and hoped I'd like the outcome. Today, I trusted my experience and let it go. In the end, I experienced sunrise at Emerald Bay, I reinforced my commitment to my art, and I stayed true to the quality I expect in my art.
Enjoy the View!