Many photographers whose work I admire and respect flatly state you can’t do meaningful work in a new place you’re visiting for the first time. Others will hold sacred the idea of seeing a place for the first time; how nothing can compare to when your eyes meet new land – with no expectations, no plan, no pre-conceived notions. Like so many other things I suppose I find myself somewhere in the middle.
There’s nothing like the thrill of seeing a landscape for the first time. The challenge is you don’t know where to go, much less how the light affects different vistas at different times of day. So allowing time that first encounter to wander freely is my typical approach. Often is the case however, where time isn’t your friend – and you have a limited amount to spend experiencing a given place. Such was the case this past September during a stop at Badlands National Park in South Dakota en route home from Illinois the long way.
Even though the opportunity to make photographs was limited – the conditions lined up favorably for the short amount of time I was blessed with. It should be said, this almost never happens.