ARTISTIC FRUSTRATION - 26 MAY 2013
Beaver Lake Scenic - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, File # 1311373
Link to original image:
What follows is a blog post I wrote a few days ago. Obviously, things turned out. When I wrote these words, I wasn't quite so sure. I just wanted to give you all a little perspective of what I was thinking the first day in Yellowstone National Park.
The image above was taken of the little river flowing from Beaver Lake in the distance. Sure enough, there were a couple of beavers in the river downstream of me a few hundred yards. Yes, I did get a picture of them. No, none are worth posting.
Back to the article. So it begins (22 May 2013):
I’m here in Yellowstone National Park for the first time. I got here yesterday after traveling a few days on my motorcycle. As amazing and popular as Yellowstone is and as traveled I am, I’ve never been here which is kind of amazing. Since this is the first new “big” photography location I’ve been without a real clue of where to photograph in a long time, it’s been a bit frustrating. What I mean is I’m frustrated in not producing as I feel I should in such an amazing place.
What’s going on is you can smell how awesome this place is. Just around every corner there’s an impressive “thing” to explore and photograph. Of course, there’s no time to stop everywhere. I’m only here for two full days of shooting. Since I know my time is short, I know I want to shoot what I can and I want to shoot successfully. But, I am not sure of where to go and what to do. Yesterday I spent the evening driving around simply because I couldn’t really develop a plan. I thought, “at least without a plan if I drive around I can see what there is to see even if I don’t shoot a single image.”
As poor as that was, I was moderately successful. While I didn’t shoot any amazing shots, I did capture my first Grizzly Bear. I got a picture of his behind from seemingly a zillion miles away. I also shot a coyote running near the grizzly. Of course, neither are worthy of prime time--i.e. showing you all. Still, it’s great having them in my library.
Here’s the thing. I’m frustrated over not being able to collect imagery as I know I can. I know conceptually I can’t operate at my normally high and confident level because this place is brand new to me. It’s still frustrating. I guess the issue of “not knowing” is aggravating. Not knowing if driving to Mammoth Hot Springs is worth the trip. Not knowing if stopping at Lower Yellowstone River Falls is worth a sunset trip. Not knowing is not an concept I’m used to. Normally I know what to do. I know where to go when the weather changes to get the greatest opportunity for success. I know what to do, usually. Living in this “not knowing” situation is frustrating.
I’ve been saying to myself, “...take deep breaths. It’ll come together.” I know if I just participate, good things will happen. I know if I stay engaged and not succumb to the frustration, I’ll be happy with what Yellowstone brings to me. I know this intellectually. It’s still frustrating.
If any of you wonder how I get to know a new location, you’re watching it. It’s all about running around like crazy all the while feeling it won’t result in anything worthwhile.
rivertrip to yellowstone may 2013