It’s one thing to take an amazing photograph. It’s another to create an amazing photograph with meaning.
I’ve been at this whole photography thing for a while now. In that time I’ve managed to take a couple decent landscape photographs. Some come from Utah’s backcountry. Others come from sprawling urban areas. Each one has a sort of meaning to myself as I’m the one who created the image, but I always wonder if those same images have any sort of meaning to anyone else. I’ve received feedback on a few of the images I’ve printed for clients or licensed, but for the most part I keep on visiting amazing places and creating images that mean something to me.
Recently though I’ve tried to keep it in the front of my mind to create an image or images with impact. I want to create images that instill a deeper sense of meaning in them. I want to create something that tells a story of where I’ve been, who I’ve been there with, and the feeling embodied in the area itself. This is something I feel I’ve struggled at and it’s something I think many photographers out there struggle with as well.
Every now and again I come across photographers whose work captures my attention and draws me in. They are more storytellers than photographers and that shows in their work. What they produce is an image that brings you in. It’s an image that makes you feel like you were standing there next to them and you know everything there is about the image. You feel like you’re living their experience. Some of these photographers include Corey Rich, Chris Burkard, along with others. These may be pretty common names in the photography community, but the images they produce are what I am now striving to achieve.
With all that in mind, I set out on my most recent trip to try and capture the emotion, feel, and story of the adventure. This was a fly fishing trip to the fabled Henry’s Fork River in Idaho. Fly fisherman everywhere are probably familiar with the area. For many (myself included) this area has much more meaning to it than just the fly fishing. I’ve been visiting the area every year for the past 17 years now. Some years I’m with my brother. Others I’m alone with only my thoughts. Each year means something. Each year I come away with a part of me even more engulfed in the atmosphere of the area and the river itself. Each year has a story.
The Story and Its Meaning
If you’ve lasted through all of the previous ramblings, the images are coming now.
This trip saw myself along with my brother and his good friend pitting our fly fishing wits against the river. The conditions weren’t favorable, but the story of the trip was still there. Epic light shows while casting to rising rainbow trout, the humbled return at the end of a rough day, and just the moments holding the story of some guys out fishing in amazing country. The following are my vision of the story of the trip. Good times. Good company.