The start of the new year has been a little rough for me in the world of taking pictures. My first outing I drove around for a few hours only to return home with very few shots and only one out of the bunch that was any good. My second outing, I spent three hours shooting this one particular spot that encompassed a perfect winter scene. Lots of snow, a frozen river, and even some rushing water coming through the ice, but after setting up for my final sunset shot my camera started acting funny and by funny I mean my memory card errored and after getting home I quickly realized I lost all my photos from that day. With winter bearing down on us here in the southern Rocky Mountains getting out to shoot was becoming harder and harder, but on my third trip out this year I was able to capture some shots I was really happy with, but all were just before sunset and with the clouds in the sky I thought I was going to get an amazing sunset only to spoiled by more clouds coming in. These days were taking a toll on me and my photomojo was lacking severely.
Call it a funk, a slump, or anything else getting the shots was just not coming as easy as they have and frustration was settling in. I had a friend coming into town to visit me and I was hoping his presence would help me turn my mojo back on. Putting the last month behind and hoping for a new day, my buddy and I set out on a snowshoeing hike that would put us in one of the coolest places I have seen but never been to in Durango. Cascade Creek, is a gorge with a small river running through the bottom of it and during the winter some parts freeze while the river runs around them. Being a waterfall photo junkie I have always wanted to hike into the ravine and get some pictures, but it is dangerous and pretty unsafe to do by yourself. So with a willing participant in my buddy we rented some snowshoes and headed up to Cascade. The hike down was pretty easy, and my hopes for ending my slump were very high. Once at the bottom of the ravine the sheer beauty of the place took me back. I couldn’t have been more excited, that was until I realized that all my memory cards were left in my jeep at the top of the hill, total rookie mistake! At first you think sure I can hike back up to the top and back down to get my cards, but then you realize you are at 9,000 feet in elevation and hiking up is not going to be as easy as hiking down.
When I first moved out to Colorado I had a lot of trips where for one reason or another things didn’t work out and I would just count the trip as a scouting trip, no big deal grab a couple cell phone shots and come back at a better time. At the bottom of the ravine I tried to reason with myself, no big deal just another scouting trip. I kept thinking, “Really how bad can the climb back up be, this is to good of a thing to pass up?” But we hung out at the bottom and explored a bit and then decided to go back up. After, doing the hike from the bottom to the top I quickly realized how out of shape I really am and how there was no way I could ever do that twice in one day! My slump continued!
How do you get your photomojo back? How do you find those shots that are going to have an effect on your viewers? These questions and more kept going through my head, and no clear answer was in sight. But, the day after my snowshoeing mishap my buddy and I had a very special trip planned and it was one that could end my slump or simply just let it continue. Thankfully, it was a glorious 24 hours! It was a trip to check an item off my photo bucket list, it was a trip to Moab, Utah to capture the high desert with the red rocks and snow! Driving up to Moab, I was still unsure wether or not snow was going to be there. I had seen pictures on instagram and Facebook that would lead to believe we had a good chance of seeing snow but until we got there I had no idea what we were in for. When we arrived I quickly realized things were finally starting to turn. We made a few stops that night, but it wasn’t until sunset did I feel I had fully gotten my photomojo back!!