Photo of The Day

Photo of the Day: The Pursuit

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four peak sunset saguaro cactus

My wife puts up with me when I pull over to take photos like this one. She's known for a long time that I'm the sort of road traveler who stops to check things out and take a deep breath just for the experience. And I like to eat at small town cafés, ones with knotty pine floors where they offer just two kinds of coffee (decaf and regular), and where the staff uses words like darlin'. One time while driving across the great expanse of Texas in a non-stop marathon to get to Louisiana, we had her sister with us. We drove into the sunrise at 6:30 am as we passed through a town with not much more than a McDonald's and a gas station. As we gassed up, I suggested, "Let's get breakfast." Brooke's sister agreed and she started walking to McDonald's.

"I was thinking that place over there, Meredith." I pointed to Rosita's Mexican Café, a place with a saltillo tile porch and a neon sign. They served us omelettes packed with powerful green chiles, we washed them down with fresh squeezed orange juice and it made our day.

Sometimes, for these reasons, I like to take my time. For nearly three years now, I've been working on capturing a specific photo. In my head the frame is packed with with green saguaros on a volcanic hillside lit only by the last seconds of daylight. It's been more difficult that I realized, half of that reason is because I have two kids which narrows my window of opportunity. I have only found just a fist's count of locations that will work, and the best one is a three mile hike at the end of a long bumpy dirt road. I haven't made it happen yet.

On a trip last month I was driving at sunset, and badly wanted to make it to camp before dark. I knew it wouldn't happen, but I also knew my buddies would have the fire stoked and the meat on the grill when I arrived anyway. So when the mountains in the distance burned with a near purple glow and the saguaros reached out to the horizon, I found myself looking at almost the very scene I've wanted to capture all these years. So I stopped, setting up a tent in the light be damned, I had a photo to take.

It's not even the shot I have in my head; it's close but also not close at all. So I'm going to keep trying. It's the pursuit. 


+3 / 0
# Amanda 2012-12-05 22:01
I can appreciate the pursuit. I live to capture our adventures on camera. The pursuit is part of the adventure for me.
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Mark Stephens
0 / 0
# Mark Stephens 2012-12-06 08:38
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