You Don’t Get the Good Shots Laying in Bed

3 min read by ScottH.
Published on .
Lily Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Co. 4x5 Ilford FP4 Plus.

It is said that with age comes wisdom. No one ever said that we use that wisdom.

The day before it had snowed about eight inches. I knew it was going to be cold and I accepted that challenge. Let’s face it: you don’t get the good shots laying in bed. You may stay warm, but you don’t get the shots.

This particular day I was in Estes Park, Colorado which is at the eastern entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. It is an old stomping ground so I am familiar with where things are, what is easily accessible during different times of the year. At six thirty in the morning, Lily Lake which is just off of Hwy 7 is as approachable as ever. And with a temperature of about fifteen degrees Fahrenheit, (-9℃) you don’t find people there either.

I am shooting with an Intrepid 4x5 which, as wonderful and fun as it may be, like all large format cameras is a tough machine to operate in the cold. With it the fingers are exposed to the frosty air much longer than one would like them to be. But remember: “With age comes wisdom,” and no, fifty-eight years of wisdom still did not break through this morning. I was honestly having to much fun to notice that I am losing the feeling in my digits.

Lily Lake #2. Rocky Mountain National Park, Co 4x5

There are times when we get so involved with what we are doing, that we forget about our surroundings, or body parts.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Alluvial fan. 4x5

For me, photography is a pure joy. It has been a livelihood, a passion, a hobby. My heart begins to race every time an image presents itself. I fall into that zone where nothing else exists.

Of course, I know better. I know that I need to keep myself safe from the elements, yet in the moment I lose all care.

Today I came home with all ten of my fingers, though it took a few hours to get the feeling in them again. This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. The images which I captured were well worth that hour it took to enjoy the frosty nature at its best.

I hope that others can experience the passion of photography as I do. When the images find you, giving the kind of excitement that overshadows the reality. And at that time even personal well-being seems to matter less as the shutter is about to click and capture an emotion of the moment.