We plan our landscape photography outings so that we maximize our chances of getting the best weather patterns and the right seasons. But things don’t always go according to the plan. Experience has taught us to be flexible and open to new ideas.
I first visited Maroon Bells in 2007. I used an interesting root structure beneath the surface of the lake as a foreground object in the photo above. Five years later, in 2012, we returned to the lake again. This time, we discovered that the lake had shrunk dramatically because of a long summer drought. It no longer reached the grassy shores we remembered from our previous trip. Instead, the lake was surrounded by mud and rotting wood. The brilliantly colored moss that was growing under water in 2007 had died off. Here’s a shot of the same roots I photographed five years ago. The difference is stark.
Though the banks of the lake were uninspiring, I still felt that there was incredibly beauty to be captured in this place. I focused my attention on the creek and the mountains behind me. I waited until the clouds were lit up by the evening light and captured the photo below less than 50 yards from the roots in the first two shots.
I was able to come away with a photo that I like because I was willing to be flexible and look for alternative shots. So next time you are faced with unexpected conditions, don’t give up.