© Brad Mangas

Magical view, I guess that is a personal observation. The inner emotion, thoughts of calm serenity seem to overcome my present state when standing in front of such a place. The question always pops into my head, why am I the only one here getting a chance to see this at this moment? Does it not deserve to viewed by all? The more time I spend in nature the more chances I get to experience a sunset, a sunrise or simple views of beauty over the land. The more experiences I have the more I appreciate when a scene shares it’s beauty for all to see.

As I have written before how I spend many hours exploring new places all within a days drive from home. I plan trips around a few basic principles. First obviously is time, do I have the time to get lost not only on the back roads of the prairies but do I have time to get lost in a scene. It’s not uncommon for me to spend 2 hours at a place just looking and exploring every nook and cranny that I can find. I seem to want or need to look at every plant every insect every possibility of what is in front of me. I need to know what all is offered and possible. Another is weather, is it a clear day or are there clouds floating around the skies? A cloudy or partly cloudy day makes it hard to not be out in nature. My goals for capturing a scene with a camera are greatly enhanced with cloudy conditions. Another principle that goes along with my time is time of day. Can I be at a given location at sunrise or sunset? This isn’t necessarily for a sunrise or sunset picture but simply for the enhanced beauty of the light on the land. Many times I will plan on a sunset shot only to get caught up in the light to the other direction or how it plays on a more intimate scene. These things are always at the front of my mind when exploring. Every so often I am treated to something special, something unexpected such as the changing of colors in the sky as the sun slowly makes it way to and below the horizon and casts it’s golden rays on the land. Experiences that are priceless. Instead of a camera I wish I had a magic bottle that I could place the moment in to experience again and again. Since I don’t my camera will have to do.

How many more scenes of beauty will I be given the opportunity to experience?  Dozens, hundreds or maybe just one. It’s a calling I feel every moment. A need to experience all that I can. For when I can no longer experience such scenes first hand the memories of these will color my every thought providing the calm serenity that is so important for what makes me feel alive and grateful. Photography for me is much more than taking pictures.

Tech data: Canon dslr, canon 17-40 f/4L, 3 image blend, f/16 @ 1/4, 1/15, 1/45, manual exposure,  fusion blend in photomatix pro, cs4, curves, selective color adjustments

Click image to see larger view at gallery