The winter shooting season is drawing to a close, and I have some beautiful images collected and shared, and even printed and sold, but more importantly I have gained valuable experience and connected with new friends who I’ll hopefully share even experiences with. The past few winters manic rush to run and ski and cycle have given way to some realities about what my knees and body can handle. Slowing down to see more, and maybe do less has certainly had its rewards, but to has not been easy. The thing that is simultaneously beautiful and baffling about photography is all of the ways in which you can express yourself with it. While I will not give up my pursuit of the wide-open landscape, with the sun close to the horizon, I do intend on exploring all of the avenues that photography has to offer.
One of these facets is of course night time imagery, and Milky Way compositions specifically. There are a variety of techniques, and a multitude of pieces of equipment if you like, but honestly a tripod, the ability to keep your shutter open for up to 30 seconds, and knowledge of where truly dark sky can be found is all one really needs. As my skills have progressed over the past year, I find that seeking out these challenges are equal parts rewarding and humbling. I’m humbled by how little I know and how beautiful the sky is, and rewarded because of the opportunity I have to grow and share, and to actually see these sites I’ve long wanted to.
So, I’ve spent multiple nights outside so far in 2018, searching for compositions and clear skies, and occasionally glimpsing a meteor. I’ve been able to marvel at the trail the Milky Way makes across the open sky, and I’m working even more one my craft, hoping you see the beauty that I do. In those spaces that are often cold and dark I quiet, I know I am doing what I am supposed to be. It may seem ludicrous to stand out in sub-freezing weather, while worry about sleep, and equipment, and wondering if I’m going to get a ticket for some overlooked violation of the law, but the miles of driving, and walking in the snow, and hours of pouring over a computer to produce a final piece of work, all seem to be the best use of my time in the present. Yes, the back of my 4Runner becomes my home, my clothes certainly begin to be covered with multiple meals, and I my passenger seat is strewn with camera gear and charging cables, but I can’t image a better thing to be doing.
Maybe as much as anything this is a metamorphosis. No longer is it just the push-pin on the map, but when I arrive at a destination I do want to take it all in. I want to capture what is there, and look at it in its own light. This is what I enjoy. Thinking, exploring, finding, framing. Photography boils down to subject, setting, light and composition, but the myriad of ways to “think” about that are what make this a timeless endeavor. And maybe, this is what “home” is, finding that place where you are most comfortable, that place where all thoughts and worry escape you. I like that idea, of finding “home.”
Here is a bonus image, for getting to the end. As always, thank you for the encouragement, thank you for traveling along. I have added many nighttime compositions to my webpage, under the Nightscape Gallery. Please follow this link to find more: Matthew Landon Images