Finding the Dark Places
One of the things I’ve discovered about my own picture-making tendencies is that I seem to prefer images that are “dark”. If I look at the photographs in my Lightroom catalog that are rated with 3 stars or more, I find that the majority are low key. If there’s a bright spot in the picture, it’s probably a fading sun. Or it could be an image that contains high, bright clouds. Even then, though, I seem to like clouds that are more menacing in nature. Bright and sunny does not seem to be one of my “themes”. Maybe that’s why I live in western NY. Bright and sunny it ain’t (at least not most of the time).
That probably explains why I look for these kinds of places. If I find a path that heads down into a ravine or gorge or wash, I’ll take it. I don’t normally look for the “high” path that takes you to the grand, scenic view. Unless there’s no other choice. If I’m at Arches NP, for example, I’m going to walk up to Delicate Arch. For no other reason than that I like it up there. But it’s not the spectacular view that I like – it’s the arch itself. And the people that it draws. It’s one of those places, I think, that everybody should see. It should be on everyone’s “bucket list”. At least that’s my opinion.
But given my druthers, I’ll head into the darkest area I can find. For one thing, most everybody else seems to avoid the “dark places”. For another, it’s always very quiet. Once the local critters know you’re there, sound ceases. Sometimes all you can hear is your own breathing. It’s like the rest of the world disappeared. You have to climb back out of the place to see if the rest of humanity is still around. Sadly, they usually are.
But for a little while you can be totally alone. No cars, no people, and no cell phones. Even if you’re carrying one, it usually won’t work. Not many cell towers in those places. Not good, I guess, if you have an emergency. But it’s worth it.