When everything comes together.

Recently, I embarked on a major project to quality control my photographic portfolio. I’m only about halfway through at this point, but something has struck me in the process of looking back on the work I’ve done over the past seven years. There are good days, and then there are phenomenal days. It made me wonder what makes the difference between having just a good day, and having one of those days that exceeds all expectations and results in what I consider to be some of my best work.

As I was leaving this waterfall, I met a local man who told me that only a few weeks earlier, there was little water falling here. Only the large chute on the left was flowing. And then the rains came.

As I was leaving this waterfall, I met a local man who told me that only a few weeks earlier, there was little water falling here. Only the large chute on the left was flowing. And then the rains came.

There is usually planning and determination involved, often this means driving many miles to a location, sometimes several times. It can also mean precise mapping of sunrise/sunset or moonrise/moonset in relation to landmarks or subject matter.

Sedona Moon; sedona az; arizona; red rock country; cathedral rock; full moon; sunset; evening; light; spires; pillars; desert southwest; unforgettable; vortex; spiritual; nature; natural; orange; red; sky; formation; rocks; and; the; over; with; under; above; against; in the; on the; at the; Loree Johnson

Watching the full moon rise between the spires of Sedona, Arizona’s Cathedral Rock is a truly unforgettable experience.

Also critical is the natural element. Conditions must be just right, whether that means weather, or light, or any of nature’s other unpredictable occurrences.

Takhlakh Lake with Mount Adams

As the remains of an autumn snowstorm slowly clear, majestic Mount Adams, wearing a fresh blanket of snow, is unveiled by the retreating clouds. The gorgeous, mirror-like reflection in Takhlakh Lake, would seem unreal if not for the mist rising from the far shore.

Sometimes, it means waiting (and waiting and waiting) for just the right moment.

The Catch

This osprey has just emerged from a successful dive into the lake. Time to take dinner back to the nest.

But even when the planning, the conditions, the moment and the subject are all just right, there’s still something more that’s needed to make it one of those over-the-top shooting days. I was thinking about this for a while, and couldn’t really put my finger on it. Then, in a conversation with my daughter, it came out. Not only do all the external¬†elements have to be there, but there is an internal¬†ingredient as well.

Crater Lake Glory

Sunrise over Crater Lake, Oregon. The view from the Watchman Overlook includes an unrivaled perspective of Wizard Island. The normally bluer than blue lake takes on an orange glow as the sun spreads it first rays over the heavens.

When everything comes together, including that all-encompassing, creative juices flowing, incredible inspiration–that’s when the magic happens. I’d like to say that this happens all the time, but that would be a lie. In truth, there have only been a handful of those days in the past six or seven years.

Mt. Shasta Storm Glow

Alpenglow on the peak of Mount Shasta with a storm brewing.

I savor the days when the magic happens. Yet, I know it won’t happen if I’m not out there, constantly honing my skills, working at my craft, exploring the limits of my abilities. When you purchase one of my photographs, you get so much more than just a photo. You get a part of my adventure, a hand crafted bit of my life, a piece of my soul. Thanks for visiting, and here’s to the incredible, rare, phenomenal days when it all comes together.

 

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