Under my Vibram soled shoes, a sharp shale bed of rocks slid more with every step, as I scrambled up the last ledge, pausing at the top to unpack my camera. From a crouched position, I rose, slowly, behind the rocky blind, where not 20 yards in front of me, stood the prize.
I closed my left eye and waited for the moment. My breath slowed, and my focus narrowed. Then, a spotlight of white afternoon sun burst through the clouds and illuminated the Doll Sheep as he tilted his spiraling horns up. I pressed capture.
Shutter speed 1/500
Her, with her bright red “Wisconsin” sweater, lounging on top of the picnic table, with her poufy hair tilted sideways toward him. Him, with his red UNLV hat, turned back toward her from the bench, both shooting the breeze in the wind. Me with my grey and red TTU t shirt, standing before them, from the shoreline of Otto lake, at the base of Mount Healy, just taking it all in. We’d hung out all week, we’d all become friends. I focused in. I pressed capture.
Shutter speed 1/500
After nearly two hours of torturous beauty, at an overlook on the outskirts of town, I insisted we stop. Off to the side, a ruffling patch of white birch trees led me in. Vanya followed. “Here, it’s perfect” I said in the clearing. Then, without instruction, I looked through the viewfinder and found her piercing green eyes staring back at me. I pressed capture.
Shutter speed 1/200
At another braid in the Toklat river, a horseshoe of green and red peaks culminated at their center with a black and white chunk of glacial rock which drew me in. For nearly five miles, I’d inched closer, only stopping now to take it in. With my knee in the glittering mercury hued sand below, I could feel the power of the icy blue current which rushed toward me, for a moment, in pure silence. I looked up. I pressed capture.
Shutter speed 1/125
The trigger stuck half way, as I hit the end of my third roll of film, a feeling of resistance associated with a nice sense of satisfaction. But, as I ejected the canister, and wound it back, clockwise, a horrible tearing sound vibrated from the body. Franticly, I opened the door to inspect. When, into the blue sky, all 35 photos released.
RIP Roll #3