It's a rare pleasure to catch a location right when its foliage is peaking with autumn colors and storms have not yet dashed it all to the ground. When I arrived at this gorge, the morning's fog was lifting just enough to let some light shine through in the distance. I had a comfortable amount of time to settle into the location, to absorb its charms, and to work through some possibilities for expressing the majesty of the moment. Time seemed to stand still, actually. Unlike most outings, I did not feel at all rushed by the rapidly changing conditions of a rising or setting sun. I worked my way along the gorge, exploring its many features and feeling undeterred by a light drizzle that came and went while I was there. Little did I know that the afternoon would bring a torrential downpour that would flood the gorge and ravish its Fall foliage. By then I was long gone, having captured a precious slice of time that magically coincided with my visit and then promptly vanished along with me.
You may notice from the details posted here that I took this photo last year. I don't know how many people take a photo that they *really* like, one that is the clear favorite from an outing, and then sit on it for a year. Perhaps I'm a bit odd in that regard because I do it often. My hard drives are full of photos in an incubation stage--that period when I step away from a photo and let it ripen in the depths of my mind. Sometimes I feel as though I'm just too close to the moment I captured to see the results objectively, and I don't want to process a photo that I can't actually 'see'. So I let those photos stew for a while. Sometimes I forget about them. And then, at some later date, when I'm turning over the couch cushions of my hard drives in search of lost treasures, I rediscover those moments of yesteryear. When they pull me in again and even add something unexpected, seemingly all on their own, then I know it's time to open the door and let them out.