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Mt. Hood from Mirror Lake · Mt. Hood National Forest · Government Camp · Oregon · USA

Something calls, and you go towards it, compelled by an indescribable, unnamable force that quells the initial doubts within. You arrive at beauty, and you smile. Yet something tells you there’s more, something coming, something…special, if you’ll just stick with it. But the clock ticks away and the doubts come again, smoldering, simmering, then seething, threatening the tenuous interface between solidity and utter dissolution.

And then all of a sudden, before you even have time to contemplate the changes, it happens: the sun clears the distant horizon and ignites the sky in a kaleidoscope of fire and ice. Paradoxes align: The changes are at once imperceptible yet dramatic, intangible yet palpable, serene yet stirring, expected yet in every way surprising—a deafeningly silent, slow-motion explosion. All around you, stillness, calm, and tranquility prevail, yet every fiber of your being buzzes with electricity. The moment stokes the senses, quickens the spirit, steeps the soul.

Then before you know it, it’s gone. And what’s left is a final paradox: an ephemeral instant that lasts forever. It doesn’t always happen like this for me, but to me this is the essence and power of photography at its best. Not mine, but anybody’s.

It calls to me.

And I go towards it.

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