Giving It a Rest

I went up to Estes Park last weekend. I’ve always considered it my home.

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Sony A7II, FotoDiox MD to E Adapter, Minolta 50mm, f/5.6, ISO 1600, 1/5000, Yashica UV Filter.

I’ve been really distraught lately. I think I’ve got a case of the existentialism. It seems like I’m in this limbo of progress and regression and nothingness. Now isn’t a time for that, though, it’s just something that’s weighed on me as of late. I think a lot about life and purpose and all of those other insightful things, but sometimes it’s healthier not to. Every once in a while I like to take a break from looking inward to see what’s outside of my thoughts and troubles and worries. If I don’t, I’ll get stuck.

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Sony A7II, FotoDiox MD to E Adapter, Minolta 50mm, f/3.5, ISO 800, 1/2500, Yashica UV Filter.

When I’m in and around Estes, my soul breathes. It’s like that point when you can’t hold your breath any longer. Returning to that area is the first deep breath. That little city and its surrounds are my reset button. It’s such an extensive part of who I am.

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Sony A7II, FotoDiox MD to E Adapter, Minolta Celtic 135mm, f/3.5 ISO 1600, 1/5000.

At one point, a herd of big horn sheep crossed the road in front of me. I hadn’t seen a big horn in years, so there was much excitement. I pulled over and watched them for a bit, taking a couple pictures as they scurried up the snow-covered granite.

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Sony A7II, FotoDiox MD to E Adapter, Minolta 50mm, f/3.5, ISO 800, 1/500, Yashica UV Filter.

I love spending time in the Park. Especially at sunset. The gentle winds, the pastels, the dramatic skylines, the silence. There is something fulfilling about seeing clouds form and dissolve over a landscape.

Longs Peak is in the center of this frame. It’s obscured, but it’s there. I waited for the clouds to open up just enough for its silhouette to peek through. It was while I was waiting that I ran into another photographer; actually many passed through this lookout, but one in particular stood out.

He parked, propped his tripod and several thousand dollar Nikon rig, bundled himself up in his North Face, and stood silent for a minute or two. I looked over and told him about my hopes of the clouds opening up for us despite them taunting me for the last hour. It was just small talk, but he wasn’t amused.

In the few minutes his face was pressed to his viewfinder, he took one picture then began to disassemble, in a curt manner, with one remark.

“They’re not going to open. You’re just wasting your time.”

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Sony A7II, FotoDiox MD to E Adapter, Minolta 50mm, f/8, ISO 1600, 1/4000, Yashica UV Filter.

He was right, they didn’t open and I didn’t get a dramatic shot of Longs at sunset. But I didn’t waste my time. Maybe I’m wrong, but part of photography (and life for that matter) is making the most of what you have. There are times you have to be patient and wait for the light to hit just right. There are times when that won’t happen. You can hope, but you also have to accept that things won’t always work out how you want them to. You never quit. You do what you can. It’s more than getting that “perfect” image. It’s appreciating the land and pursuing a passion. As a photographer, you take thousands of images and if you’re lucky, you’re able to count the good ones on one hand. If you try to set an image up without just letting it happen, you’re often seeking the archetype.

I waited there until the sun descended and the land fell monochrome. I captured springtime in Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Sony A7II, Sony FE 28-70mm, f/5.6, ISO 3200, 10″.

Good things come to those who wait. The high point on the right is Longs Peak.

I’m new to this. I’ve been taking pictures for years, but landscapes and night photography have always been my adversaries. Combining the two is such a challenge for me. I’ve read lessons on astrophotography and watched videos about how to do certain things. Even after all of that, I still have a hard time getting halfway-decent night photos. I look at all of these outstanding images on Instagram and Trekearth and I think, “why don’t mine come out like that?”

Then I realize I’m not them. Duh. My photos will come out how they come out. I have my own style. I’m just going to do my own thing. And I stop caring.

Mr. Nikon-North Face Photographer from earlier was going for the same shot every one else wanted. Yeah, there’s some good points to that argument. For one, they’re more profitable. But at the end of the day they’re all the same pictures. I don’t want to take the same picture everyone else takes. I don’t want my name on that. It’s vexing. Even if you’re not going to get the shot, enjoy the experience. I know all of this is just an inference, but I found that guy irksome.

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Sony A7II, FotoDiox MD to E Adapter, Minolta 50mm, f/3.5, ISO 3200, 6″, Yashica UV Filter.

Then I realized that I was just there. Some guy adjusting little dials on a camera and pressing a button. I just wanted to reset, relax, watch the sunset, and enjoy the night. The moon was so bright, I didn’t even need a headlamp. It was beautiful. Photos were just a bonus. They’re always just a bonus. And even then, who’s to say what makes a good image? I think the stories behind them and the way they’re interpreted are what make them great. Not their resale.

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Sony A7II, FotoDiox MD to E Adapter, Minolta 50mm, f/2.8, ISO 3200, 1/100, Yashica UV Filter.

 

With a canopy of starlight overhead, I drove around taking pictures here and there. I didn’t see another car in the Park past 10 p.m. It was a good break from the monotony of work. To me, this is the most meaningful image from my trip. It’s a reflection of my phone in my windshield. This song is incredibly pertinent to where I’m at right now in life. Sing For the Wind by Roo Panes.

For those I’m not as close to, I’ve been fervent in trying to relocate to Estes for the better part of a year. I had a job opportunity, but finding housing over the past few months has been a struggle. It’s not behind me, it’s just not my primary focus anymore. Sometimes you just have to wait for the sky to open up.

The time I spent up there put some things into perspective.

© Jordan Poole Photography

 

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Jordan

This is a leap. Or a step.

I don’t know what I’m saying. Let’s just call this a move in a direction more expressive and productive than whichever way I was previously heading. That said, I have no idea what to write in this first post, so I’m just going to wing it and let the words flow out and we’ll see how this goes.

I’m Jordan. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado. While I’ve come close to leaving a few times, I have a hard time seeing myself living anywhere else.

I think I see the world differently than most people my age. It’s alway been that way and is a quality I noticed when I was younger. By that, I don’t mean that I “#livefolk” or whatever people “do” nowadays. I just try not to be a sheep.

Sometimes I do things.

I am happiest in the outdoors where I can bond with the chroma of nature’s frequencies on a plane we are yet to understand. Just kidding, I’m not one of those types, but I have found a large portion of myself in the outdoors. I’m not an adrenaline junkie or anything like that, just someone who appreciates the land for what it is.

Photography has been paramount to who I am. I love being behind a camera and recording a moment in time to share down the road. I’m not neurotic about photography, or one of those people who thinks they’re an expert, I just like taking pictures.

I also like music. Listening to it is great, but I also like songwriting. I’ve played the guitar for something like a decade now, in conjunction with writing lyrics. That is an area I’m more reserved, but easily one I am most emotionally invested in.

Also, I used to draw a lot. I kind of came to a halt on that over the last two years or so—I blame college’s boundless ability to suck all the fun and creativity out of me through pointless busywork, but that’s a rant for another day. Also, there’s always the chance that I’m just a little lazy. Perhaps I’ll get that going again, it was always fun.

So that’s pretty much what I like to do. When I’m not occupied by those things, I’m either sleeping, overthinking, or working. Yep, that’s that.

I can’t eat gluten. Not by choice, but because I have celiac. I’m not one of those. It’s a big part of how I’m remembered and identified by people. I hate talking about it. That’s all I have to say about that.

Well, I think this is a time for brevity. There’s a good chance I’ll open up more as this blog thing progresses. The main purpose of this is to be a creative outlet for me to share my stories and works, to hopefully sell some prints, talk about some equipment, and to ultimately make a more productive use of my time. I get lazy.

No clue when the next post will be, as I’m indecisive and struggle committing to things that I can’t get in trouble for not doing. So I guess the next post will be soon? If you’ve read all of this, then thank you. I’ll try not to disappoint.

© Jordan Poole Photography