A couple weeks ago I ventured into the forest at Lost Lake with Devin and a few other photographers to get a taste of what it takes to photograph the stars at night. While our hike was only 2.5 miles long, and not far from home, I definitely still learned a thing or two.
I arrived at the campsite around 5, set up my tent, and packed up my equipment and hiking gear (camera, tripod, wide angle lens, microfiber cloth, remote control, flashlight, gloves, hat, hand warmers, and snacks). It was a chilly September night, and we were going to be sitting at 6000 ft for several hours, so I made sure to be as prepared as possible. We hiked up to a viewpoint that overlooked hundreds of acres of forest, the winding Columbia River, and of course, Mt. Hood. The skies were crystal clear, and the air was crisp. I sat on the ledge of the mountain, staring out into the world, imagining what it would be like to dedicate 60 days to photographing landscapes...
Devin told us stories of how he'd sit in one place all night long, waiting. Patiently waiting. Completely alone, in absolute silence, and absolute darkness. At the top of a mountain, the only sound you hear is the movement of leaves blowing in the wind, and maybe some critters nearby. The moon lights your path, but the rest of the world is dark. You are completely isolated, with nothing but your own thoughts to keep you company.
Experiencing this really put some things into perspective for me. I started thinking about patience, and why it's such a vital lesson to be learned. I believe that patience and isolation begin a test of faith. We are patient when we know that what we are going to achieve will be worth the wait. If you can manage to cultivate a vision great enough to endure the slow and often painful process of achieving it, it means you have tapped into something calling you from within. And once you've reached this point, you'll be amazed at how often the outcome of your vision is event greater than anything you could have imagined.
I also thought about the dedication it would take to pull of an adventure like Devin's. Being submerged in that environment really helped me understand his journey, and what it can look like to pursue a passion in landscape photography. Everyone has a unique journey, and it was very insightful getting a taste of what Devin's life is like and how hard he works to chase his dreams. And while shooting landscapes isn't really for me, I was able to appreciate the experience and walk away with a special memory, a lasting feeling, and some pretty cool photos.