Mount Whitney – Finding another right answer


As Stephen said in his comment to my last post, you can’t plan on great conditions when you’re on a schedule leading a photo tour.  You’re at the mercy of what is given you.  As I see it, that is not necessarily a bad thing.  Let me share a story.  I was leading a workshop, a short weekend type.  It was during the fall and the colors that year were stunning! We had not spent more than 3 hours together when a participant came to me and said they were going home.  I asked why, was it something I had done?  She replied, “no, its just I’m not finding what I came for.”  Perplexed, I suggested, maybe you will find something better!  But you see, she had an assignment for the photo club and was focused on that.  The conditions and the area I picked that morning might not have been good for what she was looking for but they were great for many other things. She was simply not open to finding another right answer.  I found that to be sad.

Fast forward to the Alabama Hills.  We arrived late in the day during the scouting portion of our last tour. When I go to the Alabama Hills, I’m thinking about the rock formations and hoping for great clouds. When we arrived, there were no clouds. No problem, I turned around and saw this great situation brewing around Mount Whitney.  Another right answer!  I could have said, “I’m not finding what I came for” but instead I found something else!  Its all about attitude.  If you don’t think you’ll find something, you probably won’t.  

This entry was posted in B&W, Inspiration and tagged , .


  1. Rich Lewis March 5, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    Great post John. It is amazing how much good stuff is available by opening your mind and simply turning around.

    • john8276 March 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

      Exactly Rich. Images are EVERYWHERE, all you have to do is be open to them.

  2. al campoli March 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm #


    Just beautiful. Very captivating shot. I get a feeling of motion and everything seems to flow together.

    • john8276 March 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

      Thanks Al. Sure wish I had your handy dandy hand warmers… 🙂

  3. Diana March 5, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    One very cold morning I was down by the river hoping to get some wild life photos. It was super foggy and I gave up. When I was in the truck the sun broke free and as I looked in the rear view mirror I saw the trees across the river shrouded with mist and the sky above was pinks and purples and blues….Needless to say that was not what I was there for however those shots that I took (after getting out of my truck!) are some of my all-time favorites! As a matter of fact, one is hanging on the wall in my living room… a reminder to LOOK BACK and reconsider what my goals are.

    • john8276 March 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

      A great story Diana. EXACTLY!!

  4. Diana March 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    PS I love this shot, dramatic, stunning and quite lovely!

  5. Lea Gallardo March 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    So funny that you wrote about this today. It’s raining here in North Florida but I went out for sunrise anyway. There was no sunrise (no surprise) but I got two shots from inside the car that I love!!

  6. john8276 March 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    You go Lea!

  7. Denise March 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    Well said John!! Absolutely spot on.

  8. Chuck March 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    How true, how true! Keeping an open mind is a requirement in my photography book. Rarely do I capture what preconceived image I had in my head. Instead of forcing it, I take what’s given to me.
    Stunning image JB!!

  9. Stephan Dietrich March 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    Stunning and dramatic image JB!

    It is true that we never truly know what we will find until we actually get there and the moment is there before you. Sometimes another person is awaiting in your favorite spot when you arrive… So we improvise, change plans and try something new. Acceptance, awareness and being open.

    Being locked and focused on a single thought or image is sad. Having a plan and goal is one thing… Being open, finding something new, seeing and discovering are some of the elements that allow us to see beyond seeing … and beyond the expected…

    Some of the mysteries and beauty of the art of photography and individuality of each eye behind the lens.

    Great post JB!

  10. marty golin March 5, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    These examples are the photographic version of “We plan, God laughs.” My view is actually there is almost literally always images around us & we should EXPECT to see them. Personally I feel that if I don’t, it’s my “lack of vision,” & though I fail most of the time (I am after all just another flawed being), I forgive myself, & move on. There’s always next time.

  11. Jan Beernaeert March 5, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    If you love and live photograpy, just go out and enjoy the light – no mather were it comes from –
    it’s your best friend!!

    • john8276 March 6, 2014 at 3:28 am #

      Thanks for your comment Jan.

  12. Dore' March 6, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    Well said John. We recently came back from a trip to Alaska and it rained or was overcast almost the entire trip. My mantra became “Making the most of any given situation.” and “Just go with the flow.”. So I didn’t get the images I expected, but my goodness there’s a lot of good ones and even some that took my breath away.

    • john8276 March 6, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      Go with the flow! Love it Dore’ And you do that so well! Love your work.

  13. Brenda Tharp March 9, 2014 at 7:40 am #

    Well said, John! I couldn’t agree with you more. I have had that same thing happen on workshops, and all I can do is share stories like this one to show people that if they don’t impose limits on their vision, they’ll see so much more.

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