Read Part I of this III part series here.
It didn’t take long for me to want better images of those sacred fish. By 2003 the digital point & shoot cameras that I could afford were getting very good. I found myself pushing the cameras closer and closer to the fish in a search to see more. The local fisheries in my area were consistently loaning me gorgeous trout to photograph, and I began paying closer attention to the buttons I was using and order in which I pushed them. Manual settings and less traditional angles and perspectives became a playground. I didn’t have much time to fish, so my days wearing waders were precious, and the stunning fish that made their way into my net became individual icons representing my developing passion for trout fishing.
As most fishermen with fanatical passion for fishing do, I’d struggle to contain my rush to get to the river. Loading the truck with gear and equipment became frantic. Tossing a careless mash of food and beverage into the cooler, only concerned if it’s enough nourishment to stay alive. Jamming gears and changing lanes from freeways to byways. Swerving into small town mini marts for fuel, I’d find myself briskly walking then bouncing into a trot headed for the beer cooler and ice machine. Topped off and not a care in the world, elbows are up and eyes perked approaching the river. I had noted this visible characteristic, observing the demeanor and body language of people heading in to the river versus those headed out on their way home. Soft necks, weary eyes, and sagging shoulders on the folks headed home each dusk. Then one July evening while heading home after an especially productive day of fishing and photography, I found myself jamming to get home as well. I was hammered and weary from chasing after fish sun up to sun down. My eyes were burning from scanning the glassy water for subtle rises forms and tracking sparse dry flies in the dry desert air. I’d had the pleasure that day of peering through my camera, adjusting and tweaking hundreds of shots of many stunning trout. I could not wait to get home, to trade the cork grip for the computer mouse, to explore and re-live what I had experienced that day. I could not wait to discover new layers of photographic art on my computer’s screen.
Part III here.