Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Friday, January 7, 2022

Stumbled Upon


Boondocking with the Raven in the Harquahala Mountains AZ

Well, I’m happy to report that the first solo mission in the Raven came off without a hitch.  I thought it would be a good idea to get comfortable with the new rig in a familiar, close-by environment, so I headed for the Harquahala Mountains, about an hour from home.


Unconventional light, Harquahala Mountains AZ

It’s been a while, and I’d forgotten how good solo boondocking is for clearing my mind.  I got thinking about how crowded some of the famous photo spots have gotten over the last decade or so. Largely, this has to do with the Instagram syndrome.  For me, the crush of humanity makes the time I spend in nature much less pleasant.


Tortured trees, Humboldt County CA

So lately I’ve been seeking out quiet places and just wandering around to see what I might stumble upon (figuratively, most of the time.) I choose what I think will be (photographic) target-rich environments and end up shooting more of the quieter, smaller scenes that have lately come to be called intimate landscapes. Not only can I avoid throngs of people, but I’m much less likely to make an image that we’ve all seen many times before.


Chollas reaching warp speed, Harquahala Mountains AZ

Another path to creativity in these quiet places is to ask the “What if” questions that Coleen Miniuk talked about in her last “Dear Bubbles” post.  It’s good to color outside the lines sometimes.  Here's one example; an image of cholla cactus with backlight.  I moved the camera during the exposure just to see what would happen.  They look to me as if they’re accelerating to warp speed.


Soft light and fog, Clear Lake CA

Sometimes I wonder whether I’m missing something, or whether I should be following the crowd.  Then I remember the peace and creativity that comes with stumbling and I carry on.


Color in the fog, Sonoma County CA

So, I posted some examples from the last month or so here for fun. More from the winter shoots so far are in the current Winter Gallery on the website.

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