Sometimes you have to go back and reconsider files from a job. With a little time it's easier to see how to make an image work.
I photographed this scene last Fall when I was totally immersed in a corporate project. The art director and I had gotten up early, driven like crazy people, met with a group of engineers and contractors and then followed them up dirt roads, cut into the sides of mountains, until we reached a spot where the consensus was that I might like the scenery. Yes. I loved the scenery. And I appreciated that we got to the site just as the weather was perfect. And I was even happier when the weather held together long enough to use the site to do nearly a dozen different portraits.
I'd more or less forgotten I'd made a photograph without people in it at this remote location until I was preparing files from that long and involved job so I could create an e-mail promotion about ---- making portraits on remote locations. As I looked through the folders this image stuck out to me specifically because it didn't have people in it. When I took it my intent was more or less just "visual note taking" and now I realize that it was a portrait of the location; the most important part of our canvas.
Another aspect of re-reviewing work done months before is that you approach appraisals of the file quality; the camera performance, with a more honesty. I've been toying lately with downsizing my collection of m4:3rds cameras and lenses but my review of not just this file but so many of the portraits convinces me that the work I've been doing with the Lumix G9 cameras, and the best of the format's lenses, can go toe-to-toe with just about everything on the market I've shot with. While some cameras obviously have higher overall resolution these cameras have wonderful color palettes and, when using a lens like the Leica/Panasonic 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 the system provides its dual I.S. which is head and shoulders better than any one else's image stabilization but Olympus. We actually ended up ditching the tripod after the first trip on this assignment.
As I sit here in my comfortable office I could rationalize using cameras and camera systems of just about any size and bulk. We forget about logistics of transporting all our gear when we're fantasizing about how that next bigger format may help us take better photographs. But when I look at my work from last Fall and remember how great it felt to be able to fit my entire camera and lens kit into a small backpack that could even fit under the torturous and diminished seats of a ragged little commuter jet I realized that getting to the locations I needed to and not having to worry about whether or not I'd have to gate check a camera bag, or pack full of the tools with which I make a living, added to the quality of my day to day life. It eliminated one recurring stress point.
But mostly I just like looking at this photograph and remembering how isolated, quiet and peaceful the location was for us on that Fall day.