One thing I wanted to show was that sensation of feeling singular in a crowd. It’s a sensation that Black people in the outdoor recreation world are intimately familiar with, and it’s something that Peter and I talked about very early in our first meeting.
This trip got me thinking. Colorado is a wildly beautiful place, and literally millions of pictures are taken here, usually of the same places, in similar sorts of weather. So why not try to visit another iconic spot in different sorts of conditions than what is usually sought after? I live conveniently close to the Maroon Bells WIlderness and the iconic view of the Maroon Bells peak reflected in Maroon Lake is one that many Colorado photographers go to great trouble to get. But of course, I don’t want to take that picture everyone else does. So I went in the rain and the fog. It was a wonderful, freezing cold day so naturally I dragged some friends and family along to enjoy the sufferfest with me. They were very good sports about the drizzly nasty weather and appallingly slow pace of our walk as I stopped every 15 feet or so for another shot. This is the downfall of being friends or the relative of a photographer I suppose. But we have these shots to remember the day with, so for me it was worth it, and hopefully for them as well. The standout of the day was the performance of the camera itself, shooting for hours on one battery and no worries about being rained on except keeping the lens clean and clear.
Covid wrought a lot of changes in my life, as it did in many people’s lives. I have been so fortunate that I am a nurse and have not had to struggle with the loss of a job or income. But as the country began to really struggle with the third wave of Covid this fall I felt that I could no longer justify staying comfortable at home while so many nurses are not only fighting a daily battle with Covid, but also with understaffing. I made the decision to take an assignment working in Minneapolis, and that meant saying goodbye to my home, family, and the mountains. I made one last trip to the Rifle arch, a sandstone arch just a short 1 ½ mile hike from highway 13 only 30 minutes from my home. I somehow coerced my faithful friends to accompany me because I knew that I would need their help setting up some of the shots I wanted to get.
The last images I have to share are from Minnesota, because the best way I know of getting familiar with a place is to go out scouting for photography locations. And although these images do not showcase Colorado, I am proud of them because I feel that they show my growth as a photographer throughout this process.
Learn More About Natalie's Project
You can follow Natalie as she planned and executed her project through her three monthly blogs.