Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Trusting the Inner Voice and Serendipity

One of my main photographic goals in China was the Yellow Valley. I had seen bad photo of a Grand Canyon-like valley. So here I was, but for the two days I had been staying at the nearby Grace Vineyard winery guest room, it rained continuously. Finally on the third morning it started to clear. I ran out to an overlook before 6:00 in the morning. Between cloud cracks I took the first shot. I felt that I probably got the shot. Then I had to run 25 minutes back to the winery for an interview with the vineyard manager I had scheduled the night before.

After the interview, back to my room to respond to emails and Skype-call my wife. Outside now it was mid-day bright sun. But there was something that was calling me back to the overlook. My interpreter Houghton suggested that I take the car. No, I wanted to walk because from the car I might miss something. I put on my camera backpack and took off on foot. I had two hours before I had to leave for another interview in another town. On foot, half of that time would be spend just getting there and back.

Nearing the overlook, I heard a shout. Looking down into one of the tributary canyons was a shepard with his flock. Here was just what I needed, the human element in a huge landscape.

As I'm exposing digits like crazy, I marveled that: first, something called me to come back to this spot and second I insisted in walking. From the car I would never have heard or seen the sheppard.

With your digital magnifying glass. you might see that tiny blue speck at the bottom of the photo. That's the sheppard. The white specks are his sheep.

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