When I left off at the end of the previous post, I hinted at the thing that finally connected the dots and allowed me to achieve the level of work I had been striving for. That began with a single image I stumbled across while visiting one of my favorite (and also one of the most informative, professional, and extensive photography related websites on the internet today, www.luminous-landscape.com). The image was called "Playa Reflections" and it was by a photographer by the name of Alain Broit, a name new to me at the time. I starred in awe at the image and my first thought was "Wow, who is this guy". Over the next couple years I purchased his books, read his essays, and studied his extensive gallery of photographs of the American Southwest. It was through these studies that I came to realize the missing link to my work was the emotional side of creating a photograph. It's not about creating am image of what something looks like, it's about creating an image of what something feels like. A successful image pulls the viewer in and triggers something deeper than just a visual response. Think about it this way, have you ever been to a unique location with an incredible view that left you in awe of your surroundings, taken a photograph of the scene, then been disappointed by the print because it looked nothing like you remembered? That's because when you are "in the scene" you are experiencing it with all your senses. Now take that experience and reduce it to a small flat sheet of paper with the only feedback being visual. I'll bet you just had an AH HA moment didn't you? In order to create a photograph that truly conveys what you felt when you were standing there, you have to find a way to translate all that feedback and emotion into a visual form. This is done by applying all the technical and artistic skills you have at your disposal. The better and more finely tuned those skills are, the better the photographer will be able to create an image that conveys those emotions to the viewer, even if they were not standing there. It is my hope that through my images I can enable the viewer to not only see, but to feel what it was like to be "in the scene" when I was there to record the image.