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Individuality (Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington)

 

Individuality -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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When I saw the stunning beauty of this landscape in Mount Rainier National Park I recognized the potential to create a photo about relationships with strong emotional content.   A single Indian Paintbrush flower (Castilleja parviflora) is surrounded by a sea of thousands of Avalanche Lilies.  Many interpretations are possible and come to mind as a reflection of the life experience of the viewer.  Some people see individuality, others isolation or loneliness.  There have been times in my life when I've felt like the Paintbrush, other times I've felt like one of the lilies.  

From a more philosophical view there is much to be seen about communities and the passage of time in this picture.  Besides the flowers, there is a community of a few trees in the distance, and the single, powerful rock that looms over the whole scene.  The rock will outlast everything else in view and from that perspective has more power than even the sea of lilies.  In just a few weeks, the lilies will fade and more paintbrush flowers will appear, changing the balance of the relationships in the meadow.  I fiercely believe that in the end it is what we accomplish and not how we fit in that matters most, but being part of a community often makes it more fun and easier to reach one's goals.  

Outside of the camera's view is another relationship between two photographers, myself and my good friend Van Kane who was with me that day in July 2001 and took home some spectacular shots too.  

Technically, getting the exposure of the lilies correct and having several thousand of them stay still for the one-second shutter speed were the most challenging.  Perhaps the power of the message in the scene compelled the image to be brought to film.  

 
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Info:  Chromira digital print of Provia 100F 4x5 chrome, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper
 

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