Quick Pic #7: My Most Favorite Photo

I apologize now for this very robust post, but I was recently asked what my favorite captured photo is.

My favorite photo I ever captured was taken on August 26, 2012 down in New Zealand. This image is a High Dynamic Range photo of the Tutoko River captured on Milford Sound Highway.

I did a lot of soul searching in 2012. In early 2012 I went through a divorce, started a new career and moved – three major events in very short period of time. With stress and questions looming over my head, and me constantly thinking about what I was going to do with my life, I decided I needed to hit the reset button. So naturally, I booked a trip to go halfway across the world for a temporary escape from reality. My trip started with a pit stop in Melbourne to visit my Australian relatives I had never met. After a short time with them, I joined a 10 day Contiki tour of the south island of New Zealand. The tour was great and everything that I needed.

In the middle of our tour, we had three days in Queenstown do pretty much do whatever we wanted. I decided to book a trip without any other Contiki members I knew to visit the Milford Sound. It was like I subconsciously knew I needed to go at this one alone to appreciate the beauty of the trip. All along the four hour trek to the Sound, we stopped along the way to take in the scenes and get a few pictures. Our final stop before arriving at the Sound resulted in my favorite photo…ever. Dozens of travelers were on the bridge capturing photos or just watching the water flow by, however, I became mesmerized by the scene. Sounds seemed to drown away and I felt like it was just me on the bridge. After about 20 minutes of just standing, watching and thinking about everything I had gone through earlier that year, I finally felt like I was at peace. As the water ran below the bridge, it felt like all of my questions, insecurities and uncertainties went with it. This is when I knew I would need to remember this moment for the rest of my life. I reached for my camera and carefully captured five images of the scene knowing that I would edit them together to create the HDR image.

When the trip was over and I returned home, this was the first image I worked on. The result gave me goosebumps and still does. Right now the photo hangs on my wall as a 24”x36” framed photo. It’s the first thing I see when I walk into my apartment, and the last image I look at when I leave, serving as a constant reminder to that one moment in time I felt free.

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Categories: Photography

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