Missouri River with Celestial Sky

Through the years those interested in my images have asked for more information about how they come to be. Here is a brief description of how this particular work was created.

Recently while reading in a book of thoughtful quotes I came across this: “I use my imagination to see only good and I reap a rich harvest of goodness.” It was late the day after Thanksgiving. I was standing on the edge of the Missouri river, observing such a massive body of water, so beautiful, ebbing and flowing downstream, serene and yet so powerful. The day had been drizzly, dark, overcast, and at this moment coming to its close.

Looking across to the far bank was a line of bare trees, their shapes distortedly reflecting on the surface of the flowing water. Photographing in this kind of light is always a treasured experience for me. The captured image was beautiful and for days after gazing and reflecting on it I felt as if something was missing. It looked like so many photos of bare trees I have seen before, but it held such a moment of passion in my memory. Back in New Mexico and working late one evening it was time for a break. I scooted back from the desk and went outside and the cold clear sky was alive with stars and planets. It was a magnificent sight and the decision was made to put my camera on a tripod and aim out into infinity. The Big Dipper was the center attraction. It turned out to be an interesting shot, especially for someone who is not an astrophotographer. That put me to bed with the image of the heavens in my psyche and a sense of intimacy for the sublime and elegant world we live in.

The next morning is when I read the above quote on using the imagination. Opening up the file of the Mighty Mo with bare trees, the previous night sky appeared strongly in my mind’s eye and there it found its home above the trees and river. Getting to work, the two pictures were merged together. This was the image that came from deep within, conceived out of the stillness of the previous nights sleep. Our imagination is a sacred gift we all have been bestowed with and what would life be like without it?

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