I captured “SOLITARY” on one of my many early-morning ventures this fall here in Colorado. On this particular morning, I had driven all the way up to one of the highest points in Rocky Mountain National Park, way before the sun rose in the east. It was the height of the annual elk rut, when the chilly early-morning air in the park rings with the sound of bugling elk. I had dreamed up the idea of capturing the silhouette of an elk bull against the colorful sky just before sunrise, well aware that pretty much every star in the universe would have to align in order for me to be able to actually eternalize such an incredibly rare and elusive moment. Well… align, they did — and the result is “SOLITARY”.
What drew me to producing an image like this in the first place was that I really wanted to illustrate the journey, from darkness to light, that dictates so much of my photography. Placing the lone elk in a high country-tundra environment, walking toward the light, however slowly, showcases the journey we all have to take at times. We are struggling, we feel like we are in a dark, unforgiving place, alone. But there is always a light, and it is all about finding the courage to take the step forward, toward the warmth of that light.
If you have ever dealt with a challenge, or are doing so right now, I hope that “SOLITARY” will inspire you to keep fighting, to keep taking that next step.
There is always a light.