I am a firm believer that snap judgments are as dangerous as a closed mind. Still it is amazing just how often my first impression of everything from people to places turns out to be pretty accurate. Sometimes it takes years for me to realize that fact. Most of my first impressions of people are pretty good, so I suppose this is not a bad thing.
My first impression of landscape photographer Linde Waidhofer was made years ago. It was that of a consummate professional. An artist with a camera. It has not changed in all these years. Her latest book, Unknown Patagonia, Chile’s Secret South appears to me to be a masterpiece. Certainly the portfolio from this book that resides in Outdoor Photographer’s June issue would confirm that fact. She is offering 500 hard copy issues of this book. More importantly to most of us you can download a free e-book at http://www.westerneye.com/books/index.html My only problem with Linde is that she does not photograph much wildlife and Patagonia is as rich in wildlife as it is in spectacular landscapes. Check out earlier work from this area by Galen Rowell or Art Wolfe for a balanced look at wildlife and land. Still I do believe that Linde’s landscapes are the most powerful I have ever seen from Patagonia. I would absolutely suggest that you at least check out the June issue of Outdoor Photographer.
The King. Pronghorn, Colorado. As I drove into Arapaho NWR that first morning and saw this Pronghorn, my first impression was that he was the king. Several days later after watching the Pronghorns of this region I was convinced. The females and youngsters stayed together but always watched where the king went and what he did. A few other males stayed together but seemed to give a little extra respect and room when the king walked through. Leaders and followers are important in life and he did seem to be a benevolent leader.
Rocky Mt. Elk. Wyoming. My first impressions of male Elk during the rut was that of testosterone ridden beasts with only a harem in mind. My friend Ron and I watched from our car (five feet) as one bull actually broke an entire tree with his rubbings. Still this fellow and one other proved to be mellow and more concerned with food than the ladies. Overall my first impressions did win out.
Dinosaur N.M. Colorado. My first impressions of Dinosaur were formed from reading a brochure. I thought Dino would be an interesting natural history lesson. I thought that was all it would be. My first visual impression upon driving into the small eastern section of the monument was that this was an arid climate with some pretty spots near the pond that rested in front of me. Then I drove into the canyon drive. The beauty and power of this place caught me off guard. This is a beautiful landscape destination after all. I guess every theory has at least one hole in it. My third impression of Dino was the correct one. I stand by my view of first impressions, but realize that the open mind portion of my philosophy is just as important.
“All things in moderation…..including moderation itself”…..Julia Childs