I'm a big fan of local, state, and national parks. Whenever I travel I often seek out such places. Just over a year ago, my wife and I were invited to our friends wedding in Arkansas. After booking a room, my first online search was for nearby parks. That's when I discovered Petit Jean State Park. Petit Jean was Arkansas's first state park! In my research I noticed they had some pretty cool waterfalls to go along with it's rich history of native Americans and french explorers. To get to the waterfalls requires a bit of hiking on the well established trails. It is always great fun, wonderful exercise, and somewhat spiritual for me when I am alone in the wilderness exploring new locations.
I photographed the waterfalls for a while and as dusk approached I made my way out of the woods. I arrived to my car just as the sun was about to set, so I hopped in and headed for a lookout I noticed on my way into Petit Jean State Park. I got there just in time, and as I was photographing I was approached by a curious lady that was enjoying the sunset herself. I didn't even notice her until she spoke to me. Being somewhat startled, I asked her to repeat her question. Beautiful isn't it? She asked. Yes it is! I replied. From there she started to tell me about her husband and how much he loves sunsets. That conversation lead to other life stories. I didn't want to be rude, but I didn't want to miss the sunset either, so I put my remote shutter release at my side and secretly snapped some images while we watched the sun sink below the horizon. When the sun was gone I started to pack up my things, said goodbye, and left the curious lady as she absorbed the remaining beauty of that day.
Every image I make has a story. I do enjoy making images for others to enjoy but I also love making images, that in time, will hold wonderful stories of my adventures. I can go through every image I made, and I can feel the cold chills, the stiff breezes, the smell of the ocean, the mist of a waterfall, the adrenaline of an animal staring me down, and the stories of the people I meet. The viewers of art often will relate to artwork in a different way than the artist. That's fine, as long as they can relate, I have accomplished my goal.
This weeks post image is from the overlook in Petit Jean State Park in central Arkansas. For more information on Petit Jean State Park click here.