For the third time in two miles of hiking, I sit down and untie my shoes to empty out the collection of rocks that has gathered beneath my feet. I pause to rest and question my sanity. After a few minutes, I hoist my 45 pound pack of camera gear on my back. Almost there.
My feet hurt. My knee really hurts. Also, I have a hole in my dry pants allowing the frigid Virgin River free access to my left leg. This is my third straight day hiking to one particular spot in Zion National Park. I am after a specific shot from this location. My first two attempts ended in failure...both gear and operator related.
I arrive two hours before the light. I know the exact minute it will arrive. Then I wait. And wait. As the moment draws close, my heartbeat accelerates. The previous failures fill me with doubt, but I am determined to capture the light. The moment of truth arrives, and I click the shutter. It stays open for 3 minutes. I close it and hope for the best while fearing the worst. I won't know the results for about two more weeks, after the film returns from the lab. The wait is agonizing.
My name is Alan Brock. I am a large format photographer; this is how I make images...and I absolutely love it.