I am a native Montanan and took up the art of photography just under 3 years ago. This state offers endless majestic vistas and just about every type of landscape available. I purchased my first digital camera about 3 years ago and, prior to that purchase, had little interest in the practice or art of photography. In fact, I had not held anything more impressive than a disposable camera in my hands for more than a decade. I don't know if it is common, but I felt bitten by the photography bug immediately after ordering the camera and before it actually arrived. I'm not sure I could've described at the time exactly why that was.
There was, of course, as we all love, that instant gratification of being able to see and review the images immediately after they are taken. But now that some time has passed and I have the advantage of hindsight, I can see that what really drew me to venture out and take pictures every day was the ability to capture parts of the world, mere moments never to be repeated, and to share those brilliant moments with others. The essential element of taking a photograph is the capturing of the world as only you see it in that moment. The ability to share those moments, and to the degree possible, those experiences, elicits in my experience a sense of community between photographers and the viewers alike.
In the last decade there has been a "flattening" of the world, with the tools of communication, interaction, and collaberation with anyone in any part of the world just fingertips away. This infrastructure has made it possible for me to share my images with people in every corner of the globe through my photoblog and online photo galleries. Part of what keeps me inspired is the encouragement and perspectives of people from all parts of the world who kindly leave comments and suggestions. Some of them, through their own photography websites, likewise share their diverse cultures with anyone who cares to visit.
These images were taken on a vacation day wherein myself and a couple friends drove across the western part of Montana and hiked in to a Forest Service cabin we had rented for the weekend. These have much more of a "snapshot" quality to them than what I normally take.