Friday, July 26, 2013

St Mary Falls - photo from Glacier National Park

"St Mary Falls" 

Glacier National Park, Montana, is one of my favorite places I've been. The sweeping vistas there are truly stunning, as everyone is well aware, but the intimate scenes are no less stunning. It seems like the majority of the streams have carved themselves intricate canyons that would qualify as national treasures in their own right, if they were anywhere less spectacular. St Mary Falls, pictured here, is one such example. The canyon walls and turquoise glacial waters are hard to beat, but what actually drew me into this scene were the plants that grew on the rocky banks. It is them - the sparse flowers and stunted evergreen trees - that made this place feel like an idyllic oasis to me.

This image embodies why I love photography. I love nature; hiking, trekking, just being in it and soaking it in... it gives me such peace of mind, and is deeply mentally cleansing for me. It's the driving force behind some of my fondest memories. But over time the memories fade, just like anything else. Photography, for me, helps preserve the memories. I'm not talking about a photograph simply preserving a beautiful instant, which it does, but rather how it helps reawaken entire experiences.

I found this photograph a few days ago. It was taken in 2009, on a trip me and cousin took to Glacier National Park. On this day, we started the day with a sunrise hike up to Avalanche Lake, and ended the day with a dusk hike through Logan Pass to Hidden Lake. They were two of the most memorable hikes from that trip. But there was a third hike we did that day, in between the other two, that I had completely forgotten about until finding this photo. In the middle of the day, we hiked to St Mary Falls and Virginia Falls. Even though the hike was less memorable than the other two, this photograph reminded me not only the sights we saw, but also the conversations we had, like whining about how hungry we were, and the blisters our soggy shoes were giving us. It made me really happy, just to be able to re-experience a day well spent.


Sandra said...

it is nice to look back sometimes. Like you said, it will bring back memories but not only that... It is always worth checking out old pics and even more if you find jewels like this.

Matt Tilghman said...

Thank you Sandra!

Mark said...

Glacier has been on my short list to visit and photograph for many years now. I think I really need to move it up in the priority list. Beautiful shot.

Matt Tilghman said...

Thanks Mark! It really is an incredible place. It was my favorite stop during the trip that I visited it, beating out Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Banff