San Juan Inn Above the San Juan River, Utah
Phil was right. I’ve been to Monument Valley several times, and I’ve made the obligatory photographs of the Totem Poles, the sand dunes, and Salt Creek. On my last trip, the week before last, I turned my attention elsewhere.
Until a couple of years ago, though, I’m not sure I would have been able to turn my camera away from the familiar scenes I knew the rest of our group was photographing. As the trip leader, I used to feel it incumbent upon myself to photograph what the others photographed. In fact, I do photograph the same things. Now, though, I’m more willing to give myself over to other subjects.
The Totem Poles, Monument Valley
It’s not so important to me now that I make photographs of a particular place, like Monument Valley, or Yellowstone, or Yosemite. It’s more important that I’m making photographs in those places, no matter what the subject
In other words, being somewhere I love, photographing in a place I love, has become more important to me than trying to photograph the place itself. It's a bit like fishing for some people, for whom catching a fish isn't paramount; it's the act of fishing they enjoy.