The Story Behind a Photo

Indian Paintbrush

Today I’m sharing a photo that I took a number of years ago, actually with my very first digital camera. It was an old Fuji 2.3 megapixel camera which I was thrilled to have. By today’s standards the resolution is poor and the quality isn’t that much better, but it is this camera that started me down the road to what is my passion and favorite hobby these days.

What makes this photo so interesting to me and the reason I posted on the site versus a more recent higher quality photo is that this photo represents a story, history and emotions that I have surrounding a number of events in my life. Now I’m not to get all sappy on you and start crying virtual tears as I share a little background on this photo, but I do think it has a point to be made.
The funny thing about photos is that when we get a good one we always like to share them. Of course there are those that share every photo they’ve ever taken, particularly after a vacation or trip of some kind in the age-old fashion of the travel slide show. This is not what I’m talking about. The great photographers or at least those that seem to take great pictures time and again typically share the ability to “see” license situation as potential photos. It is the composition of a photograph, along with so many other variables of course, but primarily the composition that makes one photo better than the rest. The photo is well composed not only does the subject matter look good, but the photo itself often can tell a story. Again, this photo I show you is nothing special, so there’s not the photo itself it tells the story.

In the case of this photo it is simply a shot of an Indian paintbrush flower. In fact the original photo has the flower taken dead center, which was not all that interesting. With a little Photoshop work to improve the colors due to the limitations of the old camera I was using and some creative cropping to put the flour off center, the photo came a little more to life. But again, it is not the photo itself that I’m highlighting today. What I am choosing to highlight today is that this photo represents so much to me because simply does a photo of an Indian paintbrush taken in the backcountry of the Bob Marshall wilderness in Montana.

My father’s side of the family as an old hunting cabin they built years ago that is one of only a handful of cabins that were the allowed in that area of a national wilderness. The area is beyond beautiful and a place that we used to visit as a family every other year growing up. I went on to 50 and 100 mile trips as a Boy Scout with my dad leading the pack along with the many family outings to this simple but amazing place to visit. I have hiked more miles than I would like to count through the various trails and mountains in this area, especially the one named Crown Mountain just behind where the cabins located. It is on this mountain that my dad’s and my grandfather’s ashes were spread to the wind and where simple rock memorials have been constructed to their memory.

It is on the first of trips to this area that I remember my dad teaching me about some of the different plans, including an Indian Paintbrush just like this one. This particular photo was taken years later on a trip with my own family to the same area. So, though this picture is nothing special to look at, when I have it on my desktop wallpaper or I am viewing it along with some of my other photos, it brings back all of these memories. So the next time you are taking a photo, try not only to take a beautiful one, but one that is going to bring back memories of your great times.

As always, you can grab a copy of this photo in wallpaper size over here in my sharing gallery at