Blue Horizon

Uploaded 16 Jul 2010 — 3 favorites
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© Joshua Ball
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

My good friend Dustin Rybka recently moved from his hometown of Toledo, OH to Los Angeles, CA. It was a lifelong dream of his and the stars finally aligned in his favor, allowing him to make the move. When he indicated that he was going to drive across the country to reach his final destination, I immediately knew that I was going to go along for the ride. I’ve never been farther west then Denver and it presented a great opportunity for me to see a lot of the country for the first time.

We decided early on that there were no plans, no deadlines, no quotas, no schedules, no rules and no worries. I had 7 days before my flight was scheduled to leave from LA back to Detroit. As long as Dustin could promise that I would make that flight, I didn’t have a care in the world. Even when the pilots of the airline I was set to fly back on went on strike, it didn’t phase me. We were jumping in a car and heading west, and that was all I needed to know.

With the Rocky Mountains staring us in the face like a hungry lion licking its lips, we fired up the GPS and continued west.

About 20 minutes into the climb, we found this lookout mountain peek and decided to check it out. Camera bag in hand, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to take this shot. With no fear, Dustin climbed out onto a rock outcropping that extended out over a rather large cliff. I quickly composed the shot and took a series of bracketed exposures. The intensity of the setting sun was rather significant and it was hard to see anything other than a few jagged silhouettes. I didn’t notice it at first but in this photo, Dustin is actually looking west towards his new home in California; but before we made it there, we still had to tackle those hulking obstacles on the horizon.

The mountains on the horizon in this photo are especially meaningful to me because they were the farthest west that I had ever traveled up until this trip. After we crossed them, I was in uncharted territory. Every mile, every state, every gas station, each step was completely new. Beyond that personal meaning, there is other symbolism at play. Dustin is standing on the cliff face, shielding his eyes from the setting sun, looking towards California. Just about everything important to him is packed in his trunk and he has left everything behind in order to follow his dream. Knowing that, this photo tends to symbolize hope and forward progression to me. He is looking towards the future, looking towards his dream. I have to give him credit for having the intestinal fortitude to walk to the edge of everything that he has ever known and take that final step into the unknown. We all have dreams and aspirations. It’s part of what makes us human. Many of us spend our entire lives talking about pursuing them, few of us actually have the guts to do it; and at the end of the day it really isn’t about whether or not we ever truly reach our dreams, it’s about knowing that we had the vision to follow them.

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