Last Sunday, I made the first site visit for what will be called the Di-Ahman Project.
In short, this project will be an effort to get one photograph that captures the spiritual essence, hopes, and dreams that Adam-Ondi-Ahman holds for those with Mormon background.
I've never seen a photograph that really captures this place. It's a huge valley, and frankly, it's not easy to shoot. But the place is magical. I drove there and I expected to feel nothing. Honestly, I lived in Missouri for about five years and it's a nice place, but I wouldn't care to really live there again. I joke with people about what there is to see. "Trees and grass", I always say. Indeed, it seems like you can drive across four states and they all look the same.
When I got to Di-Ahman, I came in the back way and drove straight to Tower Hill. I got out of my car and walked down the little path that goes down the hill to the valley floor.
I was overcome.
Overcome with a deep sense of peace and tranquility. The place is possibly the most peaceful place that I have been to in the whole world. Honestly, I really didn't want to leave. I could have sat down by a tree and just sat there for hours. I wandered through the trees and fields almost mindlessly for an hour or so and it was very, very healing on a deep spiritual level. It was Magic, in the best possible way.
Once while looking at my Sacred Grove shot, I told someone that I wanted to shoot a shot of Di-Ahman but that I figured that I would need to spend about three days. They said that there wasn't a lot to see there, and that they didn't think I could spend three days there. After this visit, my conclusion is that my preliminary estimate was wrong. I could easily spend a solid week here, just watching the light, the weather, and trying to capture it. The place was just amazing, and so many shots seemed to just leap out at me, with everything coming from a hundred different directions and angles. I didn't even have any sunlight to work with, because it was overcast. Just imagine the different light possibilities...
I probably could spend every weekend for six months. I'd really like to see it in all different weather and seasons.
It's a long way away from Salt Lake though. I have no idea how I can do this project, but I decided that it is important. I don't know if I can even get a shot that portrays the valley. It's really big, but I feel like I have to try. I will probably be working on this for a while, and it will likely be the focus of all my foreseeable trips to Missouri.
This shot is taken at the main entrance to the fenced farm area, about a mile from Spring Hill and next to the mouth of the valley. I actually drove past the main entrance, and then I had a second thought to go back and store the site in my GPS unit. When I pulled in to the main gates, I saw this tree and had to stop. I'm glad that I went back...