Favorite Photo, August 13

John and Melissa on the trail up Flattop Mountain. Longs Peak in the background. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Wednesday, August 13, 1969.

When I went looking through my favorite photos folder for photos taken August 13, I found a few photos from August 13, 2016 at a workshop I was leading in Northern Michigan, and just one photo captured with an instamatic camera August 13, 1969. The 1969 photo is the clear prize winner as my favorite August 13 photo.

My first camera, a Kodak Instamatic.

Technically the photo is lacking. The instamatic camera had a fixed focal length, fixed aperture lens, and only two shutter speeds, one for day time and one for flash. The image isn’t all that sharp. The light isn’t the best either.

The location is impressive, up not far from timberline on Flattop Mountain with Longs Peak and the Keyboard of the Winds in the background.

But the real key is the two people in the photo. One is John, my brother, and the other is Melissa, my fiancée. We were hiking up to Tyndale Glacier. It was Melissa’s first trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. That is what makes this photo so special. There are times sentiment far outranks technical excellence in an image.

20 years apart. 1969 and 1989.

20 years later, July 22, 1989, Melissa and I were on the same trail at the exact same spot with our three teenage children. Our daughter has her foot on the same rock (with a long, triangle shaped shadow) as my brother had his foot on 20 years earlier. All the trees are bigger. The tree that is just barely visible above my brother’s head in 1969 has grown much taller in 1989 (center of the photo).

This isn’t just my favorite photo taken on August 13. It is one of my most favorite all time photos!


Series: Favorite Photos by Date

Favorite Photo, July 21 – Melissa and I and our three children on the trail up Flattop Mountain, 1989