In 2006 my wife Heather and I took a trip to western New York. We visited the Corning Museum of Glass as well as Watkins Glen. I was pretty pumped about the latter because of the Thunder Road attraction--one of the few NASCAR speedways where you can drive your own car ON the track. I had also heard great things about a hike you can do there that follows a natural stone pathway around and behind waterfalls.
After driving on the racetrack but before heading out to Corning, we decided to undertake the hike. With camera in hand, we made our way along the slick-stone ascent, snapping pictures along the way. We paused by a waterfall and took a few shots before continuing along. Something made me stop and turn around after we had descended the steps and what I saw fanned my photographic fire.
What you see in the photo is what ultimately became the cover of The Lion in the Desert. The crazy part is that I took this shot well before I learned any photo editing skills so what you see is exactly what I saw, as it was, at that exact moment. The second photo emphasizes that point because I took a few steps forward and tilted the camera up and, as you can see, it completely altered the scene.