Skip to main content

Missed Opportunities

It happens to all of us. Those moments when we see a scene that would make a perfect photograph, but for various reasons, we pass it by - only to regret later not having taken the shot. Over the years, I've missed many such opportunities, but one particular scene I passed up has stuck with me over the years.

My partner and I were on a road trip somewhere in Indiana, if I remember correctly. It was late afternoon/early evening and a thunderstorm was moving in (it wasn't yet raining). We were driving on the interstate, nice farmlands on both sides of the highway. As a photographer, I'm always fascinated by light: how it transforms an otherwise mediocre scene; how it plays with shadows; how it creates or changes the mood. This particular afternoon, I spotted a small farm off in the distance: a weather-beaten barn, a silo and a modest farmhouse all surrounded by beautiful wheat-colored fields. The particular subject matter was nice, but that's not what caught my attention. Instead, it was the way the dark, ominous clouds from the approaching thunderstorm contrasted with the sunshine still shining on the farm land.

I considered stopping to take a photo, but quickly realized there wasn't really a safe place to pull over and park, and even if I did, I would've had to run across three lanes of traffic flying by at 70+ mph. All while the thunderstorm moved closer. I passed up the photo opportunity and we continued along our way down the interstate.

I've learned over the years of doing photography, if something catches my attention enough to make me think, "that might make a neat photo," then it's worth taking the time to get the shot. Many times I've photographed an old building, for example, only to find months or years later that the building has been torn down. I've often realized how glad I was to have captured that moment as I saw it when it originally caught my attention.

It's been probably six years since I spotted that perfect farm scene in Indiana, yet I still find myself thinking about it from time to time. I have no doubt that had I taken the photo, it wouldn't have turned out as beautiful as I saw it (it rarely does), but I do wonder how the passage of time has changed that farm land. It's certainly changed me.


Popular posts from this blog

Paying It Forward

We all live in a world where it's easy to hide behind the relative anonymity of a computer screen and keyboard which, unfortunately, brings out the worst in some people. After reading a troll-ish response to someone in an online photography forum recently, I have a few things to say.
I think it's safe to say with 100% certainty, that there is not one professional well-known photographer who at some point didn't start from the beginning. Yes, some people may be born with a more innate talent than others, but they still have to practice their craft. Practice. Fail. Practice. Fail. Practice, practice, practice. One day the technique is perfected, and you begin to see improvement. Work hard to be the best you can be. Whatever your craft or profession. In terms of photography, not one of us picks up a camera one day and becomes a world-famous photographer the next. We all have to start somewhere: asking questions, learning from other photographers, reading books, watching videos…

Where Do You Draw the Line on Image Alteration?

This article from Digital Photography School raises a great question: Where do you draw the line on image alteration? There are many gray areas that surround this debate, and it seems fairly subjective for each photographer. Some photographers go crazy with overdone HDR processing (something that personally makes me cringe, but that's a topic for another discussion). Some photographers enhance color saturation. Some photographers crop or clone out distracting details. Obviously, photojournalists are quite different from landscape photographers, and are held to a specific code of ethics that may not apply to the rest of us. A photojournalist who digitally manipulates a photo of a scene can create an entirely different view of an event they're covering. Some interesting examples and discussion are available here.
While I have occasionally done some overdone HDR for a specific purpose, it's rare that I do that. However, one edit that I do frequently do is cloning out power lin…

Hiking in Red River Gorge

As I mentioned in my previous post, Carrick and I (accompanied by our dog) rented a cabin in Red River Gorge for Carrick's birthday. We spent several hours hiking on both Friday and Saturday. We were told at the cabin rental office that dogs are not allowed on the trails in the Natural Bridge State Park, so we headed instead to RRG.

Our cabin was a short drive up U.S. Highway 715 to the trails. (Here's a map of the area.) Our first stop was the 1.5-mile Rock Bridge Arch trail, three miles down a well-maintained gravel road (National Forest Road 24). As we neared the arch, we passed a nice creek and waterfall running next to the trail. Of course I spent 10 or 15 minutes taking some photos. Thanks to my new waterproof hiking boots, I was able to walk partway out into the very shallow creek to get the photos I wanted. After completing this loop trail, we got back in the car to find our next destination. We had a great guidebook with us called "Hiking Kentucky's Red Rive…