Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Right Place, Right Time

As a Nature Photographer, I need do quite a bit of planning. I check sunrise times, tide charts and weather forecasts. I need to know when fog or rain is expected, when I can access low tide areas of the beach, when Arctic sea smoke is predicted, when the light with be soft for photographing flowers and how much time I have to race the setting sun to photograph it's beautiful warm light.

But sometimes, what it really takes to make a photograph that makes my heart sing is to be in just the right place at just the right time. That's what happened to me last weekend after a 2 day snowstorm here in Maine. The snow was the soft, fluffy kind with huge flakes that cling beautifully to everything they land on. I have a few favorite places to shoot in my home town, and I was anxious to see them covered with a fresh blanket of snow.

My first stop was a local field with some amazing trees. As I approached the area, I could see that the sky was getting better and better. It was a gorgeous color of blue, with wonderful clouds, a great landscape sky.  I pulled over and I grabbed my camera with my 70-200 f/2.8 lens and started shooting the trees. Light was a little flat, but I loved the color of the sky against the fresh snow.

Suddenly, the clouds parted just enough to flood the field with light, the effect was so beautiful that it literally made me gasp.The tree was glowing and the sky was much more intense. Luckily I was all set up and had my composition so I quickly fired off a few shots.  I could barely breathe, I knew I had gotten my shot, and that's such an amazing feeling. Definitely a Happy Dance moment! Just as quickly as the light came, it was gone.

I moved to a different area of the field and was blessed with another fleeting gift of light, and then it was gone. I did get a few more shots, but the first one remains my favorite image of the day, probably of this whole winter season. Here are a few other photos I made that day:

So, planning is great, we all need to do it, but sometimes being in the right place at the right time is what delivers the shot! If you are not out there with your camera, it's not going to happen. No guarantees that you'll find images that make your heart sing on any given day, but when you do, it's magic!

Happy Shooting,