Thursday, July 7, 2011

Expect the Unexpected ~ Exploration Thursday!

"Marsh Light"
(1/50 sec.@ F/9, ISO 200, 40mm fl, late evening light)

Let me set up the scene. Sitting editing at my desk last night, supper ready, I look out my window for a moment and what do I see? The most massive clouds moving quickly across the sky. I look at the cloud anxiously. If I time this right, I can have dinner on the table in two seconds, hubby will walk through the door, my kit bag will be ready, and out the door I'll go after scarfing down said dinner... to chase the clouds. I hear the car pull in and is that a nervous twitch in my right eye? I can barely contain myself. I NEED to get pics of those clouds lit so gloriously in the lowering sun!

Faster than you can say "Bob's yer Uncle" we wolf down our donairs, and hubby and I fly out to the car yelling something to the kids about not blowing up the house or losing the dog and off we go. I remember that not far from the house is a new trail that leads to a cool walking bridge over the highway to the beach... the clouds will look great from there!

Move ahead a measly ten minutes. The clouds? Gone. They've rapidly become a smear of grey across the distant sky leaving a hazy blue and nothing else. Can you say "drat!" I walk deflated across said bridge and wonder if I'll just have to stand around for another hour and at least get some night shots of the light trails of hundreds of cars on the highway beneath us driving into the approaching night. But man I wanted those clouds.

If there's one thing I've learned pursuing photography for the last five years, it's been to never restrict yourself to what you think might be waiting for you. Always be ready for the possibility that instead of what you envisioned, there might be a surprise waiting for you. There have been days I thought I was heading out to shoot landscapes, and instead I got hung up on some cool details I spied at the side of the road en route. Went to shoot architecture, and shot dogs playing in puddles instead. So as I stood on the bridge, I turned to see the view from the east... and found marshes rising up on either side of the highway along the trails. And if they weren't bathed in the most lovely sunset light, grasses shining, water with golden ripples. And if I poked my lens through the rungs of the bridges rails, I could get the view unhindered and from 40ft up.

I walked away with a ton of shots. The reeds in the water made little paths that zigzagged through the frame, natural layers the eye could travel around, and the light kept deepening. You'd never know traffic was roaring past less than 30 feet away... and the whole time I was reminded that I need to expect the unexpected when I head out with my camera.

Have a great day folks! Thanks for the ramble and I hope you all find something unexpected to photograph this week too!


  1. Beautiful image, and blog post. I too have often gone out expecting to shoot something in particular, only to find something unexpected, and possibly better. It happens a lot with storms LOL!

  2. Ah yes, storms cam make one want to lose their mind if you're not prepped to just go with the flow, lol. Great to see you visit here at the Ramble Rachel! Thanks so much m'dear! Have an awesome weekend!