Sunday, August 24, 2008

8/24/08 - The One That Got Away

Last weekend I was away on a camping excursion and found a beautiful clearing where the morning sun filtered through the trees, sending gorgeous rays of light down to the clearing floor which was a carpet of ferns. One morning, I woke at 5:30am and brought my camera, coffee, and a book to this spot so I could capture the changing effects of the light as the sun rose. At one point, I was down on hands and knees with a tripod photographing close-up shots of the fern. I was heavily engrossed in this for a while, and when I finally looked up, I found myself staring into the eyes of a doe and her fawn, less than 10 yards away. I suspect that, in the crouched position, they did not find me threatening. At that moment, I panicked... there is no other way to explain it. I could tell that they were now becoming alarmed and I had only seconds to grab a shot. Unfortunately, I forgot that I was programmed in at 1/4s for the fern shots, and this was way to slow for the deer shot.

Flashback a couple of months ago.... I was taking a 2-day workshop on Documentary Photography. Both days, we were assigned with the task of walking around Boston capturing entriguing images of people that told a story. We were not allowed to ask permission to take the shots, we were just suppose to see the opportunity and make the best image we could. Frankly, I found this difficult.

So, what's the lesson? My photography leans more towards the "fine art" category. I like to immerse myself in a scene with tripod and cable release, taking in what is around me and taking my own sweet time about figuring out what I want to "say" with the image and figuring out the best way to do so. As a result, I am not accustomed
to making quick decisions with composition and camera settings when it is called for. I never realized this until the afore-mentioned workshop and this was reinforced when I missed the deer shot. Apparently, I need to spend more time with "quick-shot" opportunities.