Have you ever looked outside at lunch time and thought to yourself nice clouds about, might get a rainbow at sunset which I should try line up between the wall at Bombo quarry? and then, four hours later, find yourself photographing the exact scene you imagined? No? Well this was the ridiculous position I found myself in yesterday.
It’s no secret that observing the sky and weather patterns plays a big part in nature photography. After photographing sunrises, sunsets, storms, the aurora and stars, I have learned a bit about what light I like to shoot in and how to partially predict how it may reveal itself. But, more often then not, the sky does not do what you would like, and for every image you have seen of mine, there is a multitude of failed attempts.
I could not have planned yesterday’s experience any better than how it manifested itself. A rare event for me, I even arrived at my location almost 45 minutes before sunset. Usually I am literally running to a spot, this time I was strolling at a leisurely pace. I walked around the quarry and watched the storm front move north east. The cloud was sure to catch some golden light soon, all I needed was that rainbow appear. Was I asking too much?
Looking out to sea, I couldn’t understand why a rainbow had not yet appeared. The cloud and moisture was all there. I began to admit defeat . . . and then, almost as if to be cheeky, she appeared out at sea.
After not really shooting for two weeks, the experience was almost enough to bring me to my knees in awe. I shot the scene like it was a perfectly orchestrated performance. Perhaps it was.
After the bow faded the sky exploded into an utter fire ball of light. I could not have asked for anything more. Perhaps next time I should imagine a full bow? 🙂
Being at the right place at the right time is definitely what it is all about, but that does not really have anything to do with luck. It is all about preparation, commitment and patience. Sure every now and then you will get lucky, but the majority of my photo’s have nothing to do with luck. They are the culmination of many early mornings, countless hours on the road and plenty of empty memory cards that would continue to wait for that one shot.
In life we can, and should, prepare for the future. But, just like in photography, we need to be able to accept the present moment and adapt to the situation at hand.
Learn from the past, build for tomorrow, live for now. Thanks for reading.