Regular visitors to the site will be aware of my 'lucky photography' section under the tips & more tab. That's where I have a little moan about the amount of effort that goes into making an image only to be told how 'lucky' we were to have made it.
Sometimes though, we are lucky. Sometimes the stars align (pardon the pun) and a low effort excursion results in a pleasing shot. On september 11th I was out in the rear garden of my home in Cochrane attempting to shoot the aurora, as I always do if it's visible. There was a stubborn cloud bank to the north that was obscuring those wonderful green night lights and I was looking around killing time and waiting for the cloud to clear.
A good sized opening appeared in the cloud overhead and I could just see the milky way to the west. Rather than stand around shooting nothing I decided to turn my attention to the milky way and my home as I thought it would make a nice memory. I had turned the camera on the tripod and was framing a shot when I saw a shooting star burning into the night sky, I immediately grabbed the remote trigger and fired off a single frame, a 5 second exposure with ISO of 1250 that was set for the aurora.
Luckily for me that was enough to capture a nice trail from the shooting star as it broke up, there's a hint of the milky way to the right of frame and my home almost perfectly sited on the left. Nothing special in photography terms but a lovely memory which is why I got into photography in the first place, to capture memories.
So, below is the shot and one I openly admit, in this instance was very lucky.
Often we will painstakingly research a location or topic for an image, we will study weather patterns and other aspects such as sunrise, sunset or other lighting effects. We'll consult 'how to' guides, to ensure we haven't missed anything in preparation for the shot. Not to mention getting to the location or making arrangements to be where you need to be to ensure the image will be made. Then having the competence, skills and knowledge to make the shot and (of course) the equipment required to do so (solar filters, ND filters, ND grads, polarizer, correct lens or lenses, remote release, tripod etc).
We'll plan for years, months, weeks or days to be where we need to be with all of the above in place, then we will wait on location often for days and almost always for hours to make the perfectly planned, perfectly timed, well composed and well exposed image, only to be told by people viewing the image "Oh you're so lucky".
I confess, at times it drives me crazy. There are often elements of fortune involved in photography, but to be able to capitalize on those elements there has always been preparation of some sort. With this in mind I am adding a new feature to my 'Tips & More' section today for 'lucky photography'. These are images that have earned the title by virtue of the comments received when the image is made public.
Just how much 'luck' was involved I'll leave to you to decide, I'll just post the images and the stories behind them beginning with the image below of an owl at sunset. You will find the story in the 'Lucky Photography' section along with a couple more to start the topic. I will add to it as and when those misguided comments drive me to frustration, at least now I'll have a place to vent.
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