If you read yesterdays post then you might remember this quote:
By trusting the process and not focusing on the thoughts of success or failure...I guess that this is the lesson I have been learning this year. If you enjoy the journey, the images will come.
Sure you need to plan ahead, learn the craft and do the work. But you also need a little luck.
As the moon dipped below the horizon, sinking further into the earths shadow. The sun was lighting up the clouds on the other horizon, with reds and yellows. The weather forecast we wanted for the eclipse was clear skies, there was a possibility of clouds but in the end it was mostly clear. But now after the show, the clouds were moving in. The truth is pretty sunrises happen all the time, but without the time to see it, the gear to capture it and a decent foreground they will just fade into the daylight. A passing treat, the one that got away. But in this case, by pure chance, I had all three. It wasn't perfect but it was nice enough.
Creativity, drive and craft, they are the foundations stones on which create. So much so that one or two without the others will struggle. But for me creativity, the flame which sometimes flickers, threatening to go out, yet other times burns white hot, is the most challenging. It's the most fickle. It cannot be forced or coerced. The Greeks characterised it as the muse, goddesses that blessed people with inspiration, in an effort to explain it's fleetingness and mystery.
Photography can be an exercise in frustration. Making the time, finding great locations, planning, looking at weather forecasts, only for the light to fade as the clouds roll in. If all you wanted from a trip was great images then you could be bitterly disappointed. Of course there is a whole lot of other benefits that go along with photography trips like this, the people you venture out with, time in nature seeing the beauty, and the chance to get out of the work to home home to work patterns.
In truth, great light doesn't happen all the time. It's rarity is part of it's allure. It's the reason we go back time and time again. Great light doesn't often happen in perfect weather, more often than not it happens when the weather is marginal or worse. We look for those situations where good conditions might occur, and then learn from watching, but in the end, there is always going to be an element of luck.
There is no doubt that with landscape photography, a little planning can help you get luckier. But even the best planning in the world does not guarantee you the perfect results. In the end you still need a little luck on your side. Maybe there is a lesson there, it's not always down to us, luck will always play a role.
When someone says something like "wow, you were lucky to get that image!". It is tempting to think of the planning and effort that went into it and feel that putting it all down to luck is somehow wrong. But on some level it is true and they have a point. On the other hand, when we come back from a day out and the images lack that wow factor, secretly which do we blame?
One of the features of ANZAC day for me in the Manawatu, is the flypast organised by Brendon Deere. Every year we head out to Ohakea, usually bathed in warm autumnal sunshine, to see the planes leave and return. This year the flight was made up of Brendon's Supermarine Spitfire IX PV270, (flown by Falcon 5, SQNLDR Sean Perrett RNZAF), flanked by two RNZAF Beechcraft T6 Texans (flown by Falcon 2, FLTLT Alex Joel RAAF and Falcon 3, FLTLT Dan Pezaro RNZAF).