We invest time, use multiple lenses, try many different angles (in some cases in very uncomfortable positions). We can almost predict what's going to happen when we get home. Delete, delete, delete and keep a few for the memory.
There are both life and photography lessons in each of these situations. During my Arkansas travels I experienced excitement from a shoot with waxwings and creative frustration at waterfalls.
|Cedar Waxwing by Sheen Watkins|
The Cedar Waxwings in El Dorado were going nuts for the seasonal berries in this historical Oil Boomtown. I saw hundreds swarm trees, diving into bushes in a feeding frenzy.
|Waxwings by Sheen Watkins|
The big scene context shot wasn't going to happen as I needed a shorter lens at that moment. I'm including one image that illustrates a fragment of the flying flock. Alfred Hitchcock might have renamed his movie from the "Birds" to the "Waxwings" had he witnessed this moment.
In all, I had over 500 images with 10 so far that I'm very pleased with.
Next year, (lesson learned) I'm also switching to a shorter lens to get a few frenzy shots! I have plenty of ID and close-up images of waxwings now.
Oh yes, and I was fortunate enough to get berry-bird-poop in my hair in one of the waxwing flyovers. A sign of good luck I suppose. A hat will also be included.
Falling Short at the Waterfalls:
|Almost to Cedar Falls by Sheen Watkins|
Our first stop was Cedar Falls. We were less than 1/10th of a mile away when the skies, thunder and lightning struck in full force. The common sense safety gene took over and we had to ditch the attempt.
The following sunny morning, we traversed north to another beautiful waterfall area.
After 2 hours, I wasn't feeling it.
The spring colors were still hiding. The light was splotchy. With just a few hours to shoot, I was frustrated in not finding the type of shot I had in my mind. I had all the needed gear, filters, tripod, lenses - when the lighting is bad, it was time to take my tripod and head home.
I was in effect working and trying too hard, getting frustrated which impacted my creativity.
There could have been a downside but there wasn't.
I was able to hear the rush of the water, the power of the falls and breath in fresh, clean air. The Richland Creek Wilderness provided springtime sounds for the senses, along with a few snakes.
Finding Arkansas Gold:
We steered further north to the Eureka Springs area where we discovered Arkansas' own single-lane, "Golden Gate Bridge" in nearby Beaver, Arkansas. Who knew that Arkansas would have a Golden Gate Bridge that was accurately named color-wise versus the one in San Francisco?
|Golden Gate Bridge by Sheen Watkins|
Taking a breather from my waterfall plan to explore the area with no expectations refreshed the eye and attitude.
Seeing Red in the Rearview:
As we were leaving Arkansas and heading into Missouri, I noticed the cloud covered sky breaking apart. Pinks, oranges and reds emerged in my rearview mirror as we were driving 65mph northeast.
|Seeing Red in the Rearview by Sheen Watkins|
I didn't know where we were or where to get the shot.
Thankfully, we topped a hill to see a river, a bridge and a reflection. Just what the photography doctor ordered.
When we see a moment, stop the car. Pull over. Shoot away.
We work hard for many, shots. We take advantage of the no-shot situation to savor what is around us.
When the easy photo moment calls ~ we need to answer!