“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” – Confucius
Sometimes great moments in nature can catch you by surprise. There have been times when I have arrived at a location to take pictures, and I have been completely surprised by what I have encountered. On Tuesday this week we arrived at our campground near Bryson City, North Carolina. There is a creek that runs alongside the campground. It rained most of the day here. In fact, while I was setting up our camper, it was pouring down rain. With all of the rain that had come in, I thought it would be a good opportunity for some long exposure photography with the creek that was near our campsite. I took a few photos there, and they turned out great. I will share those at another time. After I took those photos, I was walking around the campground with my camper on my side. I checked on my kids at the park at the campground, and then made my way back. As I was making my way back, I saw one of the most incredible sunsets ever. The clouds were still pretty thick, but the light was trying to come through. At that moment I started to snap as many photos as I could to capture this. These photos do not do the beauty of this scene justice, but they turned out pretty good to me. The mountains never cease to amaze me. I have visited the mountains in North Carolina over a dozen times in my life. Every time I visit, I am in awe of their beauty.
Being prepared is very important in photography. Here are some of the ways I am ready to capture the next great moment.
Make sure you have a charged battery with your camera and your phone. If we are all honest with ourselves, we have either forgotten to charge the battery at least once or forgot to bring an extra one with us. I have three, and I try to keep at least one spare in my bag because you never know. I keep my cell charged because I like to take photos with it, and sometimes I like to look up information about the area that I am in at that time.
Have the right gear with you. I don’t bring all of my camera gear with me when I go out to take photos. I do have some essentials that will give me a chance to capture that great moment when the time comes. I have a couple of good lenes with me, a mini-tripod, my ND-filter, and an extra memory card with me. I have a smaller camera bag that goes on my shoulder that I use most of the time. It’s light, and it makes it easy for me to get to my camera when I need to.
Don’t hate yourself if you miss it. It happens. All you can do is be ready for the next one. I have more than likely missed more great shots than I have captured. I try to laugh at myself, and then get ready for the next opportunity.
In the comments I want to hear from you. You can share about a moment when you were prepared and were able to capture an amazing scene or moment. Or share a suggestion to a new photographer on how they can be prepared for the next great moment.