Finding the Zone

Sometimes when I head out on a shoot potential pictures or subjects are jumping out left, right and centre, at others my camera stays resolutely in the rucksack – either I’m too engrossed in my surroundings to want to take pictures (there are occasions when it’s important to experience what’s going on without the complication of trying to achieve the perfect composition and exposure scenario) or nothing catches my eye as a possibility.

This particular photo was taken on one of the latter occasions.  We were on a snowy hike up Cascade mountain in the Adirondacks – if you haven’t been I can thoroughly recommend a visit – and had crested the rocky plateau following the arrows painted on the rocks to get to the summit.   While the vista was undoubtedly spectacular we’d missed the peak of the autumn colour and the light was somewhat flat for capturing the “big view” in my opinion. 

I sat there regardless, enjoying soaking up the last warm rays of sun I was likely to experience for the next six months and revelled in the ability to be sitting on a mountain top without a coat, something rarely achieved in Scotland even in midsummer.

Letting my eyes and mind wander I started picking out some of the smaller details on what was essentially a smooth rock surface, a small plant, some rock features, grasses dancing gently in the breeze and came to settle on a cluster of tiny ice formations under some of the larger rocks, hiding in the shadows from the sunlight that would surely melt them.  This was clearly going to be a job for the macro lens – the formations were smaller than my hand, and I was soon down on my belly, face flush with the rock trying to achieve a fast enough shutter speed to capture this hand held. Needless to say after a few checks of the LCD review screen I was off, barely moving over a couple of metres for the next hour experimenting with capturing these delicate first whisperings of winter.

Typical that having climbed for a couple of hours to access an incredibly view, I come away with a photo of a couple of square inches of ice peeking out from under a rock, but that’s what keeps photography fresh and exciting for me – being open to the unexpected. Image

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