Clouds in the canyon,
brushing rock faces they have known
for a million years.
This is not in the same league as Nessie or Bigfoot, but as I was attempting to photograph a lady bug on Queen’s Anne lace yesterday, a honey bee arrived to steal the show. A bit of online research reveals that bees seldom visit a plant that is—according to the US Department of Agriculture—a noxious weed.
True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen. — Francois de la Rochefoucauld
Drive-in theaters are among the last holdouts from a time when entertainment centers sported convertible tops (and the best action might be in the car parked next to yours).
Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response. —Arthur M. Schlesinger
Photographers generally don’t like to hurry a shot—there’s less time to consider the composition, focus, and adjust exposure settings. Years of shooting eventually hone the sense of how to do this—the conscious (and subconscious) biases at work—so the actions become involuntary, like writing your signature.
This habit forming is invaluable when a shot requires split-second reflexes. The photo of a young girl on a swing at dusk is an excellent example. I’d stopped for a break in a park along the Columbia River (on the Oregon side) when I noticed her playing. I saw the potential for a stock photo and grabbed my camera and 70-200 from the bag, even as her mother walked toward the swing, calling to her daughter to come in for dinner (while the sun fell quickly below the horizon). I knew instinctively the picture would be stronger as a vertical (leaving room for type at the top), and that I needed to catch her at the peak of an upswing. Oh, and keep everything level, too, while making those adjustments. In about ten seconds.
I took three frames before she jumped down and departed with her mom. In the first her feet went out of the frame (my fault). Her arms were tucked too tightly against her body in the second, creating a dark, blob-like shape. But in the last (perhaps sensing her fun was about to end) she swung as high as she could, arms flying (the sliver of sky between her left arm and torso made all the difference), and I had my keeper.
A combination of Luck, being prepared (camera bag on the seat next to me), and intuition—I’ll take that kind of grab shot anytime.