I should have known better. So often already I did the same mistake. I was hesitating. But nontheless it reminded me two things which lead to this post. Anticipate and be decisive!
Past days weather forecast said it would be quite rainy today, so I planned to do some editing at home. Not saying you can’t shoot nice in rain, the opposite is true. But editing has also to be done. Got up in the morning without alarm, had a cup of coffee and began going through a staple of images I had shot past days.
Several doubles and triples and even more just filling up storage unnecessary had to be eliminated. In the second round I began preparing some images I will send the agency for their archive. And while doing that I took a look out of the window, saw the rain had nearly stopped and even better, the sky turned from ugly grey to wonderful dark blue, this nice color you get around thunderstorms, inbetween some bright white clouds. Wow, I thought, shouldn’t I better go out and shoot? I didn’t, at least not immediately.
It took me about an hour, half editing half viewing out of the window until I said: yes, light is great. I grabbed my stuff and rushed to the side of town, where most likely the sky behind the subjects should be dark and if things happen to be the subject would be lit by a warm lightbeam. While walking (you remember, nocars in Venice) I recognized the dark blue and the great cortrasts in the sky got less and less.
These are the two lessons I got reminded grievously today:
1. Anticipate the coming
Don’t leave your home when the light is best. It should turn best, when you’ve arrived at the scene and decided what to do. How do you know the light will be? Always believe your stomach! (A lesson I learnd when being trained as a reporter.)
Back to today. When viewing out of the window I knew, if the clouds would open up just a litlle bit we’d get light like in heaven. Dark sky, scattered clouds in bright white like cotton shreds, very directed warm lightbeams, a photographers dream. But I stayed where I was. After an hour I saw it came as my feeling had told me. And I was still at home. Grabbed my stuff and rushed out, but until I arrived at the scene the sky already had lightened up, things I hoped to be selectively lit (they were) began to turn shadowy again. It was too late already for the tele-shot I also intended to do, therefore I took my wideangel to get at least a few valuable images in the box. It was hard fight against time, all had to be done in a hurry (usually not making things better). But it was my fault, and I hate to know that!
2. Be Decisive!
Leaving home with the cam is nearly always better than staying. But what about the editing stuff, which also had to be done? I had hesitated. The additional hour I spent at home of course I was not really productive. In the end I just wasted a lot of time. Once out, I spent more than an hour at the scene and around, shooting for about 50 minutes. In this time I took more than 300 frames. Nothing unusual if your subject demands, but for the nice weather-travel-landscape-whatever shot I prefer not hitting the shutter too often – only in the moments that seem good. In this case shooting like with a machine gun was just a sign of being uncomfortable with the situation I (mis)managed myself into.
Now all of these images will again take me time to delete or save, sort, and the good ones to edit … Though having a few new images to sell a clear decision in the beginning would have been better. Even if I hd decided to continue editing. Then I would have done this properly (in the backview without having missed any really impressive shot). Or the decision to directly skip the plan and go for shooting. I would have felt more comfortable, would have had more time in better light conditions. And if it really turns out that light doesn’t show up as hoped – well you can always loose. At least it was a real try then.