Monday, November 22, 2010

My "Coulda-Shoulda" Photo Collection

I've screwed up. More than once.

It's been just shy of two years since my wife got me hooked on photography.  I've taken tens of thousands of  photographs in that time and discovered a whole new world in the process.  Photography has opened my eyes to the beauty that is all around us.  So much so that I can no longer make a simple trip to the grocery store without seeing a "potentially" great photo from the corner of my eye.

So what's the problem? The problem is that a great majority of those shots are filed away in what I call my "Coulda-Shoulda" collection.  They are the shots that never experienced a press of the shutter release.  The ones that I saw while driving down the road and either, a) did not have my camera, or b) fought with myself over whether or not to stop/turn around until I was either too far away or the opportunity disappeared.

This my latest favorite from the "Coulda-Shoulda" collection.  As you CAN'T see, it's of two beautiful horses with heads bent, drinking from the smooth, reflective river as a light snow falls around them.  Definitely a "wall-worthy" shot that will never grace a wall.

Why?  On this occasion I can chalk it up to not just 1, but 2 of the "Coulda-Shoulda" Collection excuses.  I was on my way home from the office; the same route responsible for so many of my "Coulda-Shoulda" images.  I had stopped at the grocery store and locked my camera, which can usually be found sitting on the passenger seat, in the trunk for security.  I "coulda-shoulda" put the bag and the camera BACK onto the passenger seat when I put the groceries in the trunk.  Instead, I proceeded to continue the remainder of the drive home with the camera locked securely in the trunk.  There was a lite snow and no wind as I crossed the bridge over the river.  It was then that I saw the horses and mirror-like reflections as they drank in the falling snow. 

What happened next? I hesitated.  Should I stop? Should I keep going?  The argument continued for a quarter mile where I finally turned onto a side road, parked, popped the trunk and grabbed the camera.  After turning around and getting back to the scene, the horses were walking back up the bank away from the river and the shot was gone.  Another one for the "Coulda-Shoulda" collection.

The moral of the story - "He who hesitates is lost." (as well as "he who locks camera out of reach is screwed").

Do you have a "Coulda-Shoulda" collection?  If only there were a way to print from that collection?


Lisadawn Schram said...

I believe some people are born "coulda shoulda" people, but it doesn't mean they can't change. Also, as I suspect in your case, people have too much on their minds nowadays. The drive home is often the ONLY time people have to themselves! Having your camera beside you in the seat is the best thing to help you escape the daily grind. You should NEVER say, "should I", when it comes to that shot-you should ALWAYS turn around and try to get it. You should NEVER say, it's NOT worth it! I for one, am not psychic, and knowing that has helped me in taking those extra few minutes to try to get that shot. Just say NO to second guessing it. I think we spend more time wondering if we should, than the act itself would take. Do you really think you don't have the time, or deserve to take the extra FIVE minutes or less, for yourself? That's just WRONG! I have tried numerous times to get a shot of a red tail hawk sitting in a tree on a highway, and have failed EVERY time, as he is TOO smart for me, (and there are NOISY side ruts in the road!) But I know I have tried, and that memory is always better than being haunted by "I wonder if"? So take the time! If any one begrudges you a few minutes to yourself, (including yourself), ignore it. In your case, and at this time of year, I would pull my camera out of the combo bag before I left work, and sling it around your neck. Make it a part of the "shut down" process. When you get in your car, sling the strap over the passenger seat, thus preventing it from falling to the floor in a sudden stop. The same thing goes for in the morning. Remove it from your bag before leaving the house. If you stop at a store, put it around your neck, instead of worrying about putting it in the trunk, or leaving it in the front seat. If you want to get THAT shot, the camera must be there at all times, is all. Maybe the sign on the store door should read: "No camera, no service!" WHO CARES if you wear it in the store? Priorities! =) That's my epistle for the day.

Ken Schram said...

All good points! Now if only it weren't dark when I drove home :).

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