In photography luck favors the prepared


“Of course it’s all luck.”
– Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Photography Luck – When the famous photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, famous for shooting in The Decisive Moment says “of course it’s all luck” he is saying it tongue in cheek of course.  Capturing amazing photographs of amazing light, amazing events, incredible moments – requires not only luck but having a camera with you and having the knowledge of your equipment to compose and expose the photograph at the right moment.

Luck will do you no good if you left your camera buried in a closet back at home or don’t have the practice of bringing a camera up to your eye when these amazing moments present themselves.  Luck won’t help you if you are fumbling with controls as the moment comes and goes.

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Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004) is one of the most original, accomplished, influential, and beloved figures in the history of photography. His inventive work of the early 1930s helped define the creative potential of modern photography, and his uncanny ability to capture life on the run made his work synonymous with “the decisive moment”—the title of his first major book. – MOMA

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“You just have to live and life will give you pictures.”– Henri Cartier Bresson

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Photography is an active pursuit.  Not only do you have to understand and practice with your equipment so that you’ll be ready for when life throws you some great moments, you also have to increase your chances of being in the right place at the right time to create more of these moments.

You can increase your chances of luck by being prepared, having your camera with you all the time, traveling to “target rich” places, timing the light and learning to see images.

Even if you don’t have your camera with you, you can practice visualizing images, scouting out locations to return to when the light or season is more favorable.  Timing can be a matter of putting yourself in a location at the right season and the right time of day.  Not when you just happen to be somewhere but when you plan to be some where because you know in advance when the light will be the best.

Timing can also be anticipating a moment and dedicating enough time to capture the image you want to capture, not just shoot and leave to make a dinner date.  You might just have to wait for that moment when the clouds part just right and send an amazing defused light over your subject.

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Timing can be dragging yourself out of bed before coffee and showering.  Or it can be staying out later long after the mosquito have driven everyone else off the beach or lake.

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Traveling to new places can reawaken your senses and fine tune your seeing skills.   Although the travel need not be to exotic places, a trip to the town next door or an area of town you’ve never been too might be enough of new area to find new compositions and ideas, all the while constantly training your photographer’s eye to see.

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“Some days you just get lucky… Other days you wait patiently for luck to happen”
― Destin Sparks