Driving around Prince Edward Island after dinner with a car full of teenagers, I spotted this row of beautiful old antique tractors lit with incredible light from the setting sun. Now in these situations I have to make a calculation in my head within seconds. First is there anyone behind me before I slam on the brakes, second is there any where to pull over and third am I ready for the complaints from the passengers who really just want to get to our destination.
Believe me there are so many times I’m happy to ignore the protests! In photography, the photographer does rely on a lot of serendipitous moments but these moments favor the prepared. Its all about always looking for photograph opportunities and then having the skills to be able to pull the image off.
Make Your Own Luck
1. Learning to see images
2. Always having a camera on hand
3. Practicing constantly
4. Giving yourself opportunities
5. Returning to locations
6. Taking advantage of good light
7. Working quickly and with purpose
8. Making not taking photographs
9. Putting yourself in front of interesting subjects.
10. Walking for driving down that unknown street.
The lighthouse photograph above came about over years of revisiting the same area. Conditions were “lucky” on this occasion of going back to the same area and exploring it thoroughly to capture the best light, the best clouds, the best angle etc. More hard work than luck. The lucky part is when the sun and clouds cooperated.
Luck and Photography
It has been said that photography is the art form where luck matters most. True enough. And anyone can get that one lucky shot in their life time. But when you look over the career of a great photographer and start seeing one “lucky” shot after another, you start to realize there has to be a bit of planning behind all of those lucky shots.
This “storm chaser” shot below was very lucky. Probably lucky I didn’t get killed. But I didn’t go chasing a wall cloud, the storm came to us. I took this shot from the porch of a little cottage we rented on Prince Edward Island. Lucky, although I was prepared with my tripod and camera equipment.
MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT skilled photographers, but if you’ve taken enough pictures in your life, you’ve surely turned up some good ones —
a snapshot or two that made you think, “Maybe I have a knack for this.” – Boston Globe
Lucky Shots Take Time
People just starting out in photography look at great photos and have a desire to create the same amazing photograph right away. The problem is looking at a small sample of a photographers lifetime of work. Keep in mind that you are looking at the best of a photographer’s portfolio over a long period of time. Luck will present itself within a long time frame. Play blackjack, roulette, the lottery or slot machines long enough and you will win at some point.
Same with photography. Invest the time and energy to create your own luck and it will happen.
Sometimes luck comes in the form of a vintage car parked in the exact right spot at the exact time you happen to be there with your camera.
More lucky and not so lucky photography – www.edwardfielding.com