When I go out to take pictures, I usually try to have some kind of plan in mind of what I want to shoot, where I want to go, and when I want to be there. It is a very rare occasion when I get in my truck and just drive around to see what I can find, and when I do, it is usually a disappointing waste of time and gas because, as I recently discovered, even though I don’t think I have any preconceived ideas, that is not really the case at all.
This past Friday, I woke up to find the sky quite overcast. Most people find cloudy days depressing, but from a photographic standpoint, they are perfect. The cloudiness provides soft even lighting that keeps contrast low and exposures easy. My problem was I had no idea where to go or what to shoot. So, I decided that since I was pretty tired, I would just go back to sleep.
But as I was lying there, I kept thinking about the great lighting opportunity I was missing, but I just could not figure out how to take advantage of it. Finally, I decided to get up and just drive around and see what I could find. I decided on driving down a road I had been on few times before but hadn’t really paid much attention. I got in my truck and started driving.
Within thirty minutes of leaving the house, I drove past a mimosa tree in bloom that I thought would make a nice shot especially with the different shades of green that were present in the plant just in front of the mimosa tree. However, when I found a spot to turn around, something else caught my eye. The clouds over the lake I was driving by had parted slightly letting the sun peek through. I quickly parked and, temporarily forgetting about the mimosa tree, headed to the edge of the lake to get some shots of the lake, clouds, and partial sunlight. After spending about fifteen to twenty minutes shooting the scene, I went and got some shots of the mimosa tree. Then, I headed off to the road I was looking for.
I found the road I was looking for and began driving slowly down it. I took a couple of shots of an old barn that was in a state of disrepair, but nothing else really caught my eye. I came to an intersection and had to decide which way to go. Turning right would take me down a road I had been on many times. Turning left took me down a road I had never been on before. I decided to turn left and see what there was to see.
As I drove down this previously untraveled road, I found another old barn and took some shots of it, as well. But, again, nothing was really catching my attention, so I continued onward.
Then, as I rounded a curve in the road, they appeared. Three waterfalls I was never expecting to see. I immediately pulled off the road to get some shots of the falls and spent about twenty to thirty minutes at this location before I decided to call it a day.
I am still thankful I decided to go out when I did even though I had no plan as to what I was going to do. Had I done as I usually do, I would not have left the house, and I never would have found those waterfalls.
Settings: Canon 5D Mk II, 50mm, 1/4 sec, f/22