Some time in the future, if mankind hasn’t destroyed itself by then, I imagine that we’ll have complete control of the weather. We’ll be able to program in beautiful sunrises and sunsets, have it rain or snow and be sunny at will.
I’m very glad that I’ll be dead by then. One thing that I absolutely love about nature is that we have no control of it. It does what it pleases. When we go out into the wilderness we have to prepare for any eventuality because as hard as we try, nature is pretty un-predictable. As I write this, it’s supposed to be sunny and in the 50s. It’s currently snowing and in the 20s. I’m not making this up just to make a point. It’s the truth.
Nature is so much greater than us, that all we can do is be floored at its power and its amazing intelligence. And that makes us humble.
When we go out we have to play by her rules. We have to bow to Mother Nature and ask, How do you want me to dress? Where will you permit me to go today? We have so much control in our lives, it’s nice for a change to have something else be in control. I think that’s why we like being out so much.
I often hear photographers talk about “nailing a shot”. Or how they don’t rely on luck, they make their own luck. How arrogant. It’s this kind of arrogance of mankind that’s gotten us into the absurd mess that the planet is in today. But that’s another rant. This is about humility, nature and photography.
I get up most mornings at 5:30. I first look outside at the thermometer to see how to dress. Then I look at the sky to see what I can expect when I go out. In spite of my planning, the sky is often different when I arrive at my planned location. So I just make the best of things. Sometimes when I leave the house, the temps are in the 40s and there’s no wind, but 20 minutes later when I get out of my car and onto the trail, the wind is howling, so my 40 degree clothing is not warm enough. Sometimes I leave with clear skies and then miss an awesome sunrise. And of course sometimes I plan on a sunrise location to have the imagined color not materialize.
I’m so happy to live here and see all of it, I never get too frustrated if I miss something because there will always be other times. Sometimes I do get lucky and I’m in the right place at the right time. And, sometimes I’m even luckier and my photos turn out as good or better than I expect them to turn out.
In general we can be masters of our equipment and not make technical mistakes. It’s the creative intangibles that are impossible to predict. But in general I’m lucky enough to occasionally get something worth showing other people.
I don’t want to “nail a shot”. I don’t want to make my luck. I just want to know how to operate my camera equipment well enough to take advantage of the times that Mother Nature smiles on me.