Being aware of your surroundings.
This morning as I was driving to Fredericksburg to have some regular maintenance done on one of our cars. I drove through some moderate rain showers and I became aware, once again, of how many people don’t pay much attention to what is going on around them, until the last minute. As photographers we should be aware of everything that is going on around us, not only when we are making images but also when we are looking for things to photograph. I’m sure you have seen images on the interwebs of nature photographers being photo bombed by the very animals they are looking to photograph.
Getting wrapped up in the moment is not hard to do and I’m sure we have all done it. One thing I try to do is to take a look at everything around me every couple of minutes. This has two purposes, first it allows me to keep an eye out for anyone that might want to relieve me of my equipment and second, it also allows me to look and see everything that is not in my camera’s field of view. On more than one occasion I have looked behind me and found wonderful scenes to photograph.
While talking to some students about this very idea I looked behind us and this is what I saw. It proved my point instantly. Everyone was making images of the light falling on the scene to the north of where we were standing. No one was looking in the direction of the sunset. Try and be aware of everything around you. You will be sure to come home with great images as well as all the gear you left home with!