I’m reading the wonderful Aubrey-Maturin series of sea stories aloud to my oldest son, Julian. If you stick around “lucky” Captain Jack Aubrey, you’ll surely come to recognize his motto, “There’s no time to be lost!” Funny, but I don’t often think of landscape photography as something where rushing is important. But the theme of three recent photo sessions, all involving tripod mounted photography, has indeed been that there is no time to lose.
In this photo of the channels in Drakes Estero at low tide, the beautiful glow of reflected sunset clouds vanished seconds after my exposure ended:
In this photo of the moon rising behind the Golden Gate Bridge, shortly after my exposure the moon cleared the clouds and the dramatic lighting was lost:
In this photo of the Golden Gate in the incoming fog, after I made the thirty second capture, clouds overwhelmed the bridge and the delicate blues went black:
As a side note, I’m photographing the Golden Gate more than usual these days because my book, 100 Views of the Golden Gate, is reaching completion. With a March, 2008 pub date I only have a couple more months in which my photos can be included. So there’s no time to be lost.
And speaking of no time to be lost, in landscape photography some other sayings apply. Fortune does indeed favor the prepared mind. If you know what lens and other equipment you are likely to use in advance, you won’t fumble and miss a photo. And, she who hesitates is truly lost. If I dither with indecision, I usually don’t get the photo. The correct mode is clear, calm, deliberate: realizing, of course, that there is no time to be lost.