Never Put Your Camera Away!

Like baseball, success in photography is all about statistics. In baseball, the more times you’re at bat, the better your average usually is. One simple rule for increasing your “stats” (percent keepers) in photography is to never put your camera away until you get “home”. (OK, enough with the baseball analogy)

I took this shot before Christmas as I was leaving McKinney Falls State Park, on my way back to Sugar Land. I had my camera on the car seat next to me and spotted this beautiful light just peeking through the clouds during the early evening. It was almost dusk and the sunlight was diffused by the clouds just enough to put the trees in silhouette and make the long grass “glow” when backlit.

Winter Fields – Austin, Texas
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 100mm, f/16 for 1/5th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray 4-stop graduated neutral density filter. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta. Click on the image above for a larger version.

I grabbed my camera and took a few quick test shots through the window and then stopped my car right there on the side of the road. I setup my tripod and camera in less than a minute and started taking exposures using a polarizer at first and then finally using a graduated neutral density filter. I lost the sun in just a few minutes but that brief stop gave me the opportunity to capture some really nice shots that I would have normally driven right past if I hadn’t had my camera handy!

16 thoughts on “Never Put Your Camera Away!

  1. Pingback: Quick Tip: Always Keep a Camera 'Locked and Loaded' | The Discerning Photographer

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  3. This is such a true statement about photography, Jeff: you can’t shoot ’em if you don’t have your gear handy! And forget about the old “I’ll come back and shoot that shot later, or tomorrow, or whatever.” Those photos are NEVER there when you go back, only when we’re given the initial opportunity to shoot!
    Thanks for reminding us all of how fleeting our opportunities can be sometimes, like lots of other things in this fragile thing we call life.


    • Andrew,

      Thanks for visiting again and for your comments. You are absolutely right. Nature rarely gives us second chances to capture a subject or scene.


  4. Jeff,

    You have some great photos posted on your blog, but there is something special about this photo. Well done and thanks for sharing.

  5. Jim, Josh & Ray

    Thanks. I’ve been a little surprised at how many hits this post and the image has gotten already. I guess I’ll export it as a 20 x 16 poster and see how it does.


  6. Your blog post says you used your tripod but the info below the image says hand-held. Which one is it? If hand-held how did you get such a great shot at such a slow shutter speed? Please tell me your strategy. Thanks!

    • Shaun,

      Thanks for reading. Just a typo when I copied and pasted from a previous post. The shot was taken from my Gitzo Traveller tripod. With my lower back problems, hand holding a shot at 1/5th is not really possible. 20 years ago, maybe.


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