Like many, I’m in at least one photo group. We challenge ourselves each week with a theme meant to inspire and get us out and actually taking pictures. Three of us were out at the end of week searching for a bench, in the process though I was reminded how easy it is to get caught up in the “hunt” and not notice what’s really there.
We made our way to a frozen river next to a park in a residential part of town and as usual each went our separate ways looking for our subject. As it turns out, there was only one, and I had my shot within 5 mins of arriving. Nevertheless, I did spend the next hour trudging through the snow, eyes peeled for distant benches. On the return trip I moved out onto the ice thinking a different perspective would help and it did but not in the way I expected.
The temperature was around -15 C, much colder in the wind, but I was dressed for the occasion. Having given up on benches, I began to look around at the light and new subjects. Turning the corner, I found what I wanted. The kids had already gone home, Mom was just picking up the shovel and heading back home too leaving me with a typical Canadian winter scene, a hockey rink on a river. The sun was dropping fast so I had to act quickly. Things may have been better with people or their tools but the consolation prize wasn’t too shabby either.
The easy thing is to get lost in one idea, our challenge is to keep at least one eye on the watch for the better situations. It’s up to us to make the best of them when they turn up. I’m happy I did.
By the way here’s a tip, to avoid condensation and possible damage to your gear during the winter, keep a large zip lock bag with some absorbent silica gel in your camera bag (those little packets you find in your purchases will work). When you’re done shooting, put your camera in the bag, squeeze out the air and seal it up and leave it that way until you’re inside and your camera has adjusted to the warmer air (at least an hour). The silica will take care of the moisture, and your camera will be dry and free from condensation. Oh and you might also want to keep the camera out of the wind when walking; my brother didn’t and ended up freezing his camera bits. He wasn’t happy.