I was looking through my photos from my trip to the California coast and Big Sur last December, and I came across a photo that I barely remember taking. I’m assuming I’m not the only one that goes through their photos (like I did after the trip) and heads straight to the photos that they know were some of their favorites just by looking at the thumbnails in a grid view. The problem with that is sometimes you miss photos that may be really good because they don’t immediately jump out at you as a small thumbnail. That’s exactly what happened here.
(you really need to click on the photo to see it larger)
I woke up one morning to shoot sunrise along the Big Sur coastline. I was above the fog layer and wound up chasing photos for about 10 miles down the coast, stopping constantly to shoot different views. As the sun came up I was driving into some fog and this is what I saw ahead of me. Something about the backlit trees, dappled light, god beams and angle of the road made me think “Wow, that looks cool!”. I debated on whether to turn around or not, and I actually made it to the bend in the road you see in this photo before I did a U-ey and went back to the view you see above.
The gear was really simple here. It was my Nikon D800 with my Nikon 16-35mm lens. Aperture was f/16 and shutter speed was 1/45 second. No tripod (although I probably should have at 1/45 second, but I think I propped my camera on the roof of the car), no filters, no nuttin’. I just got out of my car. Snapped about 10 photos from different angles and got back in. The whole process couldn’t have taken more than 2 minutes from the time I decided to turn the car around.
So… the question of the day… does that ever happen to you? One of your favorite photos from a trip is nothing like what you thought you’d get when you embarked on that trip? Thanks for stopping by. Have a good one!
Matt, I came across this photograph about three weeks after returning from Monument Valley while I was putting the finishing touches on a Blurb book and decided to take one last look through my images. Spent so much time concentrating on the more well known views that this photograph was overlooked. I really like the pastel look and painterly feel.
Thanks for sharing this shot, Matt. I usually end up regretting not making the U-turn. I have a similar shot that I saw because the lens fell out of my sunglasses and had to stop and retrieve it from the floor (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nrbmom/8227412014/). When I saw the light coming through the trees I had to grab a few frames.
Thanks for all your ‘real world’ tips on post processing with Lightroom. You not only do awesome work, you share your methods in an easy to understand method. Great stuff!
I’m always pulling the U-Turn maneuver. I read a tip once from someone (which I remembered who) that you never regret a photo you stop to take, just the ones where you didn’t stop.
Nice image, glad you turned around!
It seems like shots with roads always lead to a story- imagined or obvious. Very nice photo!
Matt, I have favorite photos that I don’t even remember TAKING. Seriously, they’re on my camera, and it’s from somewhere I was, and I didn’t loan my camera to anybody, so I must’ve taken them … but I don’t remember taking them. And they’re good. Possibly I have magical pixies living in my lens trying to help me out.
Or you need to lay off the crack rock before you go out shooting 😉
Thanks. Always enjoy being called a crackhead on a public forum. 🙂
Excellent! Has the look of an Albert Bierstadt painting
First off, Matt, that is one Beautiful photograph! I love the sun rays coming in from the right. They’re just light enough to see, and not over taking the photo.
Great blog today! In answer to your question … about a thousand times!!! Just recently, I’ve been going back through some of my older photos and have discovered many that I’ve processed and have ready to print. I put a couple up on my NAPP portfolio that I took back in 2008. I just ran right over them prior. My wife even asked me, “when did you take that photo?” That’s why I’ve very careful now not to delete photos until I get home or can view them on a computer. I only delete the really, really bad ones.
Again, Great photo!
Yes, that has totally happened to me too. Though, I don’t think it’s happened with a photo as majestic as this one. On another note, I love that you call them “God beams.” Whenever my mom and I see sunbeams like this, we think, “Jesus!” because we picture Jesus’ face superimposed on the view. BTW, we’re Jewish. 🙂
Many times … I’m looking at some 2008 captures right now and I’m amazed at what I never noticed. I also think your ‘eye’ changes over time … whether is matures, becomes more/less critical, better trained to ‘see’ what you never saw previously … all good stuff.
Thanks for sharing.
Totally agree David – I think the way we “see” things definitely changes over time. Sometimes we have to be removed from the situation long enough to remember the beauty of what we really saw there.
It happens to me even when I’m not driving! When I go to Yellowstone and Glacier National Partks, I camp so it’s just me, my tent, my camera & bear spray. I take a ton aof images but remember mostly the ones that I worked hard to get. Often a month or two later, when I get back, I go through them and see images that I really like that I had forgotten about. BTW, those are terrific shots. The light is fantastic!
Matt, very nice photo. I went on a week-long whale watching trip a couple of years ago and my favorite shot was a dolphin. Go figure.
Yes, all the time. I can’t imaging that anyone that enjoys photography hasn’t done this. It’s a constant experience while driving. You don’t even have to be in an exotic local for this to happen. I’ve been just driving around in my home city of Nashville and just catch a glimpse of a “good shot” and the debate in my mind starts — do I turn around and check that out? I often wonder what shots I’ve missed because that little voice says “nah, keep driving”.
I like the shot!
That’s a great shot Matt! That happened to me a few times on my last trip to the southwest. As I was driving along route 9 in Utah near St. George, I pulled over several times to catch what I thought were cool angles of the sun cast across ridge lines. Being as anal retentive as I am, I always try to make sure I don’t pull over too often and end up taking valuable time (and available light) away from the shoot I was heading towards to begin with. By the way…I also shoot with the D800, and that is quite a little trickster to shoot with hand-held, especially in lower light situations. I tend to bump up the ISO a little higher than I normally would to make sure the shutter is fast enough to compensate for all those megapixels picking up every nuance of movement in the camera.
I learned that lesson a long time ago. If it looks good, stop and photograph it. It’s better than going home and saying, “I wish I would have stopped.” Life is too short.