You don't always win

November 07, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Doing landscape photography is much like having a fishing license and going fishing. The license does not give you the fish only the right to fish. You may catch something but then again you may not. Sometimes, you catch a little fish only worthy of being released or if I may use the proper photographic term "only worthy of being deleted." You are guaranteed that you will never catch a big one every time you fish. In fact, catching the big one is a rare occasion. And of course, just like fishermen/women, every photographer also has his or her fair share of stories of the big one that got away. Perhaps the battery died at just the wrong moment or the memory card was full or he/she forgot to check focus or the histogram only to find out later that the fish escaped. At times photographers also fall into the water, or a big wage may engulf us. For both photographers and fishermen/women alike the truth remains, we typically only catch the big one by being out there regularly and staying out there for long hours. The big one is only caught by being out there during the storms, the rain, the cold, the hot, and the uncomfortable. Many a time we don't always win. We go fishing and come back empty-handed. Mother nature does not always cooperate.

I got up just after 4 am and drove an hour to get here. The plan was to catch a sunrise and photograph backlit Chollas. A cloud bank decided that today was not going to be the day of the big one. Luckily for me, I was coming back here a week later so another opportunity was on offer. This is the nature of landscape photography. You don't always win. By the time the sun finally showed itself the light was harsh.

          When fisher-people go out to fish unsuccessfully they may sit there and get no bites at all, not even a nibble (fish biting or nibbling). At other times, the fish mess with the fisher-folk by biting excitingly and nibbling often but without offering a catch. Nature messed with me on this day too. The sky offered something but I just was not able to catch a fish large enough to be proud of. The land part of the image just does not have enough in it to feed the family. Well, I would rather be teased by the sky than getting nothing at all.

          You cannot stop going fishing just because you caught nothing this time as the promise of the big one lures you back. You cannot possibly expect to win every time. Just keep going back, being out there. One day may just be your lucky day but you will never see that lucky day if you are not out there when it happens. Don't give up, don't lose heart. Just keep trying, learning, and improving on the way.


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