Tip #27: Take What You Can Get

Sailing The Apostle National Lakeshore
Canon 30D + Canon 17-40L @ 17mm 
The leafless woods, deep overcast, and short days of December remind me of advice I was given during my first photo-safari to Africa... “Shoot it now, and take what you can get!”


I, however, interpreted this advice in a way that deviates from the intent of the message. My somewhat “Zen” approach to photography inspires an optimism whenever opportunity is lost. Burned by many excursions to distant places where reality fails to meet expectation, I have discovered that “Take What You Can Get” is really a synonym for “Make the Image Happen.” While the first statement appears to be a forced compromise, my interpretation strikes at the heart of our art. Nature is nature. It is subject to the whims of a climate, that conspires to make the predictable random. While planning often counters this randomness, the best of plans is still subject to a cascade of chaotic collisions between meteorological, ecological and human activities.   

Tip #27: Take What You Can Get... and Make the Image Happen
The morning walk was much like a prior excursion to the Apostle Islands. With our kayaks fully loaded, campsites prearranged, and photographic goals pre-visualized, we embarked on a virgin tour of the sea caves. The light was nothing short of mediocre, Lake Superior tossed our crafts about, and we were stuck on an island forced to wait out a storm. I expected a cornucopia of photographic opportunities, but the climate would not cooperate. Two days later the storm moved on and we had one evening for some serious photography. Reality failed to meet expectation, but life goes on and we were determined to make the image happen. 

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