I always do a Recon (check of the area) of the site well before I photograph at that site. I determine where car parking is, foot access, where the tides should be at, what’s in the foreground/ mid ground/ back ground, where the sun will rise/ set blah, blah. I actually do put some thought into it. Some time ago I had found a great little dirt track that had trees hanging over the track sort enveloping it which resulted in a massive arch over the track. The trees were full of green and from what I could determine, the sun would rise behind the trees illuminating the track and hoping that the trees would throw out some shadows as well, hoping to add drama to the overall shot. I was willing to spend an hour there at least. It was a beautiful site even in the middle of the day.I had planned on how I wanted to photograph it, I had _That Mental Picture_ in my head of the final results. I figured it would even look pretty good in Black and White. I then placed that spot on my list of locations to photograph at dawn/ dusk in the very near future.
Well, this morning I got up at some hour that my watch didn’t recognise and drove to the site, all of my gear prepared and with a steaming hot coffee ready to go in my portable mug. When I arrived I found that the trees gone and the dirt track to be a road. The site had been bulldozed with a housing sub division well under construction. I simply couldn’t believe it. I felt as though that I had been robbed ! robbed of a secret location that I hadn’t told another photographer about because I wanted to be selfish. I stood in the early morning light, silent and dumbfounded.
I needed to regroup from this and find another location to shoot and I needed to get there before the sun broke over the horizon. I needed those golden 20 or so minutes to make getting out of bed worthwhile. Not an easy task to achieve considering that first light had already kicked the day off, so now I was not only robbed of a location by developers but also by time and it was against me. So I headed off back down the road, hit the main road and started looking, desperately looking for another location. Down one road to find its a dead end and nothing of any value, panicking I remembered that I knew of a location that was close and I could get there quickly but this spot is a hard location to photograph. I would have to work hard to make something of it. I arrived there to see recreational fisherman lowering their small boats into the water to go fishing. Not thats a problem for them but it was a problem for me because I could clearly see them from 200 metres away, so I knew that I had lost time, valuable time. Fortunately for me the tide was on its way out and had a long way to go so I could get some shots of the sunrise.
What I learnt from this mornings lessons was the following:
1. Always do a confirmatory recon (check of the area you want to shoot in)
2. Always have a back up location in case the first one is not suitable.
3. Don’t Panic
So these are the two shots, that’s right two shots that I feel as though are worthy enough not to be deleted.
Enjoy your weekend and remember, Happy shooting.