Hey … turn around !


Fall Fire

A long time ago I either heard or read an adage which I’m sure is a staple of most landscape, nature, and wildlife photographers. Basically, the advice is pretty simple … as you wander about looking for good opportunities, don’t forget to look where you just came from.

When you are out exploring for things to take pictures of, it’s easy to move along with “blinders” on. It’s human nature to focus on what’s in front of us the most, what’s beside us second, and pretty much forget about what’s behind us. Unfortunately I find myself all too often forgetting this sage advice, but fortunately my subconscious mind once in a while yells “HEY! TURN AROUND!”

Last night is a good example. I was exploring a new trail in one of the local canyons (well, new to me anyway) looking for some last signs of fall. As I walked up the path I noticed a tree with some nice color. I always love to include paths and roads in my images … I’m actually planning on doing a little coffee table Blurb book of paths and roads someday. I set up the camera and began to compose the shot. It was getting very late, but fortunately there was no wind so longer exposures weren’t a problem. A few people were headed up the path, and as I waited for them to move out of the frame, I looked around for other possible subjects, and looked behind me. There I noticed a tree far more colorful than the one I was shooting, with some beautiful light streaming through it. After one exposure of the original tree I spent about 5 minutes shooting this new tree from a few positions. It was the best “fall” image of the evening.

Make sure you look around … the best shot (or at least another great shot) might be behind you. Here’s a couple of examples …

I was shooting this …

and behind me found the image at the top of this post as well as this one …

I was shooting this …

and behind me found this.

To me the ones I found behind me are the better images, (well, I think I like the oak tree and the road to the farm about the same). I try to be aware of what’s around me all of the time when shooting, but often the only time I really look behind me is when I’m waiting for something, like people moving out of the scene or in the case of the oak tree, just waiting for the light to change a little.

So I keep trying to get rid of those blinders … remembering the best shot might be the one behind me.

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