One of the things I love the most about being a nature and landscape photographer is the simple fact most of what I photograph isn’t going anywhere. Wildlife being, for the most part, the one exception as far as things I like to photograph goes. If I get home after a long day in the mountains and realize I didn’t get what I wanted, or the weather turned out terrible, or, and this has happened too many times to count, I have an idea for a photograph after I’ve already packed up and left, I can just go back.

Farming tools and equipement found in an abandoned barn in Jefferson, NH.
The long forgotten contents of my favorite abandoned barn in Jefferson in New Hampshire's north country.

I took this shot of the interior of an old abandoned barn while on a photography trip up north with a good friend, and fellow photographer, Joe Viger. It was a hastily taken shot, blended from several hand-held exposures. It was the end of a long and productive day and I just didn’t take my time. First thing I noticed when the images were imported into Lightroom, that big, glaring white five gallon bucket just jumps right out at me. The bucket just looks so out-of-place amidst all the antique clutter, and it draws my eye like a beacon.

Farming tools and equipement found in an abandoned barn.
The long forgotten contents of my favorite abandoned barn in Jefferson in New Hampshire's north country.

With this second more thought out shot, taken more than a month later, I decided to compose an image consisting of several interesting elements and not the entire contents of the barn.  Since the barn was still there, I was able to go back and get my “do-over,” taking my time to compose an image of just a few interesting elements.

Some “do-overs” have to wait. Last Spring we had a very early warm spell here in New Hampshire, earlier than normal. This caused a lot of the local wildflowers to bloom earlier than normal and this played havoc with my  spring wildflower photography plans. Some of the flowers I had hoped to photograph had almost run their course when they should have just started blooming. When I had taken this photo of a painted trillium I had stumbled upon the mother-load of painted trillium. There was only one teeny tiny problem, of the dozens of what I assumed to be painted trillium I came across, this is the only one left in bloom. All the others that were left were either just the bare stem and leaves, or had a shriveled up corpse of a flower left hanging on just waiting to fall off.  Imagining what this patch of flowers would look like in full bloom, I have already marked my calendar and will be stopping by this hidden patch of wildflower gold at least every other day, starting three weeks before the anniversary of the date this image was taken, just to make sure I don’t miss it. Like I said, some “do-overs” will have to wait.

painted trillium wildflower.
Finding a large patch of painted trillium just a little too late, this one was the last one standing in full bloom.

So if there is something you have photographed but are less the thrilled with the results, if at first you don’t succeed…. well, you get the idea.

One thought on “Try, try again.

  1. Sometimes I think of the first shooting session as a scouting session so am not disappointed if I come back with nothing. Planned returns to a location can work out if you know what you ‘should have done’ the first time. And if you work enough of the same types of locations enough, you can transfer the same techniques and ideas to new locations and get more out of them the first time. Weather permitting as usual. Good post. And I want to see those trillium shots when you get them.

Comments and thoughtful critiques are always welcome.

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