The joy, challenge, and, occasionally the great frustration of photography is that once you take it up, you begin to see wonderful images everywhere. From the exotic to the mundane, the world offers an infinity of possibilities and opportunities. And there is simply no way to capture everything you see.
For some reason, this past week has turned into a grand example of opportunities missed . . . and a few that were successfully realized.
First, there was the bald eagle that flew over my head as I sat on my back deck. It is the first time I have ever seen a bald eagle within 150 miles of my home, and it was an exciting experience. He carried a large fish, and took up a perch about 200 yards away, where crows and turkey vultures flew about him, and occasionally dive bombed. I ran for the camera, whipped out a borrowed 300mm lens, and shot away. Alas, it was still too far. I have photos that document the fact that he was there . . . and that's about it.
Next, a foothills friend told me her yard has been full of hundreds of butterflies at all hours of the day. I went in the early a.m., but the butterflies were not yet out. So I went again in the early afternoon, and they had mostly moved on. There were a few, always moving astonishingly quickly. The result was a series of disappointing images. On the bright side, I found an excellent butterfly website, a wonderful resource for anyone who cares to register and identify a specific butterfly. There I learned that the slightly out-of-focus pictures I achieved were of a California Pipevine Swallowtail. Nice to know!
Then there was my plan to photograph the adorable goslings which are currently found almost everywhere on my favorite golf course. This was also an educational expedition. The babies and their parents could care less about golfers, but try point a camera at them and it's a different story. A mix of early morning light, sparkling dewy grass, dark adults, pale babies, and spitting protective parents all combined to ensure another foray in frustration.
But the week was not a total loss. There was that beautiful moon. My plan was to shoot it from Folsom's antique walking bridge. And I found that the dawn light created not just a chance to shoot the setting moon, but wonderful light on the beautiful bridges I had long been planning to photograph.
And then there is the serendipity of simply being out and about with the camera. I was about to head home from my disappointing early morning foray to the golf course, when an unanticipated image caught my eye. Not a bald eagle. Not an adorable gosling. Not even a delicate fluttering butterfly. Just a cat, waiting or guarding or perhaps even decidedly posing for me. Not the greatest image, but one that caught my attention and my eye, and lifted my spirit more than a little. Just one of the small joys that makes the journey of photography so full of wonderful rewards.