Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Importance of Preparation

Winter time in California can often be the best season for dramatic weather and light.  In the summer, however, landscape photographers along the coast such as myself, can often be found wandering around like zombies due to the mundane conditions which define California's warmer months.  Of course, there are always images out there waiting for you, in any weather, if you look hard enough, but you have to admit, there is nothing quite like some dramatic light and storm clouds at the beach!

As the past week has brought a very wet winter storm to California, I have been prepared for almost every sunrise and sunset.  Most of the time, the weather has not cooperated.  Last night looked to have the most potential all week and I rallied a couple friends, including my workshop partner, Josh Cripps, to go out for quick sunset photo session up the coast.

Big problem.

I had inadvertently left my camera bag at home.  There was no time to go back, so I called my friend Diego who hadn't left yet.  He grabbed a spare camera and a mid-range lens.  Once at the beach, I knew the light was something special and I was happily snapping photos and video with the only camera I had, my cell phone, until Diego arrived.

Tripod compatibility was an issue, so I simply fired off bracket bursts with the incoming waves as I tried my best to keep everything stable.  Of course, I would have preferred to be photographing with all my own equipment, but my borrowed gear and a make-shift stability system was ten times better than my cell phone.

My temporary lapse of reason cost me some creative flexibility once on location.  I realize now the importance of always being prepared and that means always having your camera with you.  It is extremely difficult to make images without it!

Happy holidays everyone!


  1. Nice Jim! I once forgot my camera in on a trip to Point Lobos. I did remember my tripod though. Boy did I feel silly carrying that thing around with no camera.

  2. beautiful shot Jim. Very well composed!