Plan B

On Saturday, I went to a talk presented by the PCP in conjunction with the Americana Exhibit, presented by Buddy Eleazer of Magnum Excursions.  Buddy is a nature and wild life photographer whose photography sets you down in the plains of Africa or the swaps of the everglades, which is my way of saying it is impressive on many levels. Interestingly, he opened his talk by saying “You’ll make mistakes.”  Assuming he was speaking from experience, I felt a little validation – we forget that sometimes when we view incredible photos.   Our visual sense is so in awe by the image in front of us, we (or at least I do) tend to forget that before capturing that one amazing shot he/she may have forgotten to take the lens cap off, or forgot to change the camera settings, or forgot a very important piece of equipment… which is exactly what I did on Sunday. arches

As I headed off with my extended family for a family portrait, following a lovely birthday brunch for my mother-in-law, to a location at Valley Forge National Park’s Washington Memorial Chapel,gothic-blue I realized I left my tripod shoe attached to my other camera that was sitting at home.   I needed a plan B and quick (or this gang was not going to ever let me live it down).   Yes, I could have asked another park visitor to take the picture.  But did I really want to inconvenience a perfect stranger, asking them to stand there and take a shot, wait for me to check that everyone’s eyes were open, exposure was right, etc, etc, and take a couple extra just for good measure…  No, not an option ~ also there weren’t that many people milling about on this chilly February day. Dreyer-Family-Portrait-w-o Plan B:  Take the family (minus me) get enough shots, checking all the above, and a couple for good measure, and then have my lovely assistant (my daughter) step out of the portrait, so I can step in, and take the photo(s).

Plan B it was! Dreyer-Family-Portrait

Buddy shared a lot of good points.  And even though I’m not a die-hard nature photographer and photographing the wildlife of Africa is not on my radar (although, who knows, maybe…) so much of what he said holds true whether photographing your kids or a pack of hyenas.  Such as, always have a camera with you and if you see a shot or an opportunity take it – because you may never get a second chance {Guilty}.   I’ve passed up plenty of opportunities thinking oh, I’ll come back (for whatever reason) and never have.  These two points must have been sitting somewhere in my subconscious on this particular day.  Because gathering these 16 people, for this particular occasion, on this particular day, was simply not going to happen again.  When I started the day, I packed my camera & tripod (yeah-yeah, minus its shoe) not even sure we would get the opportunity to take a family portrait, but just in case…   And even with my equipment faux pas, the need for Plan B, and a little Photoshop magic, I was still able to capture this very special family portrait.

Be sure to check out Buddy’s website Magnum Excursions; and if you’re in the area and he is giving a talk or if he is in your area, check him out because regardless of the type of photography you shoot or level of skill, I’m pretty sure you’ll be inspired to get out there with your camera.

Until next time,

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