Take the shot? Or not?

Editor’s note:  For everyone in The Bahamas, here in Florida, and up and down the east coast of the US – please keep an eye on hurricane Dorian, get prepared, and stay safe!

I’ve driven by this tree many times – every time I go around Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  I like its isolation and the reflection it makes in the usually very still water.

Lone pine between the canal and roadLone pine between the canal and road

I saw and admired it again on my visit a few weeks ago, but I almost didn’t make this image.  Why not?  Because I thought I’d already made that very one before and didn’t need another.  Fortunately, I wasn’t in a hurry, so I stopped and made a two frame vertical panorama with my IR camera.

When I got home, I tried to find the photo I thought I remembered.  Here are two of that same tree that I found in my archives.  This first one is from nearly the same spot:

Clear day, calm water 1Clear day, calm water, January 2011

And this one is from the other side:

Left at the lone pine treeLeft at the lone pine tree, August 2018

I like the newest photo the best.  I’m glad I went ahead and made it!

On the other hand: When Kevin M. and I were down in Osceola county, we saw two or three Bald Eagles.  When I was young, Bald Eagles were rare and I never saw one in the wild until I moved to Florida and started paying more attention to wildlife.  Now they’re getting much more common but I still get a thrill whenever I see one.  One of the eagles was sitting on a pile of dirt a little off the road.  Kevin asked if I wanted him to stop for a photo and I said no.  I have quite a few Bald Eagle photos that I like (e.g. this one), and the setting that day just didn’t look like it would make a good photo.  It would probably have sat on my hard drive or been deleted when I went through the photos.  Why make it?

Take the shot or not? Like many things, it depends.  I suppose the moral of this story is: “When in doubt, make the photo.  But don’t make every photo.”

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos, or not!

©2019, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

8 thoughts on “Take the shot? Or not?

  1. Well done, while I’ve always tried to shot in Merit Island early or late, your BW images has inspired me to shoot whenever I’m near by and plan to do my processing in BW. Thanks for sharing your inspiring work. Ceasar Sharper

    1. Thanks for your comment, CD Sharper. I enjoy shooting in B&W and like the way my infrared modified camera renders landscapes. I try to bring it with me whenever I go out.

  2. I agree, take it if you feel like it, but don’t over shoot. I recently went through my external drives and sorted out photos. I learned that it is best to take a few to make sure, but don’t over shoot and waste time editing and then still end up deleting. As long as I have one or two. then I stop. So far, no regrets and I am enjoying my travels more.

    1. Hi Vicki – good to hear from you! I like your approach. With today’s cameras and large memory cards, it’s tempting to overshoot and that makes selecting and processing images much harder.

  3. Loved the latest shot. And keeping my fingers crossed re the approaching storm. Hope those wonderful vistas and precious habitat emerge unscathed.

  4. First – we hope you are safe and suffered no damages from Dorian. I’m almost afraid to find out what the damages have been along the coast.

    I like your decision to make a new photograph of the tree and I really like the results!

    For me, taking photographs of the same or similar subjects and scenes has been (and continues to be) a learning process. Initial outings with a new digital camera and “big” lens and nothing was safe! Ooohh, and I can just press the button and make dozens of shots!

    Over time, thankfully, I’ve learned to be a bit more judicious. When I first began with film about 100 years ago, decisions were much easier since I had to consider the cost of film and processing!

    Having said all that, if I come upon a tree in a great setting I’ve shot before or another Bald Eagle basking in the rays of the morning sun – well – a few more dozen shots won’t hurt.

    1. Good morning Wally.

      Yes, we’re safe here and didn’t have any damage from Hurricane Dorian, although I think we might still be at some risk of future flooding, especially along the St. Johns river. Many other places were not as fortunate as we were. The news from The Bahamas is horrible and some locations along the US east coast had severe impacts. I hope recovery efforts are swift.

      In general I agree with your philosophy and will normally take the photo if in doubt. I’ve long since overcome my hesitations from the film days where we had to consider the costs of each image. Still just yesterday, I passed up another eagle photo because the bird was too far away.


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