Last March, I saw a gorgeous field of mustards growing on Highway 12 near Sebastapol in Northern California. Determined to get there for the wonderful morning light, I left my home in Oakland one morning before 5 for the hour plus drive north. I was terribly disappointed to find that this glorious mustard field was shrouded by thick fog. I parked my car by the road and wandered among the mustards, which were as tall as my chest, looking for an image in the cold gray. I tried macro shots of the mustards, thinking that a close up would rescue a good shot out of this situation. After spending about an hour wandering through the mustards, and getting thoroughly wet in the process, I finally raised my eyes to see these magnificent ghostly trees through the fog. I knew that I had at last found an image worthy of the trip.
William Neill, a great landscape photographer who lives near Yosemite, said recently that the best tool a photographer can have along on a photo shot is his feet. I agree. But I would also say that in addition to moving around a lot to find the best scene, we need also to shift our focus. It is so easy for me to become fixed on one idea. When I look up and down and around it opens up so many possibilities. Had I stayed focused on my macro world that morning, had I not looked up and stepped back, I would not have noticed the real beauty in the fog that morning.
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Spotlight photo at http://barbaralee.aminus3.com/image/2010-10-09.html