The September sun smiles warmly into shady side of my Appalachian home. All too soon the fading light of September will give way to the October winds. The weekly task of mowing the lawn as already been replaced by mulching fallen leaves. The thought of enjoying the day before it is yesterday has been heavy on my mind. The last few weeks of summer seemed to pass by like the falling leaves in an October gale. I still have a few butterflies playing in the yard but soon they’ll be gone. It gives me a better appreciation for the value of now. Now is the point when preparation meets opportunity. Sometimes, all the preparation in the world can be done but we miss the opportunity. For example, the next image is the same butterfly, in more or less the same spot on the same day and shot by the same photographer with the same camera. But the opportunity wasn’t really there.
When the moment is lost there are two things that you can do.
1. You can beat yourself up. ( Or more accurately, beat yourself down. ) This is really not productive. It makes you second guess everything and usually leads to the loss of the next moment and possibly even more moments depending on how much it impacts your confidence and motivation.
2. You can honestly evaluate what went wrong and make take corrective action. In the case of tonight’s feature image that meant making a few adjustments to the settings and paying more attention to the timing of snapping the shutter. The adjusted plan results in being better able to take advantage of the next opportunity.
Of course I was disappointed with the first shot. I’ll tell you secret. Most photographers will never show the ones that just didn’t turn out as planned. That doesn’t mean it never happened. But it’s important for me to encourage you to take the positive action of stepping back for moment and fixing what went wrong before trying again. This applies to so much more in life. When something doesn’t work out use the time before the next opportunity to make it better.
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