Have Your Camera, Find Your Spot

Every day seems like a new adventure in 2020. A short list of recent events in Northern CA include: pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests, lightning strikes, heat wave, and fires. When I get in the car to drive home each evening, I have no idea what I will encounter.

Sonoma-County-DSCF1950-fire.jpg "Fire in the West" - Captured for a safe spot on a freeway overpass in Sonoma County with a Fujifilm X100V. Photo by Derrick Story.

So I make sure that I have my Fujifilm X100V by my side and the iPhone X in a bracket. Between the two of them, I can record this crazy world when it presents its madness.

The other thing to keep in mind is finding my spot. My approach when I see something going down is to capture it immediately, even if the photographic circumstances aren't ideal. Just get the shot.

Then, if I have the ability to find a better vantage point for a refined version, I do that next. Our current fire in the West County that flared up yesterday evening is a good example.

IMG_6662.jpeg "Fire in the West" - Captured with an iPhone X using a bracket and self-timer. Photo by Derrick Story.

This shot above, captured with an iPhone X, was recorded from the car when I had the first good look at it. It is not an ideal image by any stretch of the imagination. But who knows what's going to happen next, so I wanted to have it for documentation.

The top image was photographed minutes later from a freeway overpass where I had a much better vantage point. Fortunately we have places to park around here, and that makes it much easier to get out of the car with camera in hand and compose the shot that I want.

As always, I try to be safe when taking pictures, and be aware of the safety for those around me as well. Yes, I want to do my job, but not at the expense or inconvenience of others. And sometimes I lose shots as a result.

The bottom line is, that there are many photo opportunities that we can't anticipate. But if you're prepared and willing to make the extra effort to detour for a few minutes, you can capture many of these unexpected moments.

Be prepared, be safe, and be an artist.

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