More dramatic light and a story

The other day I posted a vertical version of this scene.  I did not have time to write much about the moment, today I would like to share what happened.

The location is Hidden Lake, a personal favorite spot for fall photography.  I had just finished leading two back to back workshops and had time for my personal shooting.  I was blessed with beautiful soft bright overcast light.  I was having a grand time wandering along the path around the lake finding new placed and subjects  to photograph.  It was the end of the day, I looked up and saw a small spot of blue sky peaking through the overcast.  I wondered, might get last light on my scene?  I picked my spot and waited and waited.  And then a blast of light, as if from a spot light directly on my chosen tree.   As I looked up and down the shore, it was truly shining on just my scene!  I was paralyzed and could not shoot.  I’ve never experienced this before.  After a minute and shouting “ARE YOU KIDDING ME???”  I quickly realized this could fade very quickly.  I was able to recompose myself, compose two pictures and it was over.   This was easily the most dramatic display of light I had ever seen.  It is a moment that is indelibly seared into my memory and one that I will never forget.   We need to show up, we need to be present and if we do, we will be presented with gifts.

This entry was posted in Color, Fall Color, Inspiration.


  1. Scott O October 21, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    As Gelen Rowell said, “f 8 and be there”. You also anticipated and were ready to take advantage of your “gift”.

  2. Felice October 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    Now I understand. I felt that when I saw the vertical too and loved the golden leaves in the Lake. Thanks for the blessed truth. Beautiful.

  3. Cynthia October 21, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Like Scott said above, you also anticipated what was going to happen. This is something that Jay Maisel talks about in that Kelby Training video, looking at the scene and anticipating what might happen and being ready for it. And in this case, even though you were blown away by the beauty of what unfolded beyond your expectations, you were ready for it! Great story and lesson John! And great shot!

  4. Daniel Ruf October 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    I vote for the vertical, but they’re both quite beautiful. It does pay big dividends to be present. Thanks for sharing thoughts and results.

  5. Nicki McManus October 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    A true Zen experience… if you seek it out, you never find it, you can’t manufacture it. You have to be open, and let it come to you. This speaks to you- beautiful image.

  6. Luna Lovegood October 21, 2012 at 8:48 pm #


  7. mary October 22, 2012 at 2:01 am #

    beautiful spot..lucky you to get such gorgeous light.

  8. al campoli October 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    WOW!!! Amazing light!!

  9. marty golin October 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I fully endorse Nicki’s comment, especially…”You have to be open, & let it come to you.”

    • john8276 October 24, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      Don’t know if you remember Marty, in my Dream Believe Create program I speak about this very idea. My poem is about it… Be still and let the images come to you is how I put it…

  10. Bob Towery October 26, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    I often leave blog comments along the lines of “glad you were there to capture this moment.” I don’t think I have ever meant it as much as this particular image. Gorgeous JB!

  11. Ray November 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    You are a blessed man John. How many times does it happen that we wait for the light and it just doesn’t come? Or just don’t anticipate…. great shot!

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