Stop and get it while you can


This is a a grab shot with a lesson. We were doing our pre-tour scouting when we spotted this scene. Rather than get out a tripod and shoot it properly, I fired off a couple of handheld shots and we moved on.  At the moment my head was filled with things like, we need to move on and get the scouting done, eh, its not that great anyway, how do I expose for this type of scene anyway?   Seriously my F.U.D. (fears uncertainties and doubts) were creeping in. Then when I got back to the room and took a look, I immediately realized I had made a mistake. I should have stopped pulled out the tripod and taken a few minutes to think through my composition and exposure.    

The lesson?  STOP and get it while you can.


This entry was posted in B&W, Smoky Mountains and tagged , , .


  1. Karl May 8, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    Thanks John,
    This is a very good lesson!!!

  2. Karen Messick May 8, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Nice grab! Shoot it when you see it!!!

  3. Gary Faulkner May 8, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    A better thought is “stop life needs to slow down” than your F.U.D. will not be as heavy!
    Just my 1 cent.

    • john8276 May 8, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

      Better thought Gary. Thanks.

  4. Mark Stevens May 8, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Very nice, John. It’s a lesson we all need to learn. It’s easy to keep going and think “I’ll come back” or “I’ll get it tomorrow”, but it is never the same.
    I am curious, however, why do you think you made a mistake ? Simply because you didn’t use your tripod ? Do you think the image is not as good as it should be ? You use great gear, you have great technique, and you produce great images ! I’m certain no one can tell that this is handheld. It would make a fine print.

    Thanks for sharing

    • john8276 May 8, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      Great question Mark. No the image is not a mistake, not stopping and taking more time to look for more images or to fine tune this one which in all honesty is a crop of what I shot is the mistake. I should have listened to my inner voice which was also saying… STOP.

  5. Rich Lewis May 8, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    What a lesson we all need to learn, and relearn and relearn. Many years ago I was speeding to an appointment and drove by a guy who’s VW Beetle broke down by the side of the road. Where he was parked was a big sign that read “Coming Soon Volkswagen Repair Center” I should have stopped but didn’t. I’ve regretted it ever since. With the landscape we got to get the light while we can because it might not happen again, ever. I don’t remember what I was rushing to but I remember the shot I missed. So what was really important. Thanks for posting this and reminding us to stop and actually do the thing we really love…Take a photograph.

    • john8276 May 8, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      Great example Rich. Thanks for sharing.

  6. marty golin May 8, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    interesting variation betweeen Mark & Rich’s comments above; both valid. Just as the best camera in the world is the one you have with you, a grab shot is better than no shot at all. Though depending on one’s vision of the image, sometimes having a capture that’s not “good” enough may be more frustrating than no image at all. Good post.

    • john8276 May 8, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      Hummm, fodder for another blog post. Thanks Marty!

  7. Daniel Ruf May 8, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    Outstanding capture, John. Do we ever get over FUD?

  8. Diana May 8, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    I would have been proud of this shot, period. However it is a great lesson and what Marty said was something I did not consider…knowing what could/should have been must be frustrating.
    Interesting discussion, as usual.

    • john8276 May 8, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

      Thanks for chiming in Diana. Yes, Marty always has interesting comments.

  9. Chasee Dallura May 9, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    Hi John,
    That is an incredibly moving pic. You did stop and get it. Sometimes “a couple of quick shots”
    will capture the moment. Getting out the tripod is also right (if you can).
    Thank you for sharing.

  10. Stephan Dietrich May 10, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    A breathtaking image indeed! A scene like that while driving would make me want to STOP as well!

    Imagine if you simply would have driven on… The FUD’ers of life and photography!

    How many times do we have all the right equipment, gear and the clear mindset to apply 100% of our thoughts, talent, emotion, visions, artistry and complete dedication to “really” capture the image we “really” want? How many times does a moment scream out, “This it it! This is the moment you have been waiting for!” Or a time clock that reminds you, “this moment will expire in 30 seconds!”

    What were you thinking when you initially STOPPED? Part of your thoughts seemed to have been focused on your day, time, schedule and tasks that you wanted to complete… rather than what you focused on with your vision and reason for STOPPING. Time management and deadlines! Time and FUD’ers!

    How many images do we take that are subconscious and come back to life when we are on post-process mode? Or, see images that others took that were along with you, stood next (or near) to you and captured something different?

    All in all, we must learn to multi-task, apply the right amount of time, stay on task and leave enough time for moments such as the one you captured here!

    We cannot do it all and capture everything we see. Looking back, studying images, what you did, what you used, who you were with and everything else … are the elements and ingredients that allow us to learn, grow, see and act accordingly the “next time” we encounter the moments and scenes that take our breath away and urge us to STOP, savor the moment and capture what we visualize the image to be within your frame… at that given moment!

    Just think of the other shots and visions that were left behind… Here’s to the moments ahead that make you STOP and to have the mindset to capture what you were seeing or made you STOP!

    Great post and image JB!

  11. Stephen McCullough May 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    Hi John

    Yet another good reminder.

    Yet you did manage to capture something striking. I like the edit too; very engaging.

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