I was working with a workshop student several years ago who lamented that he’d “messed up his one chance to get a good shot of Mt. Rainier from Reflection Lake.”
Really? One chance?
Last time I checked, Mt. Rainer isn’t going anywhere. I suspect it’s been here longer than we have as human beings but if I’m off by a few thousand years who cares? It’s going to be here a while. Now granted, it is a volcano – an active one at that – so it might LOOK different next time you see it, but it will still be there. As will the lake. So why not simply go back and shoot it again?
Too far you say? In this student’s case it was a four hour drive. But let’s say it’s a four hour plane ride. If you’re passionate about it and really want the shot get on a plane and go back.
Photographers seem to suffer from the notion that because it’s a medium of the moment, they can’t go back. While that’s true at a wedding or other special event, landscape shooters, product shooters, architectural shooters, food shooters and even people making straight portraits can usually get a second, third or fourth try at any photo.
Think of this as revising. Writers don’t just write one draft of their novel and call it a day. They revise, re-write, refine, retool. Photographers can do that too. Make several shots of your mountain. Try it from different angles. Shoot it in different seasons and at different times of day. Try different lenses and cameras and post-processing treatments. I lived three hours from Mt. Rainier for 15 years. I can personally attest to the fact that every single time I went up the highway, the mountain was still there.