Throw Caution to the Wind
This is from a spur of the moment hookup with brotogs Aaron Feinberg and Alex Noriega out in the Eastern Gorge. On this day the weather was pretty crazy. My girlfriend and I were out in the gorge gathering nettle when Aaron texted me telling me he was heading to Rowena. When looking at weather forecasts earlier in the day I had resigned myself to NOT shooting. However, I had my gear with me.. so I went. I enticed Alex to head out with cell phone shots of the crazy weather happening around us and we all met on Rowena Plateau.
There was such dynamic weather going on. While in the gorge we got absolutely dumped on, hailed on, and basked in glorious sunlight off and on while driving around on Larch Mountain. There were lots of clouds coming off/rolling over the hills and moving through the gorge proper with additional sudden downpours, hail, sun, and wind. Upon passing Hood River the weather opened up a bit and the sun shined a bit more... but behind to the west it was armageddon in the gorge.
We had some virga/rainbow happening off and on to the east over The Dalles with crepuscular rays, downpours, and clouds to the west. At times I was confident that we would get something epic, and at other times I was questioning why I was getting completely soaked in a downpour.
We had some clouds breaking to the west during sunset while lenticular clouds spun off of Mount Hood to the south. As the sun started to set it cast light on the lenticulars.. so we changed our approach and started shooting to the south.
I was caught farther west at our location with no trees to use as a foreground or compositional element. Furthermore, all the trees are windswept to the east (to the left in this photo) which didn't provide enough visual interest to counter the cloud movement. I found this patch of balsam which mirrored the clouds, snapped a few frames, and moved on.
After the shoot we headed to Hood River for dinner, drinks, and conversation.
There's a photographic philosophy that was coined by Arthur Fellig back in the 40's: "f/8 and be there." Meaning.. that in order to get his shots in acceptable focus without fussing he would set his aperture to f/8 and then 'BE THERE'.. as in position himself in the moment. Since that time the saying has resounded in the hearts and minds of photographers of all kinds. It's one of the first sayings you hear as a photographer. Fellow photographer/brotog Jeff Swanson amended the saying: "f/it and be there".. and I have to say.. that saying has inspired me to take these moments for what they are. Stop fussing about the weather forecast. Stop hemming and hawing 'should I go, should I not go?'. Stop making excuses.. and start living. Life is fleeting, so "f/it and be there". Even if you don't get the shot you'll be left with standing in a beautiful place with good friends.