Smoke in the Storm-Blog Post 5

A photographer is never sure from where the next photo will come..we always try to be ready by dutifully carrying our cameras wherever we go, but sometimes a moment sneaks up on us. In this instance, I had my camera…safely tucked into my Lowepro bag upon my back, as I made my way down to the barn in the midst of the storm. I had planned to shoot some down in the dry barn, out of the storm. I had an off-camera flash with me, my Pocket Wizards, my 70-200mm, all ready to shoot “in the barn”. The horses, Smoke and Cutter had been put out in the pasture earlier in the day before the worst of the cold was to come. It was to give them a chance to stretch their legs and get a little exercise before being stuck in their stalls for the next 48 hours. Temperatures were to be below zero and wind chills even worse. As I made my way down to the barn, I didn’t see Smoke in the pasture. I only saw Cutter. And then this happened. Smoke came up from the creek and crested the hill. He stood like a statue watching my son, behind me, trek through the snow. I saw the photo instantly. The light had a blue glow, the snow whirled, and the old horse stood at attention watching…I knew I could not take a moment and get my camera off my back, out of the bag, and set exposure before the moment would be gone. In an almost panic, I grabbed my cell phone from my pocket and took the only shot possible. Smoke moved forward an instant later, and the moment dissipated. I didn’t even look at the picture, as I put my phone back in my pocket. I assumed it was like any other photo taken by a small, insignificant camera phone. I was sorely disappointed that I did not have my Canon to the ready and berated myself for babying the camera on my short trip to the barn. It was not till that evening that I remembered I had even taken the shot with my phone and as I sat watching tv, I opened up my cell phone, and there was this image. I was quite surprised and sent the photo immediately to my inbox, and I awaited its arrival. I opened the tiny image in camera raw, contrasted it, added a touch of vibrance, and sent it over to photoshop to crop and sharpen and make a little larger. Do I wish I had shot this w/my 5D? Oh, you bet…am I glad I have this at least? I am even more happy. Once again, I have learned the importance of just having a moment safely stored on a memory card of some type…a big gun camera, a tiny little phone…doesn’t matter…I have the image of a favorite gray horse forever standing beautifully still, surveying his ground in snowstorm. It’ll always be a favorite.

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