The Joys and Challenges of Photography

I was only able to get about 4 hours of sleep Monday night and woke up at 3:45AM since we had to leave at 4:30AM for Moraine Lake. I tried an over-the-counter sleep aid and Extra Sleepy Time Tea®, but neither seemed to help me get to bed very early.

There were already a number of cars in the parking lot when we arrived. Our guide went up to explore and then came back and told us to sit tight for awhile since it was still dark and raining. He then told us to get ready and to have our wide angle lenses on our cameras. Neither my dad or I were prepared (had the telephoto lenses on the night before) and had to do a quick lens change. My dad took a little longer to get all of his stuff out and make the change. I sensed the guide was getting a little impatient as he kept asking us if we were ready. I put my tripod on top of the truck bed cover and assisted my dad. It wasn't until we got to our destination over a muddy and slippery trail and started unpacking and setting up that I realized I didn't have my tripod. Off I went with my cell phone flashlight back to the truck to retrieve it. I made a wrong turn on my return to our our spot and had to backtrack a bit to find the right way. When I arrived, I was dripping with sweat. I finally got everything set up and used a new app our guide told us to purchase on my phone to acquire the proper settings for the shot; it was still pitch dark.

The weather was cold and we got some strong winds, hail, and rain. Shortly after daylight there was an intense altercation with a rude photographer and his friend who moved right in front of us blocking my dad's shot. My dad said, "Hey, you're in my shot!" The man replied, "It's a national park!" and refused to move. Next, a Japanese man whose English wasn't very good, went up to the man and stood right in front of his camera; he still refused to move. A few minutes later our guide came over and confronted the men. The problem finally got resolved and the two men moved out of the way. Unfortunately, our guide told us that he encounters this a lot on his trips.

Since the weather conditions weren't very good, we decided to leave a little earlier than the rest of the group as we felt we had the best shots we could get.

On the way back my dad had a mishap with his heavy backpack. When he went to sit down for a rest on one of the large boulders, the backpack compromised his balance and he wound up sliding off the rock on his back with his legs in the air. He looked like a turtle who had rolled over on its shell! He wasn't hurt and we enjoyed a good laugh. I too had a moment earlier in the morning before sunrise where I lost my footing and started sliding off the hillside towards the water.

The one thing I have learned so far is that you never know when all of the variables involved in photography will all come together to create a great shot. A lot of patience, trial and error, and knowledge of your camera is necessary. I have room for lots of growth in all of these areas but I have learned a lot on this trip and look forward to learning even more.

We have a great guide who is incredibly knowledgable, patient, and helpful. My mom and dad took a trip with him to Namibia in 2017 and were able to get some great photos. One of them is hanging in the dining room of the rectory.

It is now 3:45AM on Wednesday and time to get ready to head out for the day. The days are pretty busy with workshops between the times we are out shooting photographs.

Below are a few of the pictures I took yesterday.

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