Rather than lounging around on Sunday morning, I decided to get up extra early and go out and make some photographs. I wanted to catch the morning light and just enjoy walking around Pasadena and Altadena.
It was a morning rich with opportunities to see my community with new eyes. First off, it was early enough that there weren't many people out on the street. So, the usual fodder for my street photography was nowhere to be had. Secondly, it would allow me to see a very familiar environment under very different circumstances.
I felt like I had experienced a pretty successful morning when I was driving back home and spotted the light hitting the front of this church. I immediately knew it would make a good photograph, but I continued driving past it as I was eager to get back home.
What am I doing? I thought.
How many times had I passed up an opportunity to photograph something interesting, because I was in a rush or because it might be a momentary inconvenience? How many times had I rationalized that I would come back some other time and photograph it later? And how many times when I had bothered to return I'd found the situation changed or completely gone?
So, I turned the car around, found a place to park and pulled out my Samsung NX30 with 20mm lens, which provided me the equivalent of a 35mm focal length and began carefully framing my shot. It became one my more favored shots of the day.
What would I have found had I come on another day or time? Well, here is how this church looks normally.
I have driven past this a thousand times and never noticed it before. With its closed gates and security doors, the church was pretty much invisible to me.
Would I have come back to photograph this scene on another Sunday morning? Maybe, but I can attest to countless times when I hadn't kept such promises. I would see a wonderful shot, but because I would have to find a place to park or because I was in a rush to get somewhere, I would just let the moment slip by.
Would those images have been great shots? The truth is that I'll never know. But on occassion when I have paid attention to my muse and not let "life" supplant my desire to make a photograph, I have been pleasantly surprised.
Once a moment presents itself, it will never be exactly that way again. At some later date, it might be better or it might be worse or it might not ever appear again. So, why wait?
Usually, the thing that I'm rushing off to can wait. What if I'm delayed a few minutes? I have been gifted with the awareness to see and recognize something unique and beautiful that everyone is oblivious to and I have the opportunity to document it with my camera. That's a gift.
Nevertheless, I have been and am sometimes still guilty of not accepting what's being offered. But when I have images like this one to remind me of what's possible, it's another photograph that lets me know that procrastination does not help to improve my photography. It's only the making of the pictures that does.