I’ve been taking photographs for decades – many, many photographs over many decades. During that time, especially in the last ten years or so, I identified a couple of things I should always bring on a photo trip to help ensure that some good photographs result from it. They are Luck and Serendipity.
1950s Brooklyn Dodger Exec Branch Rickey said that Luck is the residue of design and that Success is that place in the road where preparation meets opportunity. So, before any photo trip, especially to a National Park, I research sites where other photographers have taken interesting pictures, noting the time of day, time of year and how hard it is to get to that site. For me that results in more sunsets than sunrises – because staying up is a lot easier for me than getting up in the dark. A National Park visit requires a lot of preparation – the NP service, & travel books/sites such as the Moon Travel Guides for National Parks – especially for Yosemite & Yellowstone/Grand Teton included special photo locations like Schwabacher’s Landing and the Mt Moran from the Snake River Overlook, both first used by Ansel Adams & his contemporaries.
Serendipity – or good luck in finding valuable things unintentionally– has been my photography companion for decades – the Art of Photography photo was taken because my walk in London that day took me past the Royal Academy of Arts. I didn’t know that that the photography exhibit was there then. The Artichoke flowers photo happened because I was drawn to the loud buzz of the bees at the town market where we were having lunch. And that Grand Canyon sunset tree was taken when I returned from a less successful sunset trip to another site and I noticed a lot of people walking to the back of the hotel. Lucky me!