Unexpected moments

So last night’s sunset was questionable with a lot of cloud in the sky but I decided it might be worth a drive across to the opposite side of Lake Parker in an attempt to catch whatever Mother Nature might serve up.

She decided it would be a golden night and I could tell as much as I got to where the fishing pier is, half-way up the side of the lake.

There was a lone dude with a couple of fishing poles at the end of the pier and so we greeted each other as I got there.

I had my camera back-pack on and was obviously involved in some intricate type of set-up but he paid no attention and happily lived in his own world regardless of my antics.

This was going to be a sunset shoot with the crystal sphere and the amount of up and down, positioning and repositioning, that I did was a threat to the tranquility of his evening, but he didn’t seem to mind.

Setting up the glass sphere on a mini tripod and placing it at the very edge of the concrete pier was risky and stressful. But I had learned from past experience that if I moved it back in from the edge too much, then the concrete it rested on would become reflected within the sphere and I didn’t want that.

So, I took the risk, conscious of the fact that at any moment, a sudden breeze from the lake might cause it to lose its perch and be lost forever in the depths of Lake Parker.

In search of a beautiful moment, we sometimes take these risks and having weighed the potential loss, I guess I subconsciously determined that the replacement cost of the sphere was worth a single picture.

I’m not really sure how I arrived at that conclusion but apparently I did.

And so, I spent the next half-hour or so lying on my stomach, crawling to the left or right, crouching and kneeling. It was a genuine work-out and I felt my age by the time I finished.

But it was all worth it; the drive, the risk, the pains. I not only got what I was looking for, but there was a wondrous moment of optical magic than only lasted five or six seconds and created such an unexpected bonus of beauty for me.

You will see it in the little selection at the end of the blog. Most of the evening I was trying to get focus in the center of the front surface of the sphere. That’s what gives me the clarity while outside the sphere is a blur.

And once or twice, I changed focus to the horizon to catch the clarity of the actual sunset itself, as my eyes saw it.

But just for a moment, as I was transitioning from one to the other, I noticed an amazing dispersion type of focus ring along the outer surface of the sphere and I got a couple of shots before the angle of the setting sun changed and the moment disappeared again. You will see one of the shots in the collection at the end.

Hope you enjoy and I also added some words to the shot of my fisherman companion, by the way … it was just a scene that made me think.

Anyway, the resultant thought that led to this blog was essentially how we can set out very deliberately in life to do something and another thing unexpectedly happens.

Sometimes, the unexpected is calamitous but sometimes, like for me last night, it is wonderful.

It is important that we soften our focus on whatever we are doing in order to appreciate the unexpected. Being singularly focused in life is very limiting and can lead to us genuinely losing out to where we miss a growth moment.

My graduate degree is in electrical engineering and over the years I hit moments where my focus shifted to where I became product marketing, business development, internet design, and (almost) photographer.

Had I stayed focused on what my educational background provided for me, life would have traveled a very different path for me than the one I find myself on now.

Is the path I am on better or worse? Who knows? That’s the thing about life … you can second guess your path as much as you want but you have no way of really knowing.

But when life serves you up a moment, when the light suddenly does something spectacular that you weren’t expecting, it is most definitely a time to pause on what you’re doing and see if you can learn from it.

And if you can, then you become a bigger person and you proceed along your journey armed with some new knowledge or approach. This is how we develop as people. Through experiences.

If we live life cloistered in a homogeneous world it stops us from developing and living a more full life. For someone like me it is why America is such an interesting place in which to live … a melting pot of cultures and viewpoints that ultimately stretches our experience and enriches our souls.

But there has to be a willingness to change … change our viewpoints, change our direction, change our minds.

Change your mind and your soul will follow.

… just a thought!