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The lottery and being lucky

On the first day of the National Lottery, I won. It was only £10 but the euphoria that came over me as my numbers came up was wonderful. We all have tales to tell of similar experiences, so I am sure you know the feeling well. A piece of luck never goes amiss.

This time last year I had been asked by a client to produce three images to augment their office refurbishment: one a cityscape of Winchester; one of a rural scene overlooking the River Test and the final image, some bluebells. I knew the locations where I was going to take the shots through previous explorations and map marking, a process that I have shown many who have attended workshops. However, we still needed the final ingredient - light, because as we all know, "It's all about the light". Oh, and in the case of the bluebells, that they were in bloom of course.

I had been waiting for over a week so we were now into May. Luckily the bluebells were late last year, so that played into my favour, but the light- well I was still waiting. My location was on a slight hill so the light direction was vitally important. It had to be a dawn with dappled early morning sunlight being the visualisation for the image. But I was still waiting.

Scanning the various websites for possible good light opportunities - usually the BBC and Met office weather pages eventually moved to show an opening, but it was a 50:50. It was a Sunday and being me, I was still undecided whether to go or not. Late Sunday I took another look. We'd had some rain and the weak weather front was clearing to leave clear skies and a temperature drop. The job was on.

Sunrise was 4:49 and I had a drive of over 40 miles to reach the location so the alarm was set for 3:30am but as is often the way, I was awake prior to the alarm enjoying only a fitful sleep. Armed with pre packed equipment, a flask and a handful of bananas off I set. It was still dark on arrival and walking through the woods was very peaceful - other than the adjacent M3! On location and I was waiting - waiting for the proverbial.

A low, light mist hung between the tree trunks. Not a mist bordering on fog, but just a light whispery veil. This could be good. Light levels rose as they do and as ever, the shutter was released a few times, checking focus and depth of field. Many of you know of my dislike of that word 'hyperfocal', mainly due to the importance placed by many on the theoretical rather than the practical. It was the practical application that I was using here.
As the light rose, so did the mist. I don't need to say much more now. Hopefully the picture above tells the story.

As I walked out of the wood around 7:15am, my job done, I met another photographer just arriving. He asked why I was leaving. I told him that the best light had gone but wished him well. I still don't think he really understood.

I was grateful that I had been so lucky to witness that great light; those fabulous bluebells; that wonderful ethereal mist rising and to capture the scene. As the saying goes, the harder you work, the luckier you become.

Keep practising
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