Up In Smoke

And that’s where my (non) photos are.

On a day off from work, I set out to catch up on some reading at a coffee shop down in RI. I considered bringing my camera but decided I wouldn’t find much of interest on a trip to this familiar spot. I thought, why tote it along?

And off I went.

Opportunity Ahead
As I neared the destination, traffic slowed. In the sky straight ahead I saw plumes of dark smoke rising. A gas station not far from the café was in flames.


I quickly parked and bolted from my truck to the scene: bright flames, billowing smoke, jets of water shooting from hoses, cops and firemen racing about, curious onlookers everywhere.

And so I watched—without a camera!


And no: My iPhone’s camera was not going to help me redeem myself for not bringing my Canon. I didn’t even bother.

As a consolation I watched three or four local news photographers angle around for shots. I like to watch other photographers in action to shamelessly “borrow” their ideas. Some of the best shots I’ve ever taken were inspired by others snapping pix nearby.

But again, no camera so…

No Drama Required
Of course I realize I don’t need dramatic “events” to capture compelling photos. It’s all about a photographer’s vision, perspective, and artistry when it comes to generating insightful images.

But a sensational event can be very fun and exciting to shoot. We all need an exciting (photo) opportunity now and then. I just need to be prepared the next time one comes about.

Hooray for Mayhem?
Please note: I am not implying in any way that I was glad for the photographers on scene that someone’s gas station erupted in flames, or that I actively covet tragic situations for photo opportunities.

Lesson Learned
Bring the camera. REPEAT. Bring the camera at all times.

*  *  *

So what about you?
Ever miss a fantastic opportunity to take cool shots because you figured there would be nothing to see, or didn’t want to tote the camera along? How badly did you kick yourself later?


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