When One Door Closes, Another Opens (or substitute your own cliché here). Have you ever planned a shoot only to have things go wrong or fall apart? It happened to me – twice – on what has become my own annual two-day dragonfly fest near Las Vegas. Funny thing, though, the turn of events stretched me in ways I had not anticipated and resulted in shooting opportunities and images I could not have imagined or hoped for. The first “door” shut practically right out of the gate, day one, 6:00 AM, eagerness overflowing on the drive over to the Henderson Bird Viewing Preservewhere exotic dragonflies awaited me. I rounded the last bend in the road and there on the fence was a “CLOSED” sign. A recent rain deluge had flooded the ponds and damaged the preserve. I said some bad words and thought about a call to Alaska Airlines to arrange an early return, but instead headed to another refuge where I had had little luck last year, the Clark County Wetlands Park. This time, however, I soon discovered pockets of accessible dragonflies with beautifully patterned wings and multi-colored bodies, the likes of which I had never seen even at my first-choice refuge last year. Despite some gusty winds it turned out pretty nice.
Call it what you want – going with the flow, rolling with the punches, making lemonade out of lemons, or the door analogy – I suspect it is something we’ve all experienced to one degree or another and a necessary skill to nurture and develop as a photographer. This is especially true for nature photographers because when all is said and done, Mother Nature is in the driver’s seat, not us.