Making The Best

Uploaded 16 Feb 2010 — 5 favorites
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© Joshua Ball
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

A few Sundays ago, I was driving past a local park when I noticed some deer running in the distance. I had my camera riding shotgun and I figured I might as well try and get a photo of them. I swung into the park, gathered my gear and ran across an open field towards the deer as fast as I could. About 20 feet into my frantic run I realized how cold it was. About 30 feet in I realized how silly I must look running with a camera, backpack, waste bag and tripod flailing about my lumbering frame. At 40 feet I realized how futile it was to run after a few deer in the middle of January.

I did actually manage to get about 75 feet away from the creatures. At that point I stopped, set up my tripod, opened my waste bag, changed lenses and positioned myself to take the photo. As I bent down to frame the shot in the viewfinder, my heaviest lens slipped out of my bag and hit the snow covered ground with a loud thud. When the lens made contact with the ground, the lens cap, hood and back cap exploded into different directions. At that moment, one of the deer looked up, noticed me and bounded in the opposite direction. His comrades soon followed. There I was; alone in the middle of a snow covered field, carrying too much equipment, not dressed for the weather and staring at a $500 lens laying in the snow. I didn’t even get a photo to make the whole ordeal worth while. After mumbling a few choice words to myself, I picked up the lens and headed back to my car in defeat. Head hung low, I made sure the lens was physically intact and started the short walk back to my car.

When I scanned the parking lot for my vehicle, I noticed how orange the sky was from the winter sunset. January in Ohio is cold, gray and depressing. Nature doesn’t yield much color during the winter months but this sunset was actually kind of stunning. It immediately caught my attention. I seemed to miss it in my haste to catch the deer but it was impossible to miss on the return trek. Convinced that I could still turn this missed opportunity into something meaningful, I again changed lenses and shot this photo. I love how the tree tops are outlined by the sun’s fiery glow.

This photo reminds me how sometimes things just don’t turn out how you planned they would. However, in those times of disappointment, there are always other opportunities. While those opportunities aren’t always what we were hoping for, they are often just what we need. Had I managed to get a photo of those deer, it really wouldn’t have been anything special. However, my failure to capture that image ultimately guided me into finding another image; one that has meaning to me. Sometimes we have to make the best with what we are given; but those very circumstances can also provide us with unsought wonders and unknown joys. While this image of the sunset isn’t anything spectacular, it reminds me how important it is to look at the world around us. In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you do

9 responses

  • Arline Grant

    Arline Grant gave props (17 Feb 2010):

    A beautiful capture. I love the story that goes with it. I think it's happened to all of us in one way or another. I traveled to a local tourist spot hoping to get the one shot everyone home...disappointed I didn't have what I was looking for, but as soon as I started looking through what I HAD captured, I realized there was so much more going on there that no one ever takes the time to SEE. I think this was one of those moments. BEAUTIFUL!

  • n n

    n n (Deleted) gave props (19 Feb 2010):

    Arline says it so good!

  • Cindy Griff

    Cindy Griff said (27 Feb 2010):

    Well done, a joy to behold! Sorry about the lens, a good story and lesson for us all, to remember to stop and look at all the beauty that surrounds you, not just the focal point.

  • eithne mythen

    eithne mythen gave props (18 Apr 2010):


  • Denise Sarazin

    Denise Sarazin (Deleted) said (13 Jul 2010):

    Another gorgeous pic. And a good story too.

  • sandra d'souza

    sandra d'souza said (27 Jul 2010):

    stunning...i love sunsets:)and nice story...

  • Lisa "Chase" Patterson

    Lisa "Chase" Patterson gave props (12 Aug 2010):

    you may not get what you want, but you got what you needed, this is a beautiful shot

  • Carroll Pierce

    Carroll Pierce said (30 Sep 2010):

    You're right about looking at the world around us and making the best of what is presented to us. Your foray into that frozen field was not wasted - these woods look as though they really are on fire, if you'll forgive the cliché.

  • Cheryl Andrews

    Cheryl Andrews   said (7 Dec 2010):

    An absolutely striking image. The contrast of such 'hot' colours again the naked trees and cold, snow dusted foreground creates drama and tension in this shot.

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