The Importance of Moment

Off the Beaten Path

I’m currently shooting in the Tetons, and this morning I passed a scene I photographed a few months prior during winter. I couldn’t resist stopping and taking a quick snapshot of the scene to share with the OP community, as I think it demonstrates the importance of waiting for the right moment to take a photograph. Moment is everything in photography, and can transform even the most mundane scene into something sublime.

Here’s what the scene looked like this morning (pardon the flare, I was not very careful about shading my lens):  

Not very exciting, is it? Just a scrubby looking lone tree below a non-descript hillside. Not worth a passing glance, let alone a photograph.

But this past winter, light and mood came together to make this scene worthy of a picture, if only for a moment. A layer of inversion fog had passed over the tree and its surroundings, leaving it covered in hoar frost. The sun, cresting over the top of the hill, sent brilliant beams of light scattered through the last remnants of mist. The moment didn’t last long, just enough for me to get a few pictures, including this one.

Moment is everything in nature photography. When it happens, be prepared to act quick, or you might miss it forever.

Here’s a link to the full size image on my website.

—Ian Plant     

Chasing the Light: Essential Tips for Taking Great Landscape Photos: A 62-page downloadable PDF eBook filled with informative text, stunning full-color images, and plenty of insights and inspiration. 

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