The Road Ahead

Contrary to some of the other photos I have here on Weekly Fifty, nothing about this was planned at all. It was just one of those moments of sheer serendipity that I was lucky enough to capture on (digital) film, and also serves as a reminder to me about the importance of knowing the basics of photography.

I got this shot at our annual trip to a cabin in Nebraska when I went out with my brother, his wife, and some other friends to find a geocache and just enjoy the beautiful scenery and mild weather. Near the end of our walk my nephew asked if he could hold hands with his friend, who is the daughter of one of my best friends from clear back in the fourth grade, and the two of them walked like this for a hundred yards or so. Of course all us adults were marveling at how cute the scene was, and since I happened to have my camera with me I was able to snap this quick photo.

I’ve learned over the years to quickly set a few parameters on my camera for a given condition, and then fine-tune things as needed. Case in point: on the day I shot this picture I knew it was bright and sunny, and whatever photos I was likely to take would probably not require ultra wide apertures. So when we set foot on the hiking trail I put my camera in aperture priority, F/4, ISO 200. I knew there would be plenty of light for any picture I was likely to take, and all I would have to do is change the aperture if I needed to instead of also altering shutter speed or making sure my ISO was low.

An hour later when I saw the kids walking hand-in-hand, my camera was already pre-set to just the right parameters. Instead of fiddling with my camera I was instead free to just pay attention to the lighting, the overall composition, and where I wanted to position my body. In the space of a few seconds I got the shot I was looking for, and then shut my camera off so I could get back to spending time with friends and family instead of taking pictures all day.

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