The Road Ahead

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.


  1. The Road goes ever on and on,
    Down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the road has gone,
    and I must follow if I can.

    • Pursuing it with eager feet,
      Until it joins some larger way
      Where many paths and errands meet.
      And whither then? I cannot say.

  2. Very nice! I like the way the light is shining off their hair and shoulders. Can you give us the pros and cons of not having them centered in the picture?

    • Thank you David, and that’s a good question too. I’m not a big fan of having my subjects centered in the picture and wanted to avoid that here as well. My goal was to have the viewer initially focus on the children, and then go to the left and see the road down which they are walking. If the kids were centered in the photo I think it would have lost a bit of this context.

  3. Hmmm….yes, I also am beginning to remember something about the “Rule of Thirds”! Thank you for hosting this site. It gives me a chance to take a break from the workweek and think about photography for a little while. Have a blessed day!

    • You’re quite welcome, David, and thank you for visiting the site! I know a lot of people pan the Rule of Thirds because it’s seen as overused and not very creative, but as far as I’m concerned the reason so many people use it is because it often gets good results :)

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