There’s a good photo in here somewhere, but I’m not sure how to coax it out.
I shot this on my way to work one rainy morning in late August when I stumbled across this scene quite by accident. I biked to work while it was raining so my wife could have the car to get the kids to school and then drive herself to work. (Our other vehicle was in the repair shop getting worked on.) When I got to this bridge the rain had let up a bit, and I noticed this maroon umbrella just sitting there at the edge of the pavement exactly as you see here. Why did someone leave an open umbrella on the sidewalk? Were they going to return to come and get it? Should I take it with me so as not to knowingly leave litter lying around? I didn’t know the answer to any of these questions, but what I did know is that the scene might make an interesting photograph.
I had my D500 and 50mm lens with me so I parked my bike, got my camera out of my backpack, and composed what I thought might be an interesting picture. I only spent about 30 seconds on it since I had to get to work and didn’t really have time to consider all the normal elements of exposure and composition that I normally would have, and I think that’s one reason this image isn’t quite as compelling as it might be. A better photographer might have found a more interesting angle or a unique way to take a picture of this umbrella, but this was all I could do given the short amount of time I was working with.
I shot it at f/1.8 to get a bit of background blur, and I should have moved myself much closer to the umbrella too. This image is cropped quite a bit: the original has a Chili’s restaurant sign on the right side and a lot more sidewalk in the foreground too but again, I didn’t have much time to work with. I don’t mean to be so negative about this image because I do think it’s decent, but mostly this was a learning experience for me and a good reminder that it helps to be prepared in case a photo opportunity presents itself. If I hadn’t thought to bring my camera to work I wouldn’t have any picture here, and a halfway decent shot is better than no shot at all.