Wiping the sleep from my eyes I could see, just barely, through the crack in the hotel curtains. It was early still…Pre-dawn…but already I could see that it would be a beautiful, if freezing cold, morning to be out shooting. I hadn’t really brought much of my gear with me as I was down visiting the Becker, MN area for a family Christmas celebration and my wife and kids and I had enough bags as it was.
But I never leave home without at least my small, but very capable, Fuji X100T. Well, these days I’ve also got my small video recording rig at all times as well. That consists of a Panasonic Lumix FZ300, a couple of knock off gorilla pods, a couple of small Rode microphones and the mount for my iPhone to attach to one of the gorilla pods.
Anyhow, I hadn’t planned on doing any photography work on this trip. It was a family trip after all, but damn…that light was looking so beautiful already for sunrise. So I asked my wife if she cared if I ran out for a short time to try to capture some photos and video footage real quick. She didn’t care, they were just headed down to grab breakfast so I grabbed my camera bag, went out and warmed up the car while I ate breakfast with them and then slipped away for maybe forty-five minutes.
Even though it was a beautiful sunrise, so many warm colors and tones in the sky and across the snow covered farmlands, I had a big problem. I am not all that familiar with the area and therefore had no idea where to go for a couple of good photo opportunities. In the end I found a small side road maybe just a couple miles from the hotel and as I pulled down that and soaked in the sunrise I found just a couple of good opportunities for potential photographs.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love finding myself in a location that is just so amazing and you have no shortage of photo opportunities. But there was something very satisfying knowing that I only had a short time in which to find a subject or two, photograph it AND make the video for that day. In the end I walked away making 3 photos. The first just didn’t work out, limitation of the gear I had with me as I just didn’t have a long enough lens and the thing that drew my eye to the scene just didn’t work on the wider Fuji X100T. The other 2 images I made I really enjoy and feel good about. I think they do a nice job of capturing that morning, farmland winter vibe but you can be the judge of that.
I did end up making 2 videos about this location as well and before I share the photos I’ll put the videos here for you to have a look at as well. The first was the video footage from while I was out making the photos and the second is a feature I do now and then on my channel where I go behind the scenes and walk you through an edit of a photo or two.
Sometimes it is really good to push yourself to be more intentional and focused when you are out shooting because even though it’s nice to come home with a memory card full of good images, it’s always better to come back with just a handful of great images. Enjoy the videos and photos.