I Thought It Was Supposed To Snow?

The Flatirons of Boulder, Colorado light up at Sunrise
When I headed out this morning, I had visions of the Flatirons covered in fresh snow, or at least that's what the weather report said would happen. When it became obvious to me that there was not going to be any snow on the Flatirons this morning I nearly turned my vehicle around and headed back home. Being in the field is the most important thing any photographer can do. If your not out with your camera, you wont be expressing your vision and passion. Even though this was not the image I intended to capture, the clouds and light more than made up for the lack of snow. Technical Details: Canon EOS 1Ds III, 70-200mm F2.8 IS L II
Or so the weather report said the night before. I was expecting two to four inches of fresh snow on Friday morning. I woke up Friday morning per my usual routine, hit the gym and walked the dog. Those who know me well, know I’m a hardcore morning person (and think I’m nuts). I get up and start my day every morning around 2:30 AM. It work’s well with my photography routine and it allows me to accomplish quite a bit before most people are even awake.

In my town of Erie, east of Boulder we had a light dusting of snow. Not the two to four inches I was expecting, but enough to coat the ground and make things interesting. Erie which is 12 miles east of Boulder will typically get a little less snow then Boulder proper so I figured the area around the Flatirons and the foothills west of town probably had a bit more snow. Not the amount of snow the weather people promised, but enough to get the adrenaline pumping thinking about the possibilities.

Heading east into Boulder it didn’t take very long for my hopes of seeing the Flatirons covered in fresh snow to be dashed. By the time I drove into Lafayette, there was literally no snow cover remaining on the ground. After some choice words directed towards the weather folks from the confines of my vehicle I continued on into Boulder. There’s a real temptation to visualize how you want a particular scene to look before you photograph it. Sometimes that works well for the photographer and sometimes it is to their detriment.

Disappointment can make you veer from your intended course. My first reaction was to turn my car around and head back home. What was the point I thought to myself?, no snow, probably no clouds. Sure the hike in would be nice but so would a nice cup of coffee back home. Early on in my photography career I would often succumb to this line of thought. While I’ve always considered myself motivated, it was an easy trap to fall into. I’ve slept through many beautiful sunrises or not been in the right location to photograph a beautiful image because I delayed and made excused to be out in the field. I just figured I’d go out another day with better conditions, etc. I’ve learned to ignore this voice in my head and forge ahead with the plans. Being flexible and adapting to the conditions is important, but I’ve learned getting out into the field regardless of what you perceive the end result to be is the most important action I can take as a photographer.