A Chance Encounter, or I’d Rather Be Lucky Than Good

August 31, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

It was New York Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher Vernon Louis “Lefty” Gomez (1908 – 1989) who once said, “I’d rather be lucky than good.”  Lefty, also nicknamed “El Goofo” and “Goofy Gomez”, was known for his baseball diamond antics and his quick wit. And while he was likely joking about preferring to be lucky (and by the way, he was also very very good), I’m sure that he, and most people, wouldn’t turn down a little luck if it came their way ...  I know I wouldn’t!  In fact, luck paid me a visit yesterday …

If you’ve read my blog a few times, you may have picked up on the fact that I have a non-photography-related “day job” and I usually have very little time for shooting (ugh).  Mostly, I have to shoot in small windows of opportunity, which necessarily limits the type of shooting I can do.  Many times I have mused about, and envied, photographers who are able to spend as long as it takes to get a shot that they want.  I imagine dedicated photogs standing/sitting/crouching/hanging for hours, waiting for that (insert name of desired subject) to saunter/run/fly/swim/slither into view and miraculously pause just long enough for the coveted shot.  Sounds glamorous, no?

Anyway, back to my luck yesterday … I was on my patio shooting some wrinkled up cardboard (maybe a story for another time), when a dragonfly landed on a planter right next to me and just sat there.  I approached him with camera in hand, thinking he would just flit away, but to my surprise, he didn’t.  He just sat there.  I shot a few frames from a safe distance, then fully expecting him to fly at any second, I inched closer.  Still he didn’t move.  I went into the house and got my macro lens, expecting him to be gone when I returned, but no, still there.  I shot a bit more then went in the house and got the tripod.  Still he stayed, and let me get much closer to him than I thought possible.  A few times he flitted away momentarily, but returned.  This went on for about fifteen minutes or so, a relative eternity for a dragonfly, since their lives as flying adults only last a few days or weeks.  So just like that, due to a chance encounter, I got my first shots of a dragonfly really up close and personal.  No way I could have planned it … it was just a stroke of luck.  And I’ll take that, any day of the week.

When has luck smiled on you as a photographer?  I’d love to hear about it, so feel free to drop me a line.

As always, I wish you happy shooting and a satisfying photographic journey!



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