Photography Tip-Don't Wait To Take The Shot

Here's my photography tip of the day/week/month (heck, maybe of forever)-If you see something that you want to photograph, don't wait! Take the best shot you can as soon as you can, because it might not be there next time! I almost learned this lesson the hard way, but fortunately I didn't. Here's the back story:

There was a slowly crumbling house along one of the bike routes I ride. I had ridden by this house maybe 75 times over the previous 5 years and every-time I did I always wondered to myself "what's the story is behind this". Then, last Fall, after I got my vintage Rolleicord Va, I was inspired to drive out to the house on a Saturday morning just after sunrise to see what kind of photographs I could make. The day wasn't perfect. In fact, there was a slight mist in the air but I was compelled to go out there and photograph it.

I set up my Rolleicord, which was loaded with a roll of Delta 400, and made several photographs of the house.

Day 336-Needs Work

Good Intentions

Roof Detail

As you can see, the house was old and falling apart, which made it a great subject for the camera. I was very happy with the images I made that day, but I still wondered what stories this house had to tell....

Burnin' Down The House

Earlier this Summer I started thinking that it would be neat to visit the house again and see if I could document some additional decay. Well, imagine my surprise when I rode my bike by it one day in August and saw that it had decayed a little faster than I thought, it had burned to the ground!

I made it out to the house last week with my Rolleicord (loaded with Delta 400 again) and made a few images of the charred remains. Here's a pretty good representative shot of what was left:

At Least We Have The Memories In among the rubble and charred wood was a few of the metal shingles, which were a unique part of the house. I don't know what caused the house to burn, was it set intentionally to make it easier to clear out? Or perhaps it was arson? I'll probably never know. I'm just glad I was able to capture the house before all this happened. Now that it has burned I have a bit of a photographic story of the house that I never would've had if I had waited until "the perfect time" to make the initial photograph.

I hope my little experience with "almost waiting too long" has inspired you to have a sense of urgency about your photography. Sure, the perfect conditions might not exist on a particular day when you pass by something that you find interesting, but take a minute to stop and make that photograph because it might be your only chance!