Coping with Failure
This morning I set out from my apartment at 3 am with high hopes for a glorious sunrise and some powder turns. I was going to skin up Tom Dick and Harry mountain, one of my favorite places to photograph Mount Hood from, and hopefully catch some morning rays with deep snow in the foreground. It's a photo I've been meaning to make for several weeks now, but haven't had the weather and my schedule correlate well enough to try until this morning.
This morning would not be the morning that I got this photo though. I didn't even make it out of the parking area. What I had been hoping would be a partly cloudy if not windy morning had turned into almost blizzard conditions, with little visibility on the roads on the way there. They even had to shut down the road up the Timberline Lodge apparently. With these conditions coupled with the fact that I was alone and had never actually made this trek in the winter I decided it would be best to turn back. It always leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth when hopes are so high for that "one" photo, but it doesn't always work out.
Since I had already woken up so early, I thought I could try and at least get something out of it and so I headed back and tried to stake out Jonsrud Viewpoint hoping Hood would come out of the clouds. This too proved fruitless. I got a great view of the base and the trees at least.
Moments like these happen too often. Getting the "shot" takes time and lots of patience. I've learned that there are some things that you can control such as your composition or charging your batteries, and others like the weather which you cannot. The best thing you can do is try and study why things didn't come together.
Today I tried to not let the lack of any real worthwhile photos get me down. I can't control the weather. It doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying to get the photo though. I've been to Jonsrud Viewpoint 3 or 4 times in the past 2 weeks, trying to get a very specific photo that requires very specific weather conditions. And I've got plans to go there again tomorrow. Maybe it will turn out, and maybe it won't. But by failing repeatedly I can learn from what went wrong, and how I can better prepare myself.