I woke up before the early bird this morning to shoot sunrise at a particular location I’d had in mind. As I neared the spot, it became evident that conditions were less than ideal for a shoot. Not only was it socked in cloudy, it began snowing and visibility was extremely poor. I sat in my car, disgruntled that I’d gotten up so early for such lackluster conditions–and then finally decided to go with plan B.
Plan B took me to the Osguthorpe Barn in Park City, and I must say I had a spectacular morning of shooting (albeit colder than snot). Having a plan B is vital to making the most out of every shooting opportunity. I guess you’ve got to have a plan A before a plan B, but the underlying message here is to have a plan! Going shooting without a plan leaves you destined to come home with a grundle of OK images, and nothing really to write home about. This isn’t to say that you’ll come back with exactly the one-of-a-kind shot you’d had in mind when you left the house, but it will likely put you in a location/situation prone to providing some quality imagery.
If you’re serious about making impactful images, have a mental checklist of spots you could go to make such images. Better yet, write it down!Know what conditions will be best at certain locations. If it’s going to be cloudy, what locations might offer up impressie B/W images. If you’re shooting a sunrise, pick a location that will offer up great shots both into and away from the sun. Have a special spot picked out for storm shooting, and make sure you’re properly equipped for burly weather.
Part of having a plan is giving yourself enough time to set up and capture the shot. It does no good to arrive at the right location, only to miss the shot. Planning is everything! And remember that if plan A doesn’t work, a solid plan B can be every bit as good.