I have been looking forward to this weekend ever since the first weather forecasts had started coming in earlier in the week. The forecast said rain – and I couldn’t have been happier! I might have gotten a bit fed up with shooting water all winter last year, but time heals all wounds and now I’ve been missing it again. Overcast weather is just what you need, and a touch of rain on the rocks. I’m not too keen on dry rocks, they usually just look very dull in the pictures.
The morning started clear and cold and I got out already at dawn to catch the sunrise at Loossjön. It got overcast very soon after that, so I got home and started waiting for the rain. When the cloud cover got ever lower and I could smell the rain in the air, I drove to my favourite creek. In fact, I reckon this is my favourite photography spot in all of Loos! I figured it should be at its best now, with autumn leaves covering the rocks and low water to reveal some interesting detail. I was right about both and I was having an absolute blast, I couldn’t imagine anything better to do with my weekend! One thing that was missing though was the rain, so I had to make do with some dull rocks in the images. But I was too happy to mind that.
Because I had been so sure that it would be raining, I had taken the old 20D with me – you know, my bad weather camera? Getting the camera wet was not an issue though, but at least I proved the fact that the 20D didn’t go all bad with a new camera in the house.
The rain finally started in the evening. Since it should stay overcast until tomorrow afternoon (I hope anyway), I will make another visit to my favourite creek. I just want to see if those wet rocks make any difference… or the new camera, for that matter!
I will never be a wildlife photographer. Guaranteed. Before I start the story, I should mention the camera settings I was using before the following takes place (why this is important, will become obvious a bit later): mirror lock-up, ISO 100, f16 and 0.8 sec, IS switched off.
When I was walking back to my car, I followed the ridge above the creek (just because it’s a lot easier to walk there, instead of the treacherous rocks and thicket down at the creek). At one point I got a good view down to the water and I stopped to consider if I could frame a picture. When suddenly I saw some movement down below – a bull moose! So I pulled out the camera, the moose unaware of me, when the animal moved behind a bush so I couldn’t see it. I moved sideways to get a clear view again, simultaneously trying to change the settings in the camera (I hit the wrong button twice before I finally found the ISO button and changed to 400) when the moose spotted me and started to run up the opposite bank. I take a picture… with the freaking MLU, f16, 0.8 sec and no IS! But the moose was still working up the hill, so I switched on IS, changed to aperture priority so the camera can figure out the rest and take another picture. With mirror lock-up still on! Not that it made any difference. I was in a dark forest on a dark day, so I would’ve struggled to get a fast enough shutter speed even with ISO 800, f4 and appropriate exposure compensation (-1 stop, at least). Those two pictures I had taken, they were stunningly blurry and over-exposed and not a moose in sight. Not that you could tell anyway.
My hands were shaking, seriously. To be honest, I was worried that the bull would come up on my side of the creek because when I saw it, it was sure heading directly at me. The best scenario would’ve been that I got the picture and then made myself known so the moose would run away. It wasn’t a big bull, just a 4-pointer I think, but I didn’t feel like going head to head with it.
Nope, I think I will stick to shooting flowers. And a favourite creek every once in a while.