## Saturday, September 8, 2012

### Today's Guest Blogger: Tom Baker

Today's awesome guest blogger is Tom Baker.

Tom has been on a few of my workshops. You can meet Tom on my Ontario, Canada weekend later this month.

Take it away, Tom.

First I’d like to say thank you to Rick for letting me be a two-time guest here. Once was an honor – but twice is incredible. I know most people talk about the type of photography they enjoy or go talk about some kind of photo technique they excel at,  but today  I want to do something a little different – I want to talk about the need to slow down, breathe deep and not to get the shot.

A few months ago I had the chance to spend a week  in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I was by myself, and had total freedom  to  explore  and shoot. To say I was excited was an understatement. In fact I was so excited to get there and start shooting I didn’t notice that my hotel reservation wasn’t for another 24 hours (yeah, I’m like that).

After getting the hotel fiasco settled I decided to head to Cades Cove for a little late afternoon shooting. Cades Cove is one of the more famous destinations  in the Park and one I was really excited to explore. It’s a very cool 11  mile one-way car drive through the mountains with wildlife, historic buildings, flowing streams, etc. What better place could there be to start a photo-fest?

I grabbed my bag, my boots, a bottle of water and some insect repellant. I mapped out directions to get to Cades Cove. I checked when the sun would set and what direction it would be setting from (thank you Google Earth). I even remembered to bring the car charger for my phone. I put my camera on the front seat so that I was ready and headed off.  Time to go and get my shoot on.

The park was an hour away from the hotel, a hard hour through the mountains thanks to a storm that had closed some roads.  By the time I got there the sun  was already getting low, spilling this beautiful gold-orange light over the landscape. I took my place in the slow moving line of cars and drove through entrance. I was greeted to a breathtaking site of a herd of horses thundering by in an open field. Dust kicked up from the ground, hooves pounded. I pulled my car over to the side and hopped out. Here it was, the reason I drove an hour, the reason I was on this trip. The chance to get the kind of shot you just don’t get walking around the city of Toronto.

I focused in on the horses. I flicked over to continuous shooting mode. I lined up the horses with the sun backlighting them like some sort of Outdoor Photography cover shot. I pressed the shutter button…..

Nothing.

It was then I  realized I didn’t have a memory card in the camera.

I didn’t have a memory card in the car.

I didn’t have any way to take a photo at all.