Lonely Cloud Photography

Capturing moments in time.

Chance, Luck, and Hard Work

A month or so ago I was fortunate to visit San Francisco.  While out seeing the sights with my coworkers, we decided to drive down Lombard Street, famous for being both extremely crooked and steep. As we slowly rolled down the zigzagging street, we spotted a startlingly large number of photographers set up with tripods and zoom lenses. Curious, we hiked back up the hill (ouch) and asked what was going on.  One friendly fellow told us, as he made tweaks and adjustments to his two camera setups, that they were there to take pictures of the full moon as it rose over the bay. Apparently, the trajectory of this particular moon would line up perfectly with Coit Tower in what was sure to be a picturesque sight.  He had learned of this projected alignment of moon and tower through a local photography group and had come prepared with multiple cameras, coffee, and a vision.

I, on the other hand, had left my camera safely tucked away in the hotel.

(I’m still kicking myself over that.)

Thinking back on that moment, I remind myself that there is a lot of hard work that goes into capturing the perfect shot. There’s planning, preparation, adjustments to aperture and ISO settings, selection of the right lens and angle, and a lot of patience in waiting for the right moment. There is studying to perfect your art.

There is an equal amount of chance and luck. Luck was not on my side that night. As I fruitlessly snapped pictures with my phone I wondered why I even bothered. Nothing my cell could catch would be as glorious as what could have been. I vowed to have my camera surgically attached to my hand for the rest of the trip.

It turns out, luck took pity on me the next day. We took a trip down the Pacific Coast and picked a random beach to stop. We had not researched scenic vistas or weather patterns. Instead we saw a place to park and decided it was good enough. By the time we got down to the beach, the fog had started rolling in.  I’ve never seen fog like that – especially not in the middle of the day with the sun overhead. But the pictures I caught that day standing on the beach are among my favorites. I’m not an ocean girl, really. I’m not a surfer. But there is something about the image I caught of the surfer staring out over the foggy waves that speaks to something deep in my soul.  Luck was with me. Hard work had taught me how to make the most of the chance I was given.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Coit Tower, San Francisco – Taken with Cell Phone (Sad)

Moon rising over San Francisco Bay – Taken with Cell Phone

Surfer on the Beach – Pacific Coast, California

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