The middle-of-the-road picture shown below encapsulates two problems that I have had to deal with recently; problems that every outdoor digital photographer will have to deal with at some time.
I’ve just returned from a short trip to Scotland. I took with me my preconceive ideas of chilly early autumn mornings cloaked with mist glowing in the first light of sunrise. Well, it didn’t turn out like that at all. An unprecedented extension of summer gave daytime temperatures of over 15°C and night temperatures that barely dropped below 10°C. Misty mornings? No chance!
However, it all changed on the last morning of my trip and I duly responded by being up and out very early and arriving at Loch an Eilein (loch of the island) near Aviemore while it was still dark. There was a light mist floating above the loch surface and things were looking good. I amused myself by taking a few pictures in the cool light of pre-sunrise, waiting for the golden hour to arrive. Finally, the sun gradually clawed its way into view and my time had arrived. Instead of gently burning off as I expected the mist quickly thickened into fog, screening out direct sunlight and covering the whole scene in a thick grey duvet. My golden hour had lasted no more than a couple of minutes.
Uncooperative weather is one of those things that outdoor photographers have no control over. We can’t change it; we have to go with what we’ve got. We have to learn to deal with it.
Problem two: my computer died. I didn’t lose any pictures, they are all stored on external devices, but I did lose immediate access to my regular applications. Whether it is by fault or design, we all need to replace our computing hardware at some point, and we all face the same sort of resulting problems.
I’m an ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ kind of guy – a salesman’s nightmare. You won’t find me running after the latest whizz bang anything just because it’s new. If I have something that gives me what I want I’ll stick with it. Well, I probably stuck with my computer too long, after eight years it has now gone into enforced retirement and I’ve been left with a few things to deal with.
A new operating systems for a start, new software for a follow-up and the resulting steep learning curve as I try to get back to a comfortable level of operation. It’s been a bit of a headache to be honest, as I stumble around trying to get to grips with so many new items at once. I’m not there yet and the photo above is a quick and dirty mash up, and one I’m not really happy with. It certainly won’t be going into my files as it stands. Thankfully, I can hang onto the coat tails of gurus such as Scot Kelby, whose excellent Photoshop for Digital Photographers book is quickly dispelling the fog of confusion and leading me out into the bright light of confidence. Which is quite the opposite of what happened to me at Loch an Eilein.