I recently had an experience that reminded me when you see an opportunity you must take action. Don’t wait. Don’t think “I can come back and do it later”, even if later is a few minutes.

I was driving to the store to get some fresh food items we needed. It was late afternoon, about an hour before the winter afternoon sunset. I passed a field where there were some horses grazing. The light was beautiful and the horses well-placed to take some shots. As I drove by I thought “I will be back in a few minutes, the light will be even better and I can take some shots. I will only be there for 5 minutes or so.” I continued on to do the shopping. The shopping took a lot longer. I ended up taking about 20 minutes due to having to wait to pay. 

When I got back to the location, the light was good, but the horses were GONE. I had missed my opportunity. 

We have all done this. We see an opportunity, but we are focused on something else we are doing or about to do and we think we can come back or do it later. There is an expression “you can never go back”. It is often used in the context of you cannot go back to a place and expect it to be the same as you remember from many years ago. It applies to every moment and opportunity we have. When you encounter a scene that you recognize as “this is a good opportunity” take action. If it is taking a photograph, take the shot. If it is something else, take the action that allows you to get the outcome you expect or want. That particular confluence of events, timing. light. people, objects, whatever creates the moment will not occur again. Not the way it is at that moment.

I watched a VLOG earlier today and the presenter recommended going out on excursions just to see and experience the light. He expressly stated that you should leave your camera at home. While I understand the intent of this advice, I strongly disagree. If you are going out and there is likely to be an opportunity to get a great shot, you want to be ready to act. 

I have many shots that I got mostly because I was ready and could act when the moment presented itself. I also have lost many opportunities because I failed to act when the opportunity was there.  

Be ready, and act when the chance is presented.