Serendipitous Photography

Giraffe and Bird at The Wilds

Sometimes it all comes together. There you are, taking photos, when something completely unforeseen happens at precisely the right instant for you to capture an amazing photo. These are the best photos you will take.

On Thursday, I toured The Wilds on a day trip with the Franklin Park Conservatory Women’s Board. Excited about seeing the wildlife, I brought my D7100 camera. We toured the grounds in a school bus converted to open-air. This type of setting is tricky, because you don’t know where the subjects will be, from which direction the light will strike them, or how near they will be. They won’t necessarily be posing, so you hope they present you with a good composition. Sometimes you only see tails disappearing over a horizon, but sometimes you encounter a scene that you know will make an arresting photo, if only you can frame it properly and keep your subject in focus. I was photographing giraffes resting under the shade of canopies when a bird carrying nesting materials flew through the scene. I knew it would be an outstanding photo if light, focus, and shutter speed came together. They did, and I’m delighted with the results. Thanks, bird.

Saturday Mark and I attended the Columbus Pride Parade. The rainbow theme provided a riot of color, and the parade lasted well over two hours, giving us a wealth of photo opportunities. Together we shot over 600 photos, which we later narrowed to about 25 of the best. Taking lots of photos gives you a better chance of getting some excellent ones.

We knew that the Flaggots, a superb flag-twirling team, would be performing in the parade, so Mark was ready to get their photograph. We selected a place on the parade route where we would be able to photograph with sunlight on the participants as they approached. When the Flaggots were near, Mark stepped into the street and waited for the moment when they sent their flags twirling high into the air. He got the action photo he wanted.

Later in the parade, I took a photo just as a colorful group of people marched by, but it was not until we reviewed the shots at home that I knew I had captured a special moment. The tender expression of the subject as she looks at her partner, the embrace, the way the closer woman turns her face up to meet the other’s gaze, all speak eloquently of love, and that, indeed was the theme of the entire event. I could not have anticipated that moment. It was serendipitous photography.