When Opportunity Knocks…

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…be ready to answer the call. In nature photography opportunity doesn’t always knock at the most convenient time, or in the best location. On more then one occasion, we’ve found ourselves under perfect skies while in the car between destinations… or as we were hiking towards a spectacular photographic icon… or when we have six kids in the back seat. When the skies are right, we try to take advantage of the opportunity, no matter where we are. And we’re usually pretty glad we did.

As we were hiking towards Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, the storm clouds opened up, and beams of soft light lit the entire area. Rather then continuing down the trail to Horseshoe bend (and risking a missed opportunity) we set up our cameras trail-side to capture the partially diffused light. We made it to Horseshoe Bend a few minutes later, but we captured the best light on the way.

Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon Recreational Area, Arizona (AZ), USA


While hiking through Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, we were surprised by a fast moving storm. As we were running towards a shelter, we noticed the blue glow of Pearl Spring with dark storm clouds hanging in the background. Jay set up his tripod and captured a single shot before running to catch up with Varina and the kids… who reached the shelter just moments before it started hailing.

Pearl Blue


On the last day of a trip to Utah, heavy clouds obscured the sky. We were en route to the airport, when the cloud cover began to open up… so we changed our course. Rather than heading directly for Salt Lake City, we pulled out the map and headed towards the beautiful clouds. We stopped on the side of the road to capture a few photos before the clouds closed in once again. In the end, we caught our flight with time to spare – and got some unexpected photographs as well.

Waiting - Varina Patel

When you are shooting outdoors, you never know when opportunity will come knocking…but when it does, we hope you’ll be ready to answer with camera in hand.

About Author Varina Patel

There is nothing more remarkable to me than the power of nature. It is both cataclysmic and subtle. Slow and continuous erosion by water and wind can create landscapes every bit as astonishing as those shaped by catastrophic events – and minuscule details can be as breathtaking as grand vistas that stretch from one horizon to the other. Nature is incredibly diverse. Burning desert sands and mossy riverbanks… Brilliant sunbeams and fading alpenglow… Silent snowfall and raging summer storms… Each offers a unique opportunity. I am irresistibly drawn to the challenge of finding my next photograph, and mastering the skills required to capture it effectively.