Tuesday, January 13, 2015

You Just Never Know

I am traveling in the desert southwest this month, and made a short visit to White Sands National Monument. It was a Sunday afternoon and the sky was a sunny brilliant blue. I was driving through the park and saw what I thought was (could it be?) a camel in a horse trailer! I quickly turned around, and sure enough it was indeed a camel. What are the odds? It appeared that the trailer was being driven out of the park, so I figured I had missed the chance of photographing a camel in its perfect environment and I continued with my journey through the park. As I finished riding through the main road and headed for the park exit, I was delighted to see the horse trailer parked in a side overlook and decided to wait about 10 minutes in hopes of seeing the camel walking across the dunes. After nearly 15 minutes I decided to move on, and just then I was treated to this sight. What a treat!

The camel, whose name I later learned was Mitchell, was being led across the dunes by the husband and wife who own him. Their dogs were also along for the walk. When they returned to their trailer, I got more information. Turns out they live about 30 minutes from White Sands, and take Mitchell out for a dune walk each Sunday afternoon.

What are the chances of traveling 3/4s of the way across the country, and being in the right place at the right time to see such an unusual sight? It was sheer serendipity. Had I not been there on a Sunday, I would never have seen this. Had I arrived a couple of hours earlier or later I would not have seen this. 

The lesson is that you should be prepared for the unusual, the unexpected, at all times. Be open to photographic opportunities any time you are out with your camera. You never know when an exciting, groundbreaking opportunity will present itself. Go out there, have fun, and be ready.

Shutter Speed 1/400 sec.  Aperture f/18.  ISO 400.  Lens: Canon 17-40mm, set at 40mm.  Camera: Canon 5D Mark III.  Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "I love not knowing what might be around the corner. I love serendipity."  --Twiggy

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