Monthly Archives: May 2012

Creating Luck

The "lucky" shot of the Tennessee River Gorge

There are many images in my collection that are examples of very rare occurrences where I feel luck was involved. For example, one early morning before dawn I departed the runway at Collegedale Airport for what I considered an exploratory flight over the Sequatchie Valley. Actually, all my flights except assignments jobs, are exploratory. En route, as I passed over the Tennessee River Gorge, I noticed the river was visible through lightly scattered clouds instead of being totally socked in like most summer mornings.

The Tennessee River is obscured by fog in the River Gorge.

So, does this mean I was just lucky this time and unlucky the dozens of other times? What if when waking up that morning, I decided it was too cold to go flying in that open cockpit plane? Then there was no chance I would have experienced that “good luck” getting the shot.

Sometimes I drive twelve miles to the airport in the dark only to be greeted with ground fog that prevents the flight. No amount of flight planning tells me I’m going to get a great shot. I know I must be airborne under all lighting conditions from dawn to dusk for those rare occurrences to happen. Since I have no employer or client telling me to do this, the only compelling forces are my passion for art and exploration working together. Years ago as I was giving a slide presentation, someone in the audience mentioned that he could shoot photos like that…if he got up that early.