The Value of Turning Around

Red Barn Winter Wonderland

A red barn in a winter wonderland of Northern Idaho

In my opinion, any photographer “worth their salt” will have an idea for an image that they want to make before they head out the door with their camera gear. In the modern age there are a numerous apps that will help you plan where the moon or sun will be at a certain time and location.  There are apps that will help determine how impressive a sunset or sunrise will look and there are a tons of sites that help you determine what location to shoot.  With all of that, sometimes the best images come from simply turning around.

I created this image after climbing up a snowy hill over the Christmas holiday in Northern Idaho.  The same hill that I created this sunset image that I shared the other day.  I did the shooting that I had planned on while on the hill and turned around to walk back down the hill to go inside and get warm when I saw the scene in this image.

I sort of forgot about everything else I was shooting that afternoon and made this image when I saw that red barn in the distance.  This is not a selective color image, it was simply that the red of the barn was the only real color in the wintery scene and provides a nice contrast to everything around it.

If I hadn’t been paying attention to everything else around me while I was out shooting I most likely would not have seen this as it wasn’t what I was going out to shoot, it was a happy accident.  Sometimes there is nothing better than a happy accident and who knows what will happen, in the case of this image I shared in on Flickr and so far it has had over 11,000 views and has ranked very high in their “Explore” section.

So to recap, TURN AROUND :-)

This entry was posted in Photography.


  1. David February 27, 2017 at 11:50 am #

    Very nice shot, Scott. I love it when the unexpected images pop in to the foreground. I look forward to getting out and doing more shooting soon.

  2. jean pierre (pete) g May 30, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

    Couldn’t agree more, Scott. As part of my ongoing self-development, from time to time I set myself a project – taking myriad photos of “the same thing” – except that it invariably ends up telling me it’s never the “same” anyway. Still – it’s all part of the fun, part of the study of light & shade, of colors & tints, of shapes etc. One was “sunsets” – endlessly fascinating, every change in weather brings a new look to the same place – and it was meant to be a bit like Monet’s series of haystacks. Yeah, I know – that’s presumptuous – but only a fool learns nothing from studying the great masters.

    So – sunsets it was. For a while – and within a few days, I started to become acutely aware of the fact that looking west was only a small part of it – turning around, and looking east, there were fascinating colors to capture – and then looking north – and south! So one of the very first things I learned from my study of sunsets was “look all around you” – if you really want to find something magic to photograph.

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