When You Miss The Shot


I looked outside before sunrise and I saw the sky was covered with clouds.

But they looked dark and ominous — more like rain clouds. Most of the time, here in the Coachella Valley desert near Palm Springs, CA, that means there won’t be a morning sunrise glow. On dark cloud days, the sun rises behind the clouds and they stay dark without any color.

So I got my coffee and sat on the couch in the family room savoring my early morning quiet time.

I looked out the window about ten minutes later and I realized that I was premature in my judgment about those clouds and that glow. Everything was beginning to light up in one of those rare and special glows of red and purple. I knew immediately I was too late. But I saw that it was going to be so amazing that I couldn’t help myself. I leaped off the couch, grabbed my Nikon D810 camera, my Sony A6000 mirrorless, and my tripod, jumped into my car and drove to my favorite sunrise place, a few minutes away, all the time watching the clouds light up. And they were glowing all around — east, west, north and south. It was the best kind of glow and I knew I had already missed it. I almost turned my car around to go back home. But then, I thought, “Cath, why not try to at least get your best shot even though you missed the best part of the glow in this sunrise?”

So I kept going. I pulled out my Sony mirrorless without the tripod and just started shooting the glow in the east as the sun was rising above the mountains. Then, I got in my car and drove to another favorite location where I shot the glow in the west as it falls on the mountains. For those shots, I set up my Nikon on the tripod and shot some bracketed exposures.

The best shots by far were the ones I captured first in the east with my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera. I’m amazed how that sensor picks up the dynamic range of light. For me, on this particular morning, it was a matter of timing. I knew I only had about a minute to capture the last remnants of color in the clouds. And whether I used my Sony mirrorless or my Nikon D810, I was going without a tripod because of the small window of time I had to shoot. What you see in this photo is not even close to all the color and glow that I missed because I was late. But I think the result shows that it’s worth getting out there and giving it your best shot even when you think you’ve missed it.

So, dear photography friends, the moral of this story is, even when you miss one shot, there just might be another one to capture. So grab your camera and go for the best shot you can get.

You can see more photos of desert landscapes in God’s creation in my first myPhotoWalk full color devotional photography book, myPhotoWalk — Quiet Time Moments, daily devotions and devotional photography everyday, just released in multiple print and ebook formats. The cover image, Paradise, was chosen from the myPhotoWalk San Francisco Gallery at our myPhotoWalk—Smugmug Portfolio. The clarity of God’s patterns literally leap from the iPad screen in the Apple® iBooks version. Get it on iBooks — myPhotoWalk — Quiet Time Moments — Apple® iBooks.

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!


myPhotoWalk Devotional

The LORD turns my darkness into light.
2 Samuel 22:29 NIV

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: Darkness To Light
  • Description: A beautiful glow at sunrise in Palm Desert, CA, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 04/01/16
  • Camera: Sony A6000, Zeiss 16-70mm, FL 21mm, ISO 250, f/4, 1/160sec.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk PhotoShoot in Palm Desert, CA, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Nik Software, Topaz Software.
  • Copyright ©2018 Catherine Martin – myPhotoWalk™ – Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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