This photo is, by far, my most favorite to date. Then again, I seem to say that about every new photo. This one is unique because it was not something I had planned on doing; it kind of just presented itself. I was out shooting on Pea Island with a completely different composition in mind but when I wasn’t really feeling that, I started to wander around looking for something to take advantage of this amazing Milky Way. I settled on a couple of sand dunes which I thought would make decent foreground. After taking a few shots and adjusting my composition, I noticed this relatively faint glow of light pollution on the lower right of the frame just behind the sand dune. I was like, “Hmmm, I bet I would stand out pretty well against that in silhouette.” I hadn’t been using my remote shutter release so I dug that out of my bag, connected it up and tried turning it on. Low and behold…dead battery in the wireless receiver. Luckily, I had my wired remote in my bag. So, how does one take a selfie without a working wireless remote? I took a chance, set up my shot, picked out about where I should be standing during the exposure, and set the remote on continuous 30 second exposures. After that, I walked up to the spot I had picked out and just stood there.
It’s not often that I take the time to stop and just soak up my surroundings when I’m out shooting but I’m glad I did. It gave me an opportunity to really see and appreciate where I was and everything that was around me. Outside of the cold temperatures and Northerly wind throwing sand everywhere, it was peaceful. For just a few moments, I wasn’t out chasing the next shot. It wasn’t concerned about the right composition, camera settings, light, angle, foreground and the hundred other things that go into each shot. It was just me and my place in the world. On every outing in the future, I think I’ll try to take time to stop and appreciate the beauty and serenity no matter where I am.