Finding a moment requires looking for it. Photographing takes preparation and maybe a change in perspective.
I always look for sunbows or sundogs as some folks call them. It only takes a hazy day when the sun is about a quarter of the day above the horizon and the clouds around it are the right kind–wispy, very high in the stratosphere and at the right angle from the viewers perspective.
Once I learned to look for them, they are not hard to find. They are hard to photograph though, at least with my cellphone from my car, as you can see below.
The colors of the sundog fade into the brilliance of the nearby sun, and well, telephones are not the best cameras…could also the the operator?
This post is not so much about frozen clouds or how light scatters into the arc of a spectrum as it is about looking for what you want to see and being ready to look in a different way.
From my previous lack of success in capturing the colors of the sundog, a short arc (15 degrees maybe) of rainbow, I wanted to get a shot of the larger sunbow, hoping that the colors would come through. I stopped my car in a church parking lot, where I was able to see the sundog through my sunroof (I love my Kia Soul!!!). With the sunroof masking the sun, I could see the sunbow, and so could my camera.
While I won’t be winning any Pulitzers for photography, this does illustrate the concept of looking for what you want to see, and not looking at what you don’t want to see–focusing attention. I knew if that if I got out of the car to take the picture, as I did with the sundog, it would turn out with no colors. But using the sunroof in my car as a mask shaded out the brilliance of the sun so that the lesser shine of the sunbow could be recorded. Using Photoshop to enhance the image brings out what I saw, not what my camera saw, so that I can share it.
The only point here is to look for the moments in the day where you can find the beauty of the earth. Take some time to focus on them, to see them from a new perspective, to record what you see and feel. This is how you build your world, your life: one moment at a time.