Photographers will stop at nothing to get the shot they want. They attempt to defy logic, gravity, personal humiliation, personal safety, laws...and I am no exception. What a great opening hey? I've really set you up for another story about FAILURE!
I was on a romantic date with my husband in Banff, we were eating dinner at a pub and the sunset and golden hour, according to the sky tracker I have on my phone, was fast approaching. Mr Bastard knows me well, and as the sun started to set, and I started to twitch, he grudgingly agreed to take "just... just a wee quick little detour" on the way back to our campsite. We rushed over to Vermillion Lakes on the outskirts of town, one of the more popular photo locations around, and in typical summertime fashion the good spots were starting to fill up with photographers.
I opted for something a little different and started sneaking into the cattails to get some foreground interest. A group of about 10 snap happy photo enthusiasts had claimed the oh so perfect pier beside me as their own, but I was on to something good. I could feel it.
I found my composition, bounced back up and down the bank for lens changes and necessary filters and I was set. The light was getting good, I was going to get the shot I wanted. I snuck a little farther into the reeds to get the composition just perfect and everything gave way.
See the nice thing about Vermillion Lakes is that there's a hot spring feeding into it, it's especially nice in the winter because you can still get open water for reflections. In the summer, it just makes the place a bit of a smelly mess, and that's exactly what I found myself and my tripod thigh deep in. A smelly mess. I struggled to keep my balance and keep the camera away from the reedy, sulphur and poo smelling mud. I somehow managed to climb out of the muck without the use of my hands while the group of photographers near by witnessed the entire ordeal.
I did not get the shot that day. I got a red face, a smelly muddy truck seat and a new pair of pants and shoes.
I learned my lesson though and waited for winter, when the marsh would be frozen over. Returned to the location and emerged triumphant with a shot in two styles. Joke's on you swamp.
So what have we learned from this? Two things.
1. If at first you don't succeed, be patient and wait until the conditions are definitely 100% in your favour, carefully calculate your approach and THEN try again.
2. Don't try to pull off the "Look how cute I am! I'm covered in poo mud tee hee" thing on a romantic date, it doesn't work.