The Best /Worst of Times
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Saturday, April 16, 2016
By Gregory B. Cuvelier
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The Best/Worst of Times......







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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, that poetic phrase was written by Charles Dickens when he crafted the Tale of Two Cities. However, that is exactly how I felt during one of my recent Yosemite trips. I was on a euphoric high having captured Jupiter over Half-dome during my astrophotography adventure the night before. That was the best of times. But, the next day I over-slept (a cardinal sin for a photographer) and missed the morning sunrise. As I drove to a late breakfast, I noticed a bobcat in the field. I normally always have my camera with me, but I am primarily a landscape photographer, and given my late start to the day and the poor high contrast shooting light, I decided it was too much bother to carry my camera to breakfast. Enter the worst of times. That night, I photographed Jupiter again. I finished about 2am, and once again I didn’t make it up for sunrise. However, this time I had learned from my mistakes. I mean it would be too serendipitous to see the bobcat two days in a row and not have a camera with me. Even though I brought it, I figured my chances of seeing the bobcat again were so negligible, it would require scientific notation to annotate. But as I was driving, I caught a glimpse of him in a field next to some Redwoods. It was the best of times once again!





It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…… Charles Dickens 




When Mr. Dickens crafted those famous words, you might think, there is nothing special about those words. We all use those words and that vocabulary in our everyday life. Therefore, what makes them unique? In my opinion, its not that the words are unique, it is the compilation and arrangement of the words that make them unique. Also, you must realize each audience is different. While some people may be mesmorized by those words and the associated story, some people may have no interest at all. So, how does this relate to a blog on photography? Well, anybody can own a camera and push a button. But the famous idiom  “the devil is in the details” is so true. Composition, depth of field, exposure, iso settings, shutter speeds and other variables make the difference between a good photograph and one that is going to draw people across the room with a “wow” factor.  Controlling these variables and understanding these variables is something we will discuss in depth in my workshops. However, use should always understand that each person who sees your portfolio will always have a different perspective. So don’t be discouraged if someone doesn’t appreciate what you created. They’re many people who don't appreciate Charles Dickens famous works. The key to enjoying photography is to create something that makes you happy and that you enjoy. Other people’s opinions are basically irrelevant, and you shouldn’t live by others people’s dogma or opinion. Follow what is in your heart and trust your judgment to create your own vision. 



Yosemite provides many gifts from nature. As I said, I primarily shoot landscapes, but I appreciate whatever nature provides. You cannot control nature. She is mercurial. She bestows you with great beauty at times and in the next breath creates what may seem like an injustice. I admire and appreciate Mother Nature, but I do not challenge her or try to understand her. She is in charge. And in the end, she is always triumphant. I would be honored to have you as my guest on a future Yosemite workshop.






Leave a comment:
Greg Cuvelier - Hi Doug. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. If you're interested, you can read other blogs I have written by clicking on the following link:

I appreciate your feedback and insight. I wish you much peace and happiness.

Doug Guillaume - Greg, what a great blog. I hope to be a regular viewer.
Greg Cuvelier - Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words Steve. I really appreciate it.

Steve Gray - Greg:

Beautiful photographs, once again. Thank you for sharing your amazing work.