Finding the time

Colorado Aspens in HDR from Photomatix
I am very fortunate in that I travel a fair degree, both with my family and without. When I am traveling without them, it is fairly easy to stop along the way, take detours to photogenic subjects, etc.

It’s when I am with the family that it gets more complicated. Especially on a trip like our last one. We were making the ~350 mile drive from Denver to Durango to do a campus visit at Fort Lewis for our oldest (she is going off to college next year). I didn’t expect the fall colors to still be quite so intense, but I did know, from past trips down that way, that I would want to take pictures of at least a few things.

On the way down, we did make one stop for photos on Wolf Creek Pass. I didn’t get anything spectacular, I did practice with panorama mode a little bit. A few miles further down the road, I did catch a glimpse of an aspen stand that I liked. But we were already 5 hours into this drive and even I didn’t think it would be worth it to stop.

During the course of the next couple days, we spent a fair amount of time in downtown Durango. I had my camera with me, and took a bunch of pics of the Fort Lewis Homecoming Parade, but that didn’t yield anything spectacular. I almost went to the railroad tracks to get pics of the trains coming back for the night, but even that didn’t sound good to me. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has had more pictures taken of it than I ever will take in my lifetime. So these would pretty much be snapshots for me as opposed to anything of value. I could have gone down to the railyard to try and recreate this image I shot a few years ago, but I had this nagging doubt that it was getting too late and the moment just wouldn’t be there. Clearly my focus was on other things.

Saturday evening the kids wanted to go do some shopping. I opted to return to the condo instead, and the family took off to the mall. When we had arrived at the Ferringway condos on Friday, I did make a mental note that this place would be good additional practice for my real estate photography. In doing so, I could practice positioning of my wireless flash (love those eBay Cactus triggers), practice HDR exposures (in proper increments this time), and in general practice the proper views of the rooms. So after they dropped me off, I did just that. The results are pretty good I think. Good enough that I think I am ready to officially start trying to make a go of this real estate photography thing, both in Lakewood/ Denver as well as the mountains (Summit County, etc).

On the drive back Sunday, we did make two unplanned stops. The stand of aspens that I saw was still very vibrant. So we stopped and I spent about 10 minutes taking pictures (the one above is one of the HDR versions, processed in Photomatix). We also stopped at the north base of Wolf Creek Pass to get some pictures of the creek. Noone of those came out too well, but there was a good shot of the rock formations that I like.

I try to balance family and photography as much as I can when I am with the family, but sometimes it feels like I should try to do more on the photography side when we go certain places. How do you balance it?

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1 Response » to “Finding the time”

  1. VIVIENE says:

    No kids on board, so I don’t have that complication to deal with… I do travel quite a bit with my mother, husband and/or business associates in tow. I am lucky in that my family and one of my business associates get that there will be spontaneous stopping to get the shot. I am lucky in that these people will often suggest shots or places to visit.

    I think the balance comes from compromise. They know that photography is important to me so they let me do my thing. Then when they have something important come up, that becomes the priority (for my husband, music stores). Does your family recognize the importance of photography in your life? Can you sacrifice photo time for something your wife or kids need from you in return?

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