It was autumn and I was driving on I70 just outside of Kansas City when it started to rain. The hills were covered in a dense forest of bare trees and as they soaked in the water, they turned black…except for this one lone white tree. Instantly I could see the potential for this image and I knew that I had to have it!
But I had already gone too far and so I had to travel several miles further until I could exit and turn around. Then I drove back past the lone tree a second time (but this time on the wrong side of the freeway) and traveled several miles further until I could exit and turn around again. I did this several times until I could find a spot where I could safely stop and hike to the right vantage point.
Then in the rain and wearing business clothes, I traipsed down a hill and sloshed through a muddy bog just to find just the right location. I’m not saying my trek was as tough as the pioneers had it crossing the plains, but it certainly would have been much easier to stay in my car, turn up the heat and act as though I hadn’t seen that damned lone tree!
However it was worth it, I like how the image turned out and this was just another in a long line of experiences that taught me to ALWAYS STOP when I see a great image. (See http://www.photographyblackwhite.com/photographs-create-images/) Yes, it would have been easier to keep going and yes, sometimes I do convince myself that I’ll come back later and get the shot. But my experiences have taught me that there’s rarely a second chance.
P.S. If I’d have seen this tree in the summertime, there’s no way I’d have stopped unless I had 100% DEET on my shoes, socks and pants. There’s a whole nother story about “chiggers” that I’ll have to tell sometime. I think I’ll title it “Chiggers: The Gift That Keeps On Giving” or “Why Pouring Gasoline On Your Legs And Lighting Them Might Sometimes Be A Good Idea!”