• Jerry Hetrick

Shoot the Rain

I was disappointed in the Alaska rain. I’d paid for an excursion with a professional photographer and for the few hours we had, it would be raining. Surely they would cancel and refund our money.

“If we waited for the rain to stop, we would never take photos. This part of Alaska is a rainforest; you must embrace the fact that you are shooting the rain not avoiding it. Look for what the water is doing. How is it interacting with the things around you?” It’s a speech made by someone who isn’t going to refund anyone’s money due to weather.

We slumped through the drizzle; under thick gray skies and with mud on our tripods, journeyed into the thick Alaskan rainforest. It was gloomy. I knew there was little chance of getting much of a photo, until I started thinking about what Cam said (Yes, the photographers name was Cam), “shoot the rain.”

I changed my attitude. I refocused on trickles running down huge green leaves, tiny rivers. There were no grand vistas or rugged sun washed cliff faces, as you would expect in Alaska. It was a light mist sifting through dark foggy green. I had a great time shooting, learning, and adjusting to the environment.

Often, I want my surroundings to meet my expectations; I seldom search through what the environment has to teach me. When heartache, disappointment and unexpected events occur it’s difficult to look for the beauty. In heartache, an act of compassion becomes everything. In disappointment, focusing on someone else’s pain, can temper yours. In unexpected events, adventure and creativity is always available, if you seek it. Adversity is an opportunity to rise above. As a photographer, it becomes a lesson in changing your focus, throwing away your expectations and reacting to what’s really happening. It seems, the same applies to being a human being.

Have an outrageous day!

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