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I am the Queen of Last-Minute Shots

This seems like a bold statement to make but I have good reason for making it.  Last minute shots really seem to work out for me out in the field.  I end up coming back from a planned landscape shoot and the shot I wanted is passable but the last-minute shot I took on a whim is the best shot of the day.  Don't believe me?  Check out some of these last minute photos for yourself.

Let's first be clear.  These photos were taken when I was literally walking away to leave or driving away from my planned shoot for the day.  These are not the photos I took while waiting for something or just to entertain myself.  Those are for a different article.  These photos are the literal last-minute photos of my shoot that day.

1. Doe


Cramer Imaging's professional quality nature photograph of a female deer or doe head with blurred background in sepia in Rigby, Idaho
I took this photo literally as we were leaving a zoo.  It was a failed attempt to get a moose photo for a potential client who requested a moose photo as a Christmas gift for his wife.

The moose was behind chain-link fence and too far away for a good shot.  I saw this deer while leaving and snapped a shot of her head.

2. Hot Air Balloons


Cramer Imaging's fine art photograph of lots of hot air balloons taking flight in Panguitch Utah over a farm field and mountains
When attending my first hot air balloon event, I made sure to get lots of photos.  Unfortunately, most of those photos included people and cars on a scale I didn't like.

After all the balloons were done launching and were drifting away, we headed back to the car.  I saw this shot on the way out and stopped for a landscape photo with the balloons.

3. Idaho Spring


Cramer Imaging's professional quality landscape photograph of a farm field and equipment with colorful clouds in Rexburg, Madison, Idaho
We were doing a fantastic sunset shoot of the Rexburg Idaho temple across the street.  I was done.  I figured I had nailed whatever shots I was going to get for the day and we were heading back to the car.  Then I turned around.

I saw another photographer out in the field which really confirmed what I was already thinking.  After I was done here, I met my spouse in the car.

4. Sunset at Bryce


Cramer Imaging's professional quality landscape and nature photograph of Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah at Sunset Point
We had just gotten done hiking and photographing the steep trail of Queen's Garden and were trying to escape the oncoming rain.  We were driving back to the park entrance when I had the feeling to turn around.

We got back to Sunset Point in time for golden hour to strike.  I squeezed in between all the tourists on the rim and got my shot in.

5. Ancient Red Skyscrapers


Cramer Imaging's professional quality landscape photograph of red rock formations and dramatic sky in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
We had just checked out the nature area of Bryce Canyon around Mossy Cave.  We were tired and hungry.  We were heading back to the car.  My spouse needed to use the facilities before we left.

While I was bored, I took a couple last-minute shots to occupy my time.  This ended up being the best shot of the day and the bathroom is just to the left of me.

6. The Watchmen


Cramer Imaging's professional quality landscape photograph of the Virgin River and mountains at sunset in Zion's National Park, Utah
When visiting Zion National Park with family, we took the easy and scenic Riverwalk trail at the end of the canyon.  We rode the tram in and out.

I took lots of different shots and was thoroughly tired from the excursion.  We were riding the tram back to the car when the driver pointed out the photographers gathering on the bridge to catch the late-afternoon light on the mountains.

I immediately knew where I had to be in the next few minutes.  I joined the photographers on the bridge and captured this shot.  Like all of these photos, this was the best shot of the day.

7. Solitude


Cramer Imaging's professional quality landscape photograph of a tree against the red cliffs of Capitol Reef National Park Utah
Wanting to round out the national parks of Southern Utah, we made the trip to Capitol Reef.  I elected to check out their Sunset Point.

On the small hike back out, I was taking lots of photos and getting lots of complaints.  When this photo turned out to be the best shot of the day, my spouse learned to let me take all the last-minute shots I wanted.

8. Don Quixote's Giant Army


Cramer Imaging's landscape photograph of windmills or wind turbines in a field at sunset in Ririe, Idaho
While driving out from scouting a different and commissioned shot, I noticed that the sunset against these wind turbines was brilliant and interesting.  I almost didn't stop for the shot.

When I did stop, I captured this shot and made the rare scouting trip doubly worth the gas and time we committed.

9. Mallard Duck


Cramer Imaging's professional nature photograph of an animal, or duck, or bird swimming in a fountain in Logan, Utah
We were doing a photo shoot of the Logan temple and were leaving because someone was setting up a marriage proposal.  We didn't want to interrupt their big moment.

Then this lone duck flew into the fountain and started swimming.  I knew I had a few minutes so I got this photo in before we left the grounds.

10. San Diego Pier


Cramer Imaging's quality black and white landscape photograph of the Pacific Ocean under the San Diego California pier
This started as a trip to Cabrillo National Monument in July.  That part ended before it began because the monument keeps business hours and we arrived 15 minutes too late.

Seeking somewhere else to go, we found some cliffs on the seashore which we photographed.  Done with that, we started heading back to the freeway and back home.

On the way, we passed the beach.  Since I noticed a pier, I decided to stop and try for it.  There was no parking other than 2 minute loading zones.  I got this shot in less than 10 minutes while my spouse kept the car running in the loading zone.

11. The Light After a Storm


Cramer Imaging's fine art landscape photograph of wind turbines on hill in golden light of sunset just after winter snow storm
Here's another rare scouting expedition which paid off in unexpected ways.

After scouting out Seagull Bay in a snowstorm for a commissioned shoot, I was done and cold.  We were driving out when I saw this cloud and this light.  It felt like a very special rare moment.  We pulled over and I got the shot.

12. Fire and Ice


Cramer Imaging's fine art landscape photograph of the American Falls, Idaho reservoir in the winter at sunset
After getting that Seagull Bay shot another day, we pulled to the end of the road on our way out.  We wanted to know what was there.  Then we would leave.

After seeing this last light of sunset over the American Falls Reservoir, we stopped and I hopped out of the car for the shot.

13. Throne of the Desert King


Cramer Imaging's fine art landscape photograph of red hoodoos and a stream at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
After chasing a dawn shot of the Tropic canal waterfall, I was tired from the early hour and from the fast hike to get there in time.  We were heading back to the car when I noticed that the light wasn't changing.

There were clouds keeping the light soft.  So, I started looking for a last-minute shot to get in the beautiful light and landscape.  This was it.

14. My Idaho Home


Cramer Imaging's fine art landscape photograph of a cloudscape at sunset over a farm field with irrigation equipment in Burley Idaho
Driving back from our Perrine Coulee waterfall shoot, my spouse had a migraine so I was driving.  What ended up opening up behind us was a spectacular sunset with storm clouds.

Not being willing to let it go, I pulled over around Burley and found the perfect farm for the foreground to take a picture.

15. Sun Dance


Cramer Imaging's fine art landscape photograph of the sun rising over Bryce Canyon National Park Utah on the summer solstice
After chasing the perfect shot of Inspiration Point at Bryce Canyon for several trips, I finally got it on the morning of the summer solstice.

Heading down from the observation point, I noticed this tree and the fact that I could line the sun up between the trunks.  I knew this was promising and went for a sunburst effect too.

Conclusion


Perhaps my opening statement of claiming to be the queen of last-minute shots seemed a bit bold.  Now, after having learned about many of my most successful photos being last-minute shots, do you still feel that I'm being bold?  Also, keep in mind that I've omitted several for the sake of time and space.

I'm doing nothing but telling the straight truth about these photos.  The frequency of my last-minute photos being successful is remarkable.  I've finally stopped getting flack about it too.

How about you?  Can you also claim the title of king or queen of last-minute shots?  I'd love to see some examples in the comments section below.


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