One Shot — Virgin Reflections

30 Mar

I love the Southwest. My great grandmother went out with friends as a young widow and was entranced by it. My grandmother loved that area, as did my mother. My kids? Yes, they follow, the fifth generation in this branch of the family to be smitten with this part of the country.

Arnie shares with me what is for us a magnetic draw to this area. We love photographing its various coats and colors.

When we were in Zion last fall, we were up really early with our participants to catch the first light in one of our locations down by the Virgin River.

Anyone who has joined us on a workshop knows that if there is water, I am generally in it sooner or later. After all, I wasn’t given the moniker The Barefoot Contessa all those years ago for nothing!

True to form, I slipped out of my flip-flops and waded out, encouraging some of our group to join me and get a different perspective.

© 2010 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail BC (at) ZAPphoto (at) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time.Where we were, the overhanging branches were a detriment, yet the scene was dramatic, or was going to be once the sun rose high enough to strike it.

Some of our group found places to get down really low — lying down even — to get a clear shot. I kept encouraging them to follow me into the river, but at first, there were no takers. OK, sure, that water was cool, but it was far from freezing.

I waded out carefully, avoiding the deep pockets, until I found a spot that provided the patterns of rocks I liked, yet was out of the way of our participants on the bank.

Then one of our participants, hearing me continue with words of enticement and being frustrated with her spot on the bank, took off her shoes, rolled up her pant legs, and joined me. She was not sorry, as she found the freedom to compose without the limitations presented by the puckerbrush, gullies, and overhanging trees along the river.

As an instructor, our students come first, as we challenge them and push them to do better. As Arnie was doing upstream, I was pointing out elements, good and bad in the scene, encouraging them to follow our mantras. Meanwhile, I kept checking my potential shot. Each time, there was an annoying breeze riffling the water. Arghhh! I had my heart on a combination of reflections and being able to see into the river at the rocks below. Finally, the breeze quieted down for a moment, I turned back to look downriver, and I got this one “frame.”

The lesson here is to, again, be patient, and to not put comfort before your photography if you really want that shot. You’re not going to catch cold with wet feet if you are generally dressed warmly … and we were. Your tripod can also act as a walking stick if you are not sure footed.

So, no excuses next time. Just be careful, and who knows what you might get that you would not have managed from the shore.

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4 Responses to “One Shot — Virgin Reflections”

  1. Sherrie Winarski 04-02-11 at 12:51 PM #

    Hahahaha….what fun! And, the shots were not too bad either!

    • TBC 04-02-11 at 10:37 PM #


      I had a feeling you might get a particular kick out of this blog, and you’re right, the shots were rather good! 😉 The rest of the workshop participants, as I recall, were rather envious!

      Take care,


  2. John Singleton 03-30-11 at 9:07 AM #

    Margo, Have been loving the One-shot entries. Now if I could figure out how to do another workshop SOON!

    • TBC 03-30-11 at 9:37 AM #

      Thanks, John. So glad you are enjoying them. We look forward to the next time we meet, whenever your schedule permits.

      Take care,



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