There are any number of contenders for the First Rule Of Photography. Using the Rule of Thirds to properly compose your shot, for example. Or ensuring the correct exposure. Or something more basic, such as being careful to hold your camera still and straight.
Several smart people out there advise something more fundamental: always take your camera with you. But I recently learned that even this simple rule needs refining…
In March, we flew back to England in a brand new 787 Dreamliner, to visit Rich’s family. Our approach to Heathrow took us on a flightpath we’d never before been lucky enough to experience… right over the heart of central London.
We came in from the northeast, banking over the Tower of London and Tower Bridge in a graceful arc to the right. I got my first ever glimpse of the Shard, so close below us I felt even I could reach out and touch it. Then we were curving around the South Bank towards the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. And the whole time I could see the whole historic heart of Britain’s capital, right there! What a view it was!
And for me it had an even greater significance, because that one view took in every location from the second Jaspa’s Journey novel, The Pride of London.
What an incredible opportunity to take some photographs – perhaps a single shot – encompassing the whole map from the book. Especially given the Dreamliner’s bigger than average, unscratched windows. What a brilliant way to help promote the Pride of London. And all the Jaspa’s Journey books, for that matter.
Map from Jaspa’s Journey 2: The Pride of London. The red dotted line roughly shows our flightpath.
And what a terrible time for Rich to decide, probably for the first time ever, to give himself a little extra legroom across the Atlantic by putting his camera in the overhead bin! Even his cell phone was turned off, and so wouldn’t have powered back up in time.
To be fair, we’ve made this particular flight numerous times over the last decade. And although I still love looking out of the window, how many photos of southern England can you take from thousands of feet up in an airliner, right? How were we to know that on this particular flight we’d be treated to a spectacular, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime view of central London?
So my First Rule of Photography is this: Always Take Your Camera With You… And Have It To Hand…When Travelling!
That way you won’t have to feel like Rich, who’s still berating himself over a month later. Especially as he remembered – once we were already on the ground at Heathrow, of course – that the iPad in the seat pocket in front of him included a camera. Not ideal, but it would certainly have been better than nothing.
The one that got away!… Central London from the air (photo by eigen werk, 2004)
On the bright side, images of that breathtaking view will be burned into my memory forever. If only I could get them out to show you…
Lesson learned – swirls of icebergs off the east coast of Canada, on the way home
Close up of Iceberg Alley
While you’re groaning at Rich’s error, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal, or through my website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?
And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels – including The Pride of London – to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!