Planning and preparation — the two important ‘P’s when it comes to photography.
I first discovered my love for photography about three years ago.
Although having always had a strong appreciation for a nice photo, I had never considered experimenting myself. But as I became more exposed to the possibilities of the art form, I invested in my first camera.
Unsure of exactly how to use it, I found myself reading more words than I had read in my whole six years of high school — diving into all things photography.
I spent hours online at night learning different tips and ideas through YouTube videos, blogs and articles.
Before long I was hooked. I had suddenly become a lens dealer — losing count of just how many lenses I have bought and sold in the search to get the right ones for the right environment, and constantly looking to the next piece of equipment to add to my kit.
Spending money on photography gear had become as much of a hobby as the photography itself.
And so after some time having fun with my entry-level DSLR camera body, I upgraded to a bigger, better body — one that performed well in low-light conditions.
I got the camera about this time last year with the intention to try some night photography shots.
I knew the winter months were best for Milky Way visibility, but having just entered summer I knew there was a long wait ahead.
All those months hanging out for winter — and when it came around I hadn’t planned and prepared enough to even attempt a shot of the night sky.
With time flying like it always does, the window for the best night photography opportunities had come and gone and the wait started all over again.
But rolling into November, I was reminded of an annual event — the Geminid meteor shower.
The shower can be seen from anywhere in Australia with up to 120 meteors flying through the sky in an hour at the shower’s peak from midnight to 3am on December 15.
I had planned on photographing last year’s shower, but it turned out to be a cloudy night, so with this year’s shower approaching I was making sure to plan, prepare and hope for clear skies.
After a dumping of rain in the days leading up to the shower, I had been keeping a close eye on the forecast.
I was convinced the sky would be cleared by midnight and I would have a good view of the shower.
Arriving at an open paddock on a hill outside Strathbogie just before 11pm last Friday with my camera gear, a tent and a friend, I was beginning to wonder if we were wasting our time.
The brand new tent did not seem to have any instructions — it was only once we had done it all the wrong ways that we figured out the right way.
The sky had clouded over and the wind was almost strong enough to pick up the tent ... with my little friend in it.
To top it off, I thought I had been a genius buying a fancy, extra-thick, inflatable bed with a built-in pump, until I opened it to find a power lead.
Things were not looking up, but considering we had eventually sorted ourselves out — the tent was standing alone and the bed was inflated — we agreed to make the most of the fresh air, if that was all we got out of the experience.
So we kicked back, looking up into the dark and clouds.
To our excitement it was a matter of minutes and the night was calm, a cloud was nowhere to be seen and the meteors had come to play.
The planning, preparation and perseverance had paid off.
There we lay, amazed by the meteors lighting up the sky from every direction until the meteors and my friend began fading off just before 4am.
Laura Briggs is a journalist at The News.