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  • Writer's pictureDon Toothaker

A Resolution for the New Year

On New Year's Eve, while sipping some peaty single malt from Scotland, I contemplated my resolutions for the new year. Always striving to be a better version of myself, I make a few personal resolutions each year and do my best to keep up with them. I also make some photography-related resolutions that are more exciting and more likely to be fulfilled.

Originally, I had a particular photography project in mind, but while sipping scotch and editing a recent image from New Mexico, my resolution for 2024 became obvious. I, Donald Edward Toothaker, being of mostly sound body and mind, will pull the car over for good light more often. That's it; that's my resolution. I know this commitment does not seem impressive, but it is important. It speaks to slowing down and seizing a moment. It addresses avoiding excuses to move on quickly. While viewing this scene from Bernardo Wildlife Area on my monitor, I cringed thinking of the innumerable times I did NOT stop for great light or a great scene in great light. Shame on me.

In December, our group was in Bernardo looking for birds and wildlife when the light on this tree forced me to stop abruptly. I am sure the group was thinking what in the sandhill crane is he doing when I pulled over, jumped out to grab my gear, and began shouting excitedly how amazing the scene would look in monochrome. This ordinary tree, the same tree we passed earlier without a second glance, was suddenly glorious. Good light makes every subject look better. Being present is a better way to be.

Photograph What You Feel

Nikon Z6II

Nikon 70-200mm f2.8s Lens

ISO: 400

APT: f8

EXP: 1/640th of a Second on a Gitzo Tripod with RRS BH55 Ballhead

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Jan 03

I am with you Don. Just make sure you check the depth of the snow bank before you step off the road:-)

Don Toothaker
Don Toothaker
Jan 09
Replying to

hahahahaah.... I remember us each taking a pretty deep plunge or two while we chased otters. It's a struggle but someone has to do it!

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