Photography is often a planned activity. I plan to go to the zoo and photograph the animals. I plan to head to the garden for some macro work. I plan a trip to a national park to photograph the iconic sites. Even at home, I tend to plan to take photographs of specific subjects, like a couple of Japanese maple leaves that I found twisted together. This is the situation I found myself in the other night.
I had an idea for some photographs of these leaves that I had picked up a week ago and been carrying around in a container ever since. I drug out the old light table and dusted it off. I grabbed my camera with a macro lens and my tripod. I waited until the little ones were in bed and set up to experiment.
After a little while, it was apparent that I was not getting what I thought I would. I tried the leaves from several different angles. The light table was working fine, but the leaves were not as inspiring to me as when I originally collected them. I did manage to get a few decent photographs of them, just not what I was hoping to get.
In the meantime, one of my cats decided, in true cat fashion, to lay on one end of my light table and make herself comfortable. My attention quickly shifted to her face when I noticed how pretty the light from the light table was on her. I started to work her as my subject and came out with some pretty nice portraits of her. I tried to convince my other cat to lay on the light table, but, again in true cat fashion, she was having nothing to do with that.
The moral of the story - be flexible when you are out shooting. The conditions will not always be right for what you want to shoot but are right for something you did not plan to shoot. Keep your eyes open for other ways to take advantage of your situation!