I was working on location at the shores of lovely Crystal Lake in Eaton, NH a few days ago and got to chatting with another photographer who stopped by. Visiting from Maryland, this was the third time he and his wife had been to New Hampshire.
We got talking about equipment, the extremely wet season we’ve had up here and its impact on the color, and various locations.
He asked whether a spot he was considering checking out was worth exploring; having shot there many times before, I recommended he swing by and let him know what he could expect to find there at different times during the day.
After this couple left, I again had this wonderful location to myself. The breeze had picked up, so I waited to see if the water would calm down long enough for me to get a shot that included some reflected color.
It took some time, but I was rewarded with just a few minutes of still water near the opposite shore.
Later, I got to thinking about tips from strangers…just like the information I shared with this fellow…and how people one meets randomly and briefly along the way can share knowledge that can be so useful.
For example, I was first introduced to the lupine fields in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire by some bicyclists who stopped to chat while I was shooting lupines in Crawford Notch State Park maybe six years ago. Since I was unfamiliar with the little town, they told me the best way to get there from our location and suggested I check it out.
I did…and fell in love with Sugar Hill. I’ve been shooting there every year since.
And just a few weeks ago, a casual conversation with a fellow who was installing new kitchen counters at my house led me to a White Mountains location I’d been previously unfamiliar with – along with a very helpful shortcut around an area that’s frequently congested up there. Originally from that neck of the woods, he knew about all the backroad nooks and crannies and drew me a back-of-the-napkin map.
Armed with that knowledge, I was able to shoot at a number of places this autumn which I’d previously crossed off the list (not wanting to deal with all the traffic).
I could go on.
You never know where the next nugget of gold is going to come from.