Take advantage of your good fortune when you find it.

Erdene Zuu, Kharkoram, Mongolia.
Erdene Zuu, Kharkoram, Mongolia.

Looking and finding strong images is, of course, what we all strive for. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it just does not come together and that’s when a bit of ‘good fortune’ can help.

I was attracted to the incense smoke curling around this shrine and one of my photography group has asked how to shoot smoke. I tried to make a decent composition using the smoke and the very busy contents of the glass-covered shrine, but after a few frames I decided it was not going to work – too cluttered and not enough separation between the smoke and the background for it to stand out.

I do try to keep my eyes open and to be aware of what else is going on so, when I saw some local people enter the same temple, I figured they were probably about to bow and pray at the shrine.

This was the missing element and when the man in the red clothing leaned forward with his hands pressed together I was ready to shoot off a single frame. Good fortune? Certainly. But you need to be ready to take advantage of it.