I remember Córdoba as one of the most beautiful cities I visited in Spain, but I don’t remember a sight like this one. I enjoyed many cloudless days during my stay in Spain, with the sky a wonderful blue backdrop for my photos of white houses, windmills, and castles. But a breathtaking view like this one, photographed by Isaac Gutiérrez Pascual four days ago, requires the presence of storm clouds.
I wonder sometimes just how many thousands of pictures a photographer has to take to get one like this. I chased the sunset the day I visited La Coruña (in northwest Spain), trying to get a shot of the sun sinking into the Atlantic Ocean. I got some pictures, but nothing spectacular. I don’t know how much it’s a matter of luck, skill, or photographic equipment. No doubt it has a lot to do with time – if I had spent a month or two there, going back day after day, I might well have gotten something more impressive.
And of course one has to be paying attention to notice the opportunities, and have the camera ready to capture the moment. As the explanatory paragraph at APOD points out, shortly after the picture was taken the birds and clouds were gone, and Venus and the moon had set.
On the other hand, there’s the risk of being so focused on trying to find great photographic shots that you miss life going on around you. Once I had kids, I had to shift from taking pictures for the sake of pictures to taking snapshots to remember special moments in the boys’ lives. Sometimes I have to get the camera out, but mostly I try to keep it put away, so I can share time with them instead of staying out of the frame with my eye behind a viewfinder.
But I’m glad Isaac Gutiérrez Pascual had his eye on the sky and his camera ready on Saturday, to share a gorgeous photo like this with the world.