For me, one of the pure joys of photography is its chance nature. Nothing is quite as exciting as grabbing a camera and recording an image just before it vanishes. Granted, I have often failed to get there in time, watching the scene fade before I can get a shot. This serendipity makes the successes all the more rewarding, knowing that I was able to grab a fleeting moment, preserving it forever.
Each of these images represent a brief moment in which I was in the right place, at the right time with camera in hand. In the top two, the light lasted only a short time, while in the bottom photo, this raptor lit in a tree above a backroad I was traveling. He posed long enough for me to get two shots before vanishing in the woods.
For students: the most important consideration in the top two was to avoid overexposure, a common mistake when facing the sun. In the bottom photo, it was important that I use a fast shutter speed to freeze any motion that the hawk might make.