Lucky Test Shot


A musician friend recently had a gig at one of our botanical gardens here in Tucson, so I grabbed my camera and off we went.

Like many photographers, I begin my photo sessions with a test shot. Almost always, my test shot is a throwaway shot. Typically, it’s the inside of my living room, or a stuffed animal in my studio. They’re certainly not worth anything, but then again, there’s always that one exception.

My friend and I ended up sharing a ride. She needed to be there a couple hours before the gig so she could set up. When we arrived someone was tending to fire in the chiminea next to the area where she was performing, so I took a couple test shots of the fire. About an hour or so later, as the sun was going down, I walked around the desert gardens and took a whole bunch of sunset shots.

Sometimes things don’t work out as planned

I had borrowed a 2.8 lens from another friend, and was using an adaptor. It’s funny how sometimes shots that look so amazing in the display screen can look so awful once they’re uploaded into a computer. All of the sunset shots came out fuzzy. Ugh! The test shot, however, looked surprisingly good. I didn’t set up the shot in any way. I simply shot the image right after the park employee had stepped away, but if I didn’t know better, I’d think he was a photographer too. The pieces of lumber next to the fire pit created a beautiful diagonal line that draws the viewer in, while the flame is matrixing to create a dragon like image.

All you need in any photo session is one good shot. I just didn’t expect it to be the test shot.

Gayle Martin

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A chiminea fire pit.
Copyright 2019 by Gayle Martin. All Rights Reserved.

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