Film is Cheap

“Film is cheap” is a phrase my old college photography professor, Grant Dinsmore, used quite often throughout the multiple photography classes I had with him during my undergraduate years. His point was simple; chances of nailing the shot on the first try are slim, so take as many exposures as possible while you have the chance.

Good advice, actually. Advice that was even more important in the days when you didn’t know if you captured the perfect shot until you were able to develop and process the film into prints well after you arrived back home.

While film might have been cheap back then, I think it’s fair to say that the memory cards we use today in our DSLRs are even cheaper – making it easy to shoot, and shoot a lot.

I always attempt to take enough exposures whenever I am out on one of my little photo excursions. This is particularly important when I am someplace I might not visit again. With that said, there have been times when I’ve completely blown it – every single exposure complete trash.

One such time happened this past June when I was up in Nelson County. During my stay I decided to hit a part of the Appalachian Trail where it crosses the Tye River over a really cool suspension footbridge. I spent a good deal of time shooting there last summer, but I couldn’t manage to get a good image – lighting was harsh and I underestimated how much the bridge was swaying in the wind.

So, in an attempt to redeem myself from photo failure, and as a way to spend some quiet, quality time outdoors on a brisk, sunny, completely beautiful winter afternoon, I took a drive back over to Nelson County earlier today to revisit the trail and that footbridge.

The 248-foot span is only a short hike from the Route 56 parking area in the tiny, unincorporated town of Tyro, Virginia. The gravel lot was full when I arrived, but there wasn’t a person in sight as I headed down the trail the leads to the river and the footbridge.

Setting up my camera, I quickly realized that I was once again going to be dealing with some pretty harsh light, only this time the lack of leaves made for fairly even coverage across the canvas. That same lack of trees also meant that I was going to be dealing with a rather bland color palette, but I was expecting that. I managed to get a couple of shots that I think are okay, but I still don’t think I have captured the true beauty of the bridge or the surrounding area.

For whatever reason, this location is proving to be a challenge for me, but I am determined to land a shot of which I can be proud. With that in mind, I’ll end up back in Tyro this spring or summer for Appalachian Suspension Bridge Part III. Stay tuned.