We all need some extra motivation at times.

I landed at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) late Saturday night just as a ton of giant snowflakes started falling. It was cold, I was tired, and I was juggling several heavy bags. I was already covered in wet snow that was starting to drip down the back of my neck. By the time I found my car, I immediately shoved all my bags in the back, jumped in to start the engine and waited for the heat to slowly kick in. Then I looked out of my window and saw this beautiful scene, so rare for spring in North Carolina. But the best vantage point was on the other side of the parking deck. And I was already in my car. And my ankles were cold and wet. There was an unfortunate gap between my boots and my jeans, and I wasn’t wearing socks. I hate that feeling. Almost as bad as fully stepping into a puddle at the beginning of a run.
I looked out the window and wrestled for another minute about whether I really wanted to go back out there, pull my camera and lens from the bag, guard my gear against the very wet snow, put in a memory card, confirm that it was clear, and then trek back out in the cold to get to the right spot to take this photo. It was also very dark, and I didn’t have a tripod. I wouldn’t have even bothered with it anyway. I had just finished a roughly 36-hour out and back to Baltimore, delivering a long presentation and live shoot, and that was on the heels of an incredibly full couple of weeks of shooting and prep work. It was all work I loved. But I was worn out.

I decided not to, started the engine, put the car in reverse, started backing up, barely glancing back at the lights that had initially caught my eye – and then stopped. I growled at that inner, pestering voice that I already knew would be haunting me the whole way home for missing out on such an unexpected moment of quiet beauty, and I pulled back into the spot. I got my gear together, crossed the parking deck, shot this photo, said out loud “There. Happy?” and then trudged back to the car, just as the snow turned into heavy rain. Not even a minute after I clicked the shutter. It was like the whole scene started collapsing as I walked away from it.

This was that shot, photographed with the Nikon D850 and 105mm 1.4 lens, handheld at >>ISO 10,000, wow, Nikon<<, 1/100 sec, f5.6.

(I’m so glad I made the effort.)

— with Delta.