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Moon lilies and mountains

Updated: May 2, 2022

This is what I know about photography; great pictures are not camera dependent. I mostly use an expensive Canon camera, but as this picture proves, even a simple point-and-shoot camera can create terrific pictures in the hands of a willing photographer.

My wife is a picture of patience, but I exceeded even those limits in Zion National Park several summers past. To anyone watching our car we must have seemed like an inner-city transit, pulling over at every bus stop. The “pull-outs” are plentiful at Zion and that is a good thing because around every corner of the park there is a majestic scene and plenty of photo-fodder for photographers like me.

The final limit for Lynda was a patch of moon lilies near the park exit. “Why those?" she exclaimed. "We’ve seen moon lilies everywhere. Enough of this. I am hungry and I want go to our hotel.

I begged for one last shot and promised I would not tote my Canon and cadre of lenses; just her little Panasonic pocket camera. Easy peezy! She finally gave in.

I wanted a moon lily point-of-view (POV) shot of the majestic mountains but there was no place to lay myself down. So, I had little choice; I just set the camera down in the middle of the flowers and started pressing the shutter, tilting and turning the camera to try and capture every angle.

The sun's glare made it impossible to see the camera screen. I pressed the shutter and rotated the camera, shooting blind, pressing the shutter button about every 2-3 seconds. No framing, no composition; just educated guesses at the tilt, background, lighting, and framing. I did not even know that I had taken this wonderful picture until several days later when we arrived home.

I LOVE this photo. It is one of my all-time favorites. The moral of this story: while your camera gear is important, it is not critical to a good photograph. I made a living for 20 years with $5,000 cameras. A little $400 point-and-shoot was simply perfect for this photo. USA Today even chose this image for their "Picture of the Day" a few years back.

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