We all make them, constantly, many subconsciously but some are more necessary than others, so let me tell you about some recent ones of mine and what they led to.
Circumstances beyond my control this year have restricted my landscape activities but I was determined to try and find time to get some Autumn light and colour but I wanted the right conditions. The easy decision was where; Epping Forest, the when dependent on circumstances and the weather forecast.
Ideal weather at dawn, frost and mist with some nice low sun. So far so good. As luck would have it a couple of weeks ago the first hard frost was forecast although no mention of mist, it was worth a punt and I had a free day so decision taken, alarm set, flask ready and waiting I went to bed full of hope……mist is not unusual on frosty mornings, especially around wooded areas, the sky was clear, the wind barely perceptible.
Now a slight flaw in my decision making process brought about by my increasing years; I admit it getting up early in a morning is getting harder, warm, cosy, comfy. So about an hour before my alarm I made another decision and turned the alarm off. Then I could not get back to sleep because I was castigating myself, the mind knew what would be the correct decision but the body was not in agreement. I suppose the thought of driving along A127 and M25 on a Monday morning might just have crept in to my thinking.
Anyway after a guilt-ridden doze I reasoned that if I decided not to go I might just regret it so 20 minutes later than planned I was up and out of the house a short time later. I was not wrong about the drive, even at that early hour more stop than go. I was encouraged though to see patches of mist over the fields. My indecision meant the traffic was just heavier than it would have been so by the time I got to my chosen location the sun was up but well below the tree-line.
There is no point in going somewhere particularly as early as this without having made a concrete decision as to exactly where to be and what type of composition I was thinking about. Whilst there is still leaves on the trees it would be unusual to expect to see frost on the ground so ideally an open area on the edge of the forest was where I wanted to be and I had decided the day before where I was aiming for.
Just about everything came together, frost, low sun and even a hint of mist; I was able to get the images I wanted before the frost lifted. Conditions almost perfect. I had to work quickly given that I had wasted time through indecision. This is where familiarity with equipment and technique is so important, it enables me to work quickly and effectively when the situation demands and of course knowing precisely where I wanted to be at a given time of equal importance. A good decision.