“How did I get that?!” A beginner’s guide to diagnosing your favorite photograph and how to get more of them

While it’s difficult to disregard the importance of being in the right place at the right time when it comes to photography, it cannot be overstated that it doesn’t matter if you’re not there with the knowledge and the tool to capture the moment.

There are times when you’ve perhaps plotted your course with great preparation and study; looking at tide charts, sun/moon schedules, weather reports and driving time. And of course, there are the times that you just happened to have your camera turned on and BOOM! The universe provided you with something amazing right in front of your lens and all camera settings and reflexes conspired to make for one heck of a photograph.

Here we’re going to go with the preponderance of the latter, and try to nudge the idea of it towards the former, essentially forensically examining the reasons that the shot you love, the one that seemed to have more to do with luck more than anything else, actually happened because of your intention, perhaps more than you realize, and how you can prepare yourself, camera in hand, to make more of these moments happen.