16 Nov

The Juice is Worth the Squeeze

Nature photography is tough work. We spend countless hours (or days or weeks) in the field trying to capture the fleeting convergence of composition and light. More often than not, it just doesn’t happen. Instead, it seems that all we get for our troubles is cold, wet, hungry, bug-bitten, tired, exhausted, and lonely. There are times when we all wonder whether the reward is worth the effort.

But when it does come together, all of our trials and tribulations seem to recede into the background, and all of the questions disappear, and we are only left with the answer—a loud and resounding “yes!” You may have to endure three days of unrelenting gloom, cold rushing water, and numb bruised feet, but when you get the shot, you know then that the juice is worth the squeeze. Others may think you are a glutton for punishment, but you know the truth—and they will too when they see the fruits of your labor.

So get out there and make your vision a reality. And never stop squeezing.

“Light’s Passage”—Zion National Park, Utah. Canon 5DII, 17mm, ISO 200, f/11, 4 seconds, polarizer filter.

Ian PlantAbout Ian Plant (414 Posts)

World-renowned professional photographer, writer, and adventurer Ian Plant is a frequent contributor to and blogger for Outdoor Photographer Magazine, a Contributing Editor to Popular Photography Magazine, a monthly columnist for Landscape Photography Magazine, and a Tamron Image Master. Ian is also the author of numerous books and instructional videos. Ian leads photography workshops and tours around the world to help beginner and advanced photographers explore and expand their personal vision.


  • Alright Coach, I am fired up! I am about to close this laptop (I’m not selling much today anyway) and see what I can find out there.

    No kidding.

  • One of the best Zion shots I’ve seen (and I’m not usually a fan of Zion shots)! Good job, as always.

  • The wonder IS worth it all.

    Being there, filling up on the energy of these amazing places. Seeing things that almost bring tears to your eyes from the sheer joy of it. Having the sense of discovery to keep us young.

    Yes…yes it is ALL worth it.

    Wonderful shot BTW.


  • Nicely done Ian! I know what you mean about having days on end without a great shot and wondering if it is worth and to be finally rewarded in the end. Funny though that keeps happening and I never seem to get out of the loop :)

  • wonderful shot, thanks for sharing!

  • The image is lovely. I wish I knew what the text said, but the new design uses such tiny print that it is darn near impossible to read, particularly on the dark background. Heck, I can barely read what I am typing here :-)

    • Ian

      You’re the second person to complain about the text and colors. It looks fine on my computer, my iPad, my droid phone, and several other platforms I have used to proof the design. Must be something about your settings that is causing the problem, I suspect, but I can’t figure out why you and one other guy can’t read the text. Anyone else having problems?

      • I can see the text just fine, but most of your thumbnails aren’t displaying for me. I sent you a screenshot via email.

        • Ian

          I need to manually assign thumbnails for all blog entries – haven’t done this yet for the older entries, only for the most recent ones. On my to-do list!

        • Might I chime in and say it might have to do with screen resolution. 1920×1200 and higher in cases of very large monitors can make for very small text and images. I may be wrong but just a thought that may help.

        • Colors are a matter of personal taste. I find it difficult to read text on a dark background, perhaps because we all grew up reading black on white and my age is showing. I understand that this is beneficial for images.

          As far as text yes, the screen resolution on large screens makes the default text very tiny. Reading this on a MacBook right now, font is still small for my taste but tolerable.

  • Simply stunning Ian.

  • Nice analogy Ian and some rousing text, not to mention an absolutely stunning image right from your top drawer – very special and inspiring as always!

  • Very nice picture. I agree with the other poster. The text small and difficult to read.

  • Ian

    I’ll see if there is anything I can do about the text but can’t make any promises as I am unable to relicate the problem on my own display.

  • Ian… just caught this on my phone and could not wait to bring it up at home. This is truly a stunning and creative take. You back up what you preach… do I hear an ‘AMEN’. :-)

  • You know what I like about this post – I thought I was the only one who dragged his camera out there and then got nothing but junk. I figured everyone else gets mirror smooth lakes with red skies at sunrise every time they go out. (I’m almost serious, of course we only see the really good images from other photographers, it can seem as though that’s all anyone else gets.)

  • Wow! Incredible DOF with your 17mm @ f11. Rock solid tripod. Your technique is flawless. This image is gorgeous! Your “keep on squeezing ” post is right on. Thanks for Dreamscapes…always inspiring!
    And, BTW, the text looks fine on my 24″ Cinema Display @ 1920×1200.

  • Amazing place :)