The joy of photography for me happens when the wonder of creation surprises me, like a kid still discovering nature for the first time. Some of my favorite photos are ones that turn out better than expected. That happened in this picture I took of a water tower.


My family had been hiking Abilene State Park one day several years ago, and we were headed down a trail from Buffalo Wallow. This path took us by the small water tower.

I looked up, noticing the many birds gathering on the tower’s steel bracing. The sight of them really caught my eye. My camera was hanging from its black strap around my neck1, so I lifted it up, composed the image, and snapped away.

My aim was to put the tower off center and at an interesting angle; it’s structure, as I recall, was more of my focus after the birds. The tower’s dark silhouette against the setting sun was kinda nice. Otherwise, it’s just plain old white in full sun.

It was during the edit phase that this photo became one of my favorites. I remember tweaking it in Lightroom. I like vivid color, so as I sought to bring out the sky more – it was washed out looking – I saw colors that I had no idea were in the sunset!

It was truly surprising. I was able to bring out more color than I imagined. It was the last thing on my mind when making the picture in the field. I went for the birds, then the tower. But the colorful sky, with its beautiful gradient, is what won me over here.


This is one reason I like photography. The ability to see, discover, and capture the wonder of creation. There’s glory exhibited around us, if only we take the time to stop and behold. And sometimes it will surprise you like a young child. Don’t lose your sense of wonder!

What do you like about this photo? How would you do it differently? Comment below or message me. Thanks for reading!

  1. This was before everyone’s camera was always in their pocket!