Sometimes, life’s greatest moments fall right into our laps, and the onus is on us to recognize and make the most of them.
This can be said about a lot of things — friendships, jobs, adventures and other opportunities. Once these moments have passed, there’s often no way of salvaging what was once before us. We get these chances, and we know deep down inside we can’t do anything but seize them — or forever live with regret.
In photography, this couldn’t be more true. There are times when the perfect conditions exist to capture a frame of life that will tell the story of someone, something or someplace. There’s a feeling or instinct that comes with it.
I was recently inspired as I was exiting the highway into downtown Cleveland. The sun was setting and the deepest blue sky with a stunning cloud deck was lingering over the city. The Terminal Tower was blasting a Superman-themed light array — red, blue and yellow. The opportunity to capture this scene was before me, and I opted to go for it. I rushed home, grabbed my camera gear and headed to the place where I’ve always wanted to take a nighttime shot of the city — a hotel on Carnegie positioned in exactly the right place to get a stunning photo of the city’s skyline.
Despite my abnormal request for an elevated glance, staff members were friendly and not only let me up to a high floor, they took me to the roof. And everything about the view exceeded all my expectations. The sky was still glowing and the lights of Progressive Field highlighted the stadium and nearby buildings.
I was like a kid in a candy store, taking photos galore. I snapped nearly 50 images of the inanimate skyline in 10 minutes. This was a moment I knew I would be able to share with so many others, and I wanted to get it right.
That night, I walked away with a memory card full of pictures that reveal the greatness of Cleveland and its downtown. The pictures show a city that’s rebuilding itself and looking for ways to stand out.
And I what seized that night was an experience that will keep Cleveland close to me, no matter where I’m living.
Check out my favorite images from that night here: