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Engaging Rockwood

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

Early this year at a wedding venue, I met a  bride-to-be and her mother.

I immediately noticed this unspoken confidence, as we began conversing, I got one of those ah-ha

moments I knew this would be a good connection. Sure enough, we met to plan their wedding,

and their engagement shoot,

We decided on the Rockwood Conservation Area.

We all had something in common with the park, we loved its natural beauty, and unusual

landscape that was carved out by torrential rivers fed by long-ago melting glaciers.

It has densely wooded areas ,studded with unique rock formations, some of them rising

60'straight up.

There was even this spot that has a hidden lagoon with rocky cliffs and an island in the middle of it,

quite impressive, especially for first-time visitors,  it's was like a miniature Yosemite Park tucked

away in such a small area. Rockwood has such a variety of unique places to have photos done.



Well before I left to go meet them, I went through my usual checklist to make sure everything was

in order, lenses, lighting, tripod, and triggers, I charged the batteries for my flash and

my camera. It seemed everything was coming together, our compatibility, creativity, location,

and weather, what can go wrong? Well, I thought knew better, I mean just the very nature

of photography is spontaneous and that means you can easily overlook something.

This reminds me of a time at a different park where I disovered this 180’ high waterfall that I

wanted to photograph in just moonlight! 

With my backpack in tow, all I had to do was climb down into this 180' gorge at dusk that had no acess. 

The plan was to go in on what turned out to be a very balmy April night, with a clear sky,

and a full moon, a rare combination!

The way was clear to capture this breathtaking waterfall

 that was beckoning me with its's terrestrial light show. But it was a challenging descent, the

first fifty feet was fairly easy, with a series of rocky outcrops, to climb down on

but then there was a very steep section that just pointed to the abyss. It was a slippery slope

hanging on to a bunch of seedlings

on the way, once there I had another fifty yards to get to the falls. I must have gotten halfway

when I had a shocking realization, I didn't plan on how I would get out! It was now dusk with

only minutes of light left. I had so perfectly plan my entrance but total overlooked my exit!

I had to make the heartbreaking decision to get out of there or be

fished out by the fire department...I had to learn the inverse... things that go down must also go up!

Well, back to Rockwood and our lovley bride-to-be and her Soul mate, we met at the entrance of

the park, and we drove down to the mill ruins where we would start our photo walk.

I was feeling great, with our combined enthusiasm.

I unpacked my camera and as I looked through the viewfinder, to my shock and horror the battery

indicator was at its last notch, I was running on empty! What..! How...! As I’m seeing my life

passing in front of me, this young couple's smiling faces are beaming at me with anticipation,

all the while hearing this voice in my head yelling at me.

You broke a cardinal rule! you didn't bring a spare battery! (which I left in Belville from my last trip) and

no backup camera... No backup camera! In my crazed mind, I was answering back in a small squeaking,

little voice “I thought it was only going to be an hour or so”... Somehow I missed

that the battery didn't charge properly. But in the midst of this storm, something shifted, something came over me from the heart.

I knew I had to carry on, I just had to focus on some good shots and maybe I could gently break it to them.

We got through some shots

and some bonding conversation. In the distance We noticed a frame for a Tee-Pee, seeing her

interest she commented on her North American Indian heritage, so we went and got some shots, ones

that showed their free-spirited energy, and affection.

By now the indicator was red. feeling that aenxiety in my pit again,

I decided ok it time to own up, and tell them what happening. They just said ahh "no problem"

Just as abruptly when the fire started it got put out! We continued for quite a while longer. 

We got lots more shots but obviously I could have done way so I offered to do another 

shoot which they happily agreed to do. Even though I had to redo it I felt this was still a win situation just by taking a few moments to reassess and find a way to extinguish

this Spontainious Combustion     

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