Why is hard work mistaken for luck?

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I could almost hear their voices.

You must have a really good camera, or something.

It’s funny how people never seem to wonder how it is I found myself bracing my tripod from a buffeting sub-zero wind at 1 a.m. while the sky is exploding all around me in bolts of lightning or ribbons of green and magenta while everyone else is asleep in their warm beds.

It must be my camera’s doing, or sheer luck.

It’s the same reason why, after 10 months, I still keep the original file of the photo that is currently on the cover of the local phonebook on my camera — because not a week goes by that somebody doesn’t wonder aloud to me if it’s a Photoshop forgery like the ones their uncle Pete e-mails to them. It isn’t, by the way.

In fact, the original looks a hell of a lot more fake than the processed version.

Strange light just happens to be my muse. Lightning, auroras, and sundogs are my trophy game and I hunt whatever is in season.

Like muskie hunter Travis Tourond over on page eight, I can totally understand how someone can spend over 30 hours a week in a boat in search of rare experiences, the opportunity to commune with something so elusive that others often have trouble believing it when it finally happens.

Like anyone with an obsession, Tourond and I both have gotten better at what we do because we work hard at it and we use the technology at our disposal to deepen our understanding of our craft and target our efforts more efficiently.

Whether it’s catching a 48 lb. muskie or photographing the biggest geomagnetic storm in five years, so much still falls to luck and timing.

But without that element of great uncertainty, such things would be hardly worth doing. The guarantee of success would kill my ambitions in a heartbeat.

You make luck by putting yourself out there where no one else is and being ready for what the universe is about to toss your way.

 Chris Marchand


About chrismarchand

Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

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