This is a photograph of an invisible tree. You see it? There in the bottom left? It's always there, but normally it simply blends into the background, perfectly camouflaged. It only reveals itself in rare instances when a bank of mist hovers over the ground behind it.

I almost missed this picture because I didn't have a camera with me. Yes, I'm aware... Yes, professional photographer, I know...

In my defence, I was thinking more about the workshop participants I was helping. I had been hired by US photographers John Barclay and Dan Sniffin to provide local knowledge for a workshop they organised a few years ago in Ireland.

Lough Leane surprise

This particular location on the shores of Lough Leane is great for workshops. Not least because there is a fine hotel right on the lake. Such splendour only a few hundred yards from your bed.

As I made my way from person to person, helping them with their photography, someone commented on a tree they could see off in the distance. I looked around to see what they were talking about. This was the scene I was greeted with.

Now, I've been to this location many, many times. I've photographed it from all angles. I thought I'd pretty much covered the place and there was nothing else it could show me. So, I hadn't bothered to bring my own camera from my hotel room.

Idiot head. Nature always has something new to show you.

John Barclay took pity on me and gave me the use of one of his cameras. I knew well what I wanted to achieve, and only needed two or three frames to capture it and get back to the business of helping the others.

Lessons learned:

1. Always have a camera with you.

2. Never underestimate the capacity of nature to show you a different side to a scene you've visited a thousand times before.

3. Keep in mind that light and situations change quickly. Never think you can nip back to your car/house/hotel room and get your camera. By the time you return, the moment will have passed. I knew I wouldn't have been able to get to my room and back before the scene had changed, so I really was grateful to John for the loan of a camera.

Love photography? Want to learn how to produce images like this yourself? Check out my sister site, Elevation, where I list the photography tours and workshops that I organize.

I run trips within Ireland and abroad. Past destinations include Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard and the Faroe Islands.

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Peter Cox Photography Ltd