Photography tip: Go outside right after it rains

Many of my favorite photos take advantage of images that surface after storms. I love snapping pictures of watery reflections — like upside-down skyscrapers in still puddles or bridges that look wobbly in rippling water — to show the world from a different perspective.

While most people go out in the rain holding an umbrella, I go out in the rain holding a camera.

I’ll even squat on the wet pavement to capture tiny reflections — like this snail’s tentacle. It’s funny seeing the world from the perspective of the snail, as we both try to go about our business yet not to get stepped on by workers dashing down the sidewalk to catch their shuttle bus home.

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Surprise at dusk: Someone surfs, undaunted by darkness

Hooray for later sunsets and less traffic! I arrived home yesterday in time to squeeze in a 5-mile walk to and from my favorite thinking spot. It’s my very own inspiration point, actually — where the previous blog post dawned on me.

Usually I hurry home from my stroll before the streetlamps flicker on. But yesterday I lingered. Because as the Golden Gate Bridge began to glow with headlights and the tide continued crashing harder and higher against the humongous rock in front of me, I spotted — way out there in the distance — a few surfers riding the waves.

Simply captivating. And something I wanted to capture with my fuzzy smartphone camera. Because those people decided to surf, undaunted by darkness.

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When life’s waves crash down, do you sink, swim, or surf?

At some point in each person’s life, the waves come crashing down. It’s easy to get deluged. To feel like you’re going to drown.

You can sink. Or swim. Or surf.

Surf? Yes. If you have the right attitude, you can develop the skills to ride out even the roughest waves.

I’ve been thinking about this over the past week since I had the privilege of interviewing Rod Warner, head of the Building Resilience consulting firm in Cape Town, South Africa. He chose to cultivate his personal resilience — to cope with his wife suddenly stricken with a debilitating illness and his successful national sales career unexpectedly vanishing amid layoffs. He not only learned to survive, but he also figured out how to thrive.

As I embarked on my usual weekend walk along the San Francisco Bay to admire nature — and coincidentally put into practice one of Warner’s seven building blocks for strengthening personal resilience — the waves mesmerized me. I watched the waves’ story unfold.

Some people get swallowed by the waves. Other people get pushed and pulled by the waves. Resilient people get up and ride the waves.

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