How Do You Capture Moments That Your Camera Misses?

How to Capture Missed Moments

It was the most perfect of days

A sky of pale cerulean blue across the horizon rising through wispy white clouds to a deep azure above. And a turquoise sea, which when looking into the sun shimmered and sparkled as though a canopy of diamonds was laid across its gently rippling surface.

With camera at the ready to record these idyllic images we set off in our kayaks with paddles swooshing through the crystal water, propelling us across the mill pond like Bay.

Kayak Moreton Bay

The mangroves that fringed the water’s edge on the far side had elaborate water reflections like a David Hockney painting.

Mangroves Moreton Bay

It was a picture perfect day peacefully paddling.



But then…

1. A fish jumped out of the water and leapt right across the front of Phil’s kayak!

Not a tiddler – But a plate sized trevally!

“Did you see that?!!” he cried out.

I saw the splash!
And I too was amazed it had made its way right across his kayak and hadn’t landed in the prow (which was a shame considering its size!)

Kayaking Moreton Bay


2. A sea eagle that had been perched in a mangrove tree ahead of us took to the skies and soared high above us

And then…

3. As the tide started to turn and the water became shallower we spotted sting rays beneath us, semi submerged on the sandy bottom, which as we approached jetted off leaving a cloudy flurry of silt in their wake –


4. “Did you see that?”

A turtle head had popped up above the surface of the sea to take a breath. But in the time it takes to say… ”Did you see that?’ it had gone back to its watery world below the surface.

However, if you’re patient, turtles will resurface a few minutes later usually within 50m (or so) from the original sighting spot.

Sitting silently watching for turtles

So we sat silently, eyes fixated on the spot…
and me with camera at the ready…

And I snapped, knowing no sooner had I said ‘There’ than it wouldn’t be any-more!

Turtle head bobbing up for air

And this is the result!
Which looks something akin to a Loch Ness monster photo.
Blurry, distant and totally unrecognisable (unless you know what it is).

How do you capture moments that your camera misses?

I love my camera, and love recording my adventures with beautiful images, but the amazing encounters we had with nature out on the Bay were impossible to capture due to them being either too fleeting a moment, were under water, or were simply too distant to see and so escaped my capturing them. 🙁

If you have a way with words (and can be bothered) you could write about it –
But part of the fun of taking photos is they’re shareable with family and friends – you can show them so they too can experience the excitement of the moment.

This is why I love story maps!

With a few doodle like cartoon sketches,
which are quick, easy and fun ~
you can create a ‘story-map’.

Capturing the Day with a Story Map

Story_Map_5I want to remember that fun day kayaking out across the Bay, and all the wonderful creatures we saw – But I equally know that my memory is fallible!
So once home I doodle sketched the highlights.

If you want to see how to create a Story Map, click the link to read the follow up post to this 🙂

Kayak in the Mangroves

It was a gorgeous day, and I’m happy I don’t only rely upon my camera to remember it 🙂

How do you remember moments that you can’t photograph?

Do share in the comments below –

And if you’d like more in-depth instruction as to how to create your own story-maps?
Simply subscribe (at the top of the right hand column)
and I’ll email you or RSS as new posts are published!

19 thoughts on “How Do You Capture Moments That Your Camera Misses?

  1. Oh you clever thing Linda! I adore that story map. And yes it’s so true that as soon as you have your camera at the ready those amazing things seem to stop happening. Looking forward to the follow-up how to post!

    • Pictorial story maps are such a useful tool to record your travels –
      Looking forward to showing you how I did this one in tomorrow’s post 🙂

  2. I LOVED THIS! Ironically, I was just speaking with a friend yesterday about how as photographers we are often focused on “just the right shot” and miss what is happening! But… we want the photos as a recording of the time. What to do?
    I am not artistic like you , but certainly loved your map idea. Did you use watercolors? You are such a talent. Thank you for sharing!

    • Hi Suzanne ~
      I know exactly what you mean about being so busy lining up shots you end up living the event through the lens instead of being in the moment 🙁
      I’ve recently been trying the practice of doing a little sketch to force me to stop, observe and absorb my surrounding through all of my senses for just half an hour – Its been proven snapping and running does not help you remember, whereas truly looking and observing does!

      Story maps happily don’t require any “artistic” skills – I’ve just put up the post on How to Create the Story Map above 😉

  3. Hi Linda,

    Gosh it sound like an exciting trip and the photos you did get are gorgeous. I like to write and keep a diary but I know a lot of the details you’ve mentioned here would probably be forgotten.

    You have a way with words as well as with a paintbrush though. I’d love to create a story map like yours but not sure how it would turn out since I credit myself with zero artistic ability. A class or course would be great and I’d love to send my kids along to one too.

    Look forward to the next post. x A
    Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot recently posted..How to Master Your Money and Gain Freedom to TravelMy Profile

    • Hi Annabel ~
      Oh ye of little faith – “zero artistic ability” – my foot!
      I’ve just put up the follow up post How to Create the Story Map above –
      But I’m planning a more in depth series showing a few techniques that would help you (and the kids) create images that you’d all feel proud of –
      There is seriously no skill to producing something as simple as a story map – Its simply technique!
      Stay tuned 😉

  4. That’s what memory is for. We traveled a LOT before we started shooting photos of the trips. I used to journal and fix them in my mind. The only drawback is now that I want to write about some of that stuff- it’s hard as everyone wants photos.

    • Journals are great for reminding you of place names and little details that will inevitably over time slip your mind –
      I had to recently dig out the one I kept when we were in Nepal years ago as I was shocked that I couldn’t quite remember the name of the place I’d bought some gorgeous fabric!
      I guess if you want to write posts about those trips you enjoyed sans photos you can always source some cc images off the photo sites 🙂

  5. I love photos, but the story map idea is so awesome! I’m always very bummed out when I miss a good Kodak moment, but I’m inspired by your story map idea 🙂

    • When I miss an image with my camera, I find the composition is still captured in my head – for a while at least…
      I find compiling those mental images at the end of the day onto a one page summary of my day is fun both as an evening recapping session –
      But down the track, is even more fun, when that day has blurred into the background and I come upon my story map again! 🙂

    • Story-maps aren’t realistic renditions that require years of trained artistic skill –
      They’re representational –
      Symbols and stick-men designed to express an emotion or a moment in time – not to ever be judged on an art gallery wall!
      Naive and/or simplistic drawings are endearing…. and more to the point jog the ‘ole grey matter in years to come 🙂

  6. Pingback: How to Create a Story Map - Kayaking in Moreton Bay

  7. Thanks so much for the story map idea. I can’t wait to do this with the grandkids, since they have the best imagination for drawing the pictures on a map. I wonder if a GoPro camera mounted on your head would help? I agree that the best pictures are the ones in your mind.

    • We did try a GoPro camera mounted on our heads once when we had a pod of dolphins circling us, but their fins seemed very distant when we viewed it later and the film didn’t convey the feel of the experience –
      Story Maps don’t only record the moment they also convey an element of how you felt at that moment 🙂

    • I feel our academic focused schooling pushes us towards using words to express ourselves when instinctively – when you think about the pictograms on cave walls – illustration is really a closer means of expression!
      Very happy to hear you doodle as you get the opportunity to record your memories 🙂

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