The Value of Patience

February 05, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Leaving

The value of patience is a virtue I’ve come to learn in photography. As much as I like to wander around and move where the light or the energy takes me, when I find a background I like I’ll stand and wait for awhile for the right character to come along. I suppose it’s also a good time to rest the worn feet.

After watching Joel Meyerowitz’s video last year, where he was on a NYC street corner talking about how he used to walk around a lot and then he realized that if he just stood in one place that people came to him…, I went out and tried it. After a few days of walking, finding a good spot and then waiting for the shot, I was very happy with the results. Sometimes the right person didn’t come along but I could come back and try it again another day or simply walk around the block and a new set of people would present themselves. In the last year or so, one of the longest I waited was for about 30 minutes and the photo above is what the outcome was. There wasn’t that much people traffic there and the other shots I took with the others that walked through didn’t quite work for me. It definitely taught me the importance of patience and I don’t mind at all standing or sitting around waiting for and watching people. It took a bit of getting used to because I kept thinking that I could be missing something somewhere else or my restlessness would kick in. I think my wanting to get a good shot overcame those thoughts and feelings. The waiting and watching helps me to take account the details in the scene and to set my camera to the right exposure. I do a few test shots to make sure I like where it’s at or change it up a bit to get the right look I want. As I wait I could also figure out what the best angle is and how to frame the shot. There are times where I don’t have to wait long at all so that’s always a good thing since it gives me time to maybe try a different angle or explore a little more. I believe patience in that I can sit and wait for a shot to happen and patience in that I wait for the right time to click the shutter button really made a huge impact on my work and improved the way I ‘see’ things.


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