Tag Archives: Timing

Wait for the shot – an easy guide

• Contorted •

• Contorted •
Wait for the right moment. What would there be in this picture without the bird?

Every great shot is a splendid moment in time

A significant difference between an accomplished photographer and a “snapper” is the insight to wait. Realising a potential shot at the right moment is the supreme judgement call. Microseconds or months – it makes no difference. Understanding the visualisation and committing to the time element are skills great photographers cultivate.

Seeing the moment

Once the idea comes to mind you have the basic material for the most important moment in the life of a great image – it’s visualisation. While visualising the shot you have to consider all the details including the timing. The image above would have been very uninteresting if not for the bird. I first saw this shot from a quarter mile away and no bird. After watching the bird alight and fly several times I worked closer and waited. The capture at that moment made the shot. Knowing the moment is a critical visualisation skill.

How to wait…

Watchful waiting: Sometimes your visualisation has shown you the shot you want to make. However, conditions have to be right. The right people, light, weather, things… it all has to come together and you need to watch for the right time. Could be a long time, but you can wait.

Lying in wait: You have seen the shot. You know it is going to come together. You are there, waiting for that one piece to fall into place. A person to walk into the right space; a car to drive onto the ferry; a skier to make the jump… it will happen! Wait for it, wait for it: click!

Passive waiting: You have in mind a shot. It is an agonising itch. You are not sure how, when or where it is going to happen. You just have to wait for things to start coming together. Maybe you need to find the right location; perhaps you have not seen the right fashion accessory; need access to the right car? This is a sort of one-shot project. At some time you will know the time is right and you can then work to put together the shot. I have three of these in mind right now… one day; one day.

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Repeat waits: Often the situation is wrong. I have some landscape shots I want to make. I know they are right, but I have to get the right weather. It is a 250 mile drive, so I have to make an effort to get there and wait. So far one image has eluded me 6 times. I will try again… and again.

Active waiting: Every street photographer knows this one. You are observing, hunting, seeing, looking for the moment, the right move, just the right character. Then suddenly the light and the person and the move all happen… the decisive moment – click!

• Coming And Going •

• Coming And Going •
Click image to view large
• Coming And Going • By Netkonnexion on Flickr External link - opens new tab/page

Constructive waiting: You have your idea. You have visualised every detail. Now you need to put it together. You need to buy a particular candle; to find a specific book; to contrive just the right mood and lighting. Then, after a few days, it all comes together and the production can start. People, props, positioning – perfect… click. Aaaah!

Wait! There’s more…

There are bound to be other types of “wait”. You may call them something different to me. Whatever, I think you can see, waiting is not only a critical aspect of your visualisation… it is also a fundamental part of the life of your shot.

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
See also: Profile on Google+.

One easy way to enhance your creativity – patience

Mythical creature and gull - patience, is an essential skill for creative photography.

Mythical creature and gull – patience is an essential skill for creative photography. Mythical Creature And Gull by Netkonnexion, on Flickr External link - opens new tab/page
Click image to view large.

Patience is definitely a virtue in photography.

The wonderful thing about photography is that it suites all temperaments. Everyone can get something out of our pastime. When it comes to creating something patience pays off. Here are some insights into waiting and creating…

There are times when photography is all about getting the shot as fast as you can. Immediacy is essential. Anyone who doubts that should take a look at my short series on panning and Action Shots – how to

There are also times when it pays to wait for the right moment. Without a doubt there is a ‘right’ moment to take a photograph. It comes in all sorts of situations and ways. However, for me, it nearly always comes when the creative decision is made in advance of the shot. This demands patience.

A famous photographer once said:

To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.
Images à la sauvette; Henri Cartier-Bresson – 1952

Henri Cartier-Bresson’ book was published in English under the title, “The Decisive Moment”. That is not a direct translation from the French title. It made the point though. The most effective images are created at the right moment. Cartier-Bresson felt that a moment in time, it’s immediacy, was the key element. He was a creative genius. The huge legacy of brilliant photographs he has left are testimony to that. His intuition was superb. He saw into a situation and in an instant create an immediate masterpiece.

Plan, prepare, predict – but be patient

The insight needed to make a photograph flows from intelligence. But I am not a genius. For me intuition is the result of training, experience and understanding. I see the world, experience it, think about it. Then I create.

The insight to plan a photo, or to see an opportunity, comes only to the photographer who is patient and creative. For those who are not a creative genius, creativity only comes when fulfilling a pre-conceived outcome. Beauty, expression, timing and impact is the ultimate goal. To create at that level takes not only planning, but patience. The moment of creation, ‘the decisive moment’ when it all comes together, is a unique synthesis. To capture that I have to plan, prepare for it and predict the moment. It is patience that helps me make the shot.

Work on your patience.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
See also: Profile on Google+.