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.