I listen carefully to what show attendees say to me when seeing my work. At this last show in Hawley, as in many others, a regular comment is that I must be a very patient person. I often hesitate at this because I simply feel it misses the mark on how I approach making an image. Truth is I’m not a very patient person.  I don’t just stand or sit waiting for something to happen or some creature to pass my position.

I think the confusion is that many people equate wildlife photography and nature photography in general, with hunting. I am not hunting with a camera. Maybe a better description is that I am exploring with my camera and then communicating with as much emotion as I can, the visual experience. Sometimes my images are the result of pre-visualization, maybe for months or just seconds before making the image. Sometimes I just walk around and allow myself to respond to what I see and feel. Other times I do stand or sit in a spot where I have pre-visualized a certain image or type of image I want to make. Usually though, I am on the move observing and thinking about color, form, perspective, and compositions, but mostly letting myself respond to the visual experience I am having.

It is more often true that any image I make was made as I came upon a subject or situation in the field. Many of my images are the result of planning to be in a certain location under specific conditions in order to attempt to make an image I had already considered. This means being in the desired spot often while it’s still dark with the needed equipment and a predetermined creative approach. In fact, this approach may be considered the exact opposite of patience. I’m not saying I never exhibit patience, it’s just not my strongest character trait (at least with regards to making photographs).

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2 thoughts on “Patience

  1. I hear you totally on this. Someone recently suggested that I must sit & wait for the shots I get of the birds in our backyard. That’s never the case, however. I tend to glance out a window in passing & if I see something to shoot, I grab the camera. Wait? Who’s got time?

  2. Wind usually tests my patience pretty good. The lull never seems to come soon enough. While I know there are some images that can be made using the wind, they always seem to be a lower priority than the still one you really want! 🙂

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