We hear it all the time. But really, it is a trait every photographer should have. Not just patience but lots load of patience. This is maybe why it wasn’t so hard for me to discipline myself in learning the tricks and trade of photography. From setting up, to actually taking the pictures, to post-processing and even up to uploading and sharing your work. And one thing, this blog is a good example of giving time and writing blog posts as an additional work for the love of photography and blogging itself. So imagine the process. Your patience will really be tested and on the early stage of a photography career, which I am in right now, I would say your patience will be tested a lot.
Now lets talk to specifics here. Specifics in different kinds of photography when it comes to patience.
Photography before, where photographers use film, you can’t go wrong in being patient to get the results that you want or else end up with more rolls of film without even getting the shot that you want. In this digital age, it’s just easy to let the camera do the talking and “spray and pray” hoping to get a good shot from a burst of shots you took without even thinking how the shoot happened. I still believe in taking on shot at a time and making the decision to capture the moment that you wanted. There’s something in that process that is magical that I don’t want to “spray and pray” if you know what I mean.
From scouting to a perfect location to waiting to the perfect light to shoot. whether it be sunrise or sunset, it involves patience to pull this off.
People involved in sports must know that everything here happens so fast that with a blink of an eye you may miss a very good shot.
I had an experience to shoot an MMA fight event and boy it was so fast that my camera almost can’t handle. I was shooting at the highest ISO my camera could handle and the highest shutter speed of 1/50th which is too slow as this kind of sport, requires at least 1/500th of a second to freeze the action. I managed to play along with my settings and make use of what i had. Obviously, I didn’t have a fast glass that can have wide open aperture. But still patience gave me the thrust to keep on shooting and I was happy of the results. Check my other works at www.vanligutom.com.
I am not a burst shooter as I mentioned but during this event, even I was on a single shot mode, I took around 3K+ photos for the whole event if I remember the numbers right. This was my first event reaching the 3K mark. It happens so fast that you have to keep up with the shutter in getting the action that you want.
This is where you often hear the word “Decisive Moment” which takes again, patience to pull off. Don’t get me wrong here, decisive moment happens when you are about to take the picture itself and I don’t mean to say it happens only in street photography. Again, to get the shot you want, it takes timing and thinking ahead of the action.
In this kind of photography, you are dealing more with people from makeup artists, models, your assistants, location, costumers and even setting up the studio. The reason why some photographers don’t do or just afraid to do portrait photography is that it requires social skills and not everyone of us have that. I don’t blame them because it’s their choice. A part of having social skills is having more patience. Dealing with people is not an easy task as I had that difficulty at this early stage of my photography. With a little bit of trust in myself and the help of some friends, I was able to organize more photo shoots last year 2012. It was a wonderful experience and hope to do more this year.
Taking photos of animals is even more unpredictable than photographing people and as a result there can be long waits to both find them in the wild but also to get capture them in a the right position, light and framing.
Similarly taking macro shots is generally not an overly spontaneous thing to do, especially when your subject is a moving one (insects for example) and when you’re shooting in a natural environment when the light changes and wind blows.
Wildlife and Macro photography are the two mentioned here that I was not able to experience considering I don’t have the specific lenses for it and it’s not my cup of tea. But you get the whole point I’ve made here to prove that patience is very important if you want to be a successful photographer. I keep on reminding myself about that.
I love to know your inputs or experience that talks about our topic which is patience. Feel free to add some comments below.