There is no doubt about the fact that patience is a virtue when it comes to waiting for the right moment to take a photo. So, if we know that being patient may get us to the end goal of something very very good, then why do we sometimes rush the process?
Maybe you would answer that TIME can be a factor. You only have so much time to devote to a session, or before you make dinner and you are grabbing a few photos of your dog in the yard, or when the elements aren't cooperating and rain is running down your face making it hard to see. Believe me, I understand. I have been there and purchased the T-shirt!
But, as dog and animal photographers, we realize that we DO have to wait out our subjects--most of the time. Even the best trained dogs may not give you the exact moment that you are hoping to capture. Waiting, then, might make the odds a bit more in your favor. Patience.
I waited out a turtle a few months ago. I placed an artistic rendering of a turtle on the floor and waited for the real live turtle to walk in front of it. Turtles are not well trained animals. It could take them, oh, maybe, FOREVER!!!!! to walk where you want them to walk. In the end, I dialed myself down to turtle mode, and just waited. 17,000 minutes later, I got this photo.
This past week, I was rewarded with a photo that I not only waited for, but that I have been waiting for, for a very long time.
I really love to take pictures of dogs or cats through a window. Our little Luke enjoys jumping up on an ottoman we have near a window and looking outside. I knew this about Luke because I observed his behavior many times. I took Lilah outside by herself to work on some training and play with a toy she likes. Every once in a while I give each of our dogs some of their own doggy time, and this was her turn. I took my camera with me.
The predictable Luke jumped up on the ottoman, and I focused in on him, but waited. I waited because I watched him jump like he was on a trampoline, do 50 ear twitches, whine, bark, then finally settle down. Here is the photo.
This photo used both the elements of patience and timing (last week's theme) and gave me the sense of a very wistful pup who wished he was outside playing with a toy, too. It may be one of my all-time favorite window photos.
There was another piece to our lesson this week as well. It had to do with finding the right background, then waiting for the foreground to happen. My turtle example will work here, as I knew I wanted to use the turtle artwork as my background. I just had to wait for the turtle "foreground" to appear. And, in my Luke photo above, I focused on the window long before Luke jumped up on the ottoman. I had no guarantees that he would stay there, or even settle down, so I had to wait for him to make that decision.
Now to see what others in the blog circle have done this week, start here with Darlene Dykas Woodward of Pant the Town Dog Walking and Pet Photography in Massachusetts, then work your way through all of the blog links until you find yourself right back here where you started. Have fun, and most importantly, have patience.