Stay for the Light

Patience, I have very little patience.  That means I would make a terrible Jedi but it also means that I have likely miss shots because I was in too big of a hurry.  It is something that I have been working on successfully for a good bit of time.  That being said this post is to help you slow down a bit and really work a scene. 

There is a local location called Pineglades Lake, located in the Everglades, which I have been to many times.  During my trips I am often there alone but once in a while other photographers show up.  They will be set up next to me or in the general area clicking away as the sun falls.  Then when it drops below the horizon they pack up and leave.  There I stand alone again.  So, why do I linger? 

First, learning patience is something that I must practice so I try and force myself to stay longer than I normally would.  Second, the best light of a sunset is often 15 to 45 minutes (give or take) AFTER the sun goes down.  I have to wonder how many shots in the past I have missed because I was like the other photographers who bolted as soon as the sunset.  I can tell you that they have missed several because I was there to see capture them.  Lastly, there is a difference between looking and seeing.  When you get to a location many people look around, take a few shots, and move along to the next location.  Slow down and take the time to really see. 

Just a few days ago I was with a friend on a small nature walk.  We were there with our macro lenses looking around at what we could photograph.  Because we took the time to see the scene we were able to locate and photograph several Everglades Tree Snails (which have only recently been downgraded from endangered to threatened).  While we were there several people just walked right past us completely unaware of these little gems.  I suppose that could be considered a good thing but for us photographers it is something that many of us are guilty of.  How many shots have we missed because of impatience?  I hope after reading this though there will be less missed opportunities. 

So my advice is simple.  SLOW DOWN.